Jun 22, 2011

Railroad Conductor's Hat Tutorial

Ben is in charge of a ministry that picks up children from the inner-city of Cleveland and brings them to church each Sunday.  He started a summer faithful-rider campaign called The Great Train Campaign to beat back the summer doldrums.  
In his ever-winning way, he asked me to make him a conductor's hat, which I steadfastly refused to do.  So, of course, here is the tutorial, as I couldn't find one anywhereeeeeee on the world wide web.
In full honesty, this is actually my second attempt, as the first one ended up in pure dismal failure.  Failure is my friend, though, and I figured it out the second time.

You will need:
stabilizer (heavy-duty Pellon or cardboard)
dark fabric
thread
good-fitting or fitted baseball cap with a plain black bill
matching bias tape
8 inches of ribbon
2 large matching black or gold buttons
 Begin by measuring the head around where the hat will be worn.  (Ben was 22-1/2".)  
To create the flared dimension to the hat, draw the head circumference + an extra 1"-2" on an arc.  I free-handed this.  You will need your arc to be about 4" tall.  Cut one from cardboard or heavy-duty Pellon, and one from your fabric.

 Sew or staple the arc, checking to make sure the "hat" is loose on the wearer at this point.  Do this to both the stabilizer and the fabric.
 Draw and cut out a circle from the Pellon and the fabric that is at least 1" larger than the circumference of the top of the hat.  You can free-hand, trace, or use a compass or household item (saucepan, lampshade) for this step.
 Trace the outline of the top of the hat onto the cardboard (or Pellon--I will refer to this as cardboard the rest of the tutorial, as that is what I used.)  Now cut small triangles from the remaining outer inch.
 Place the top on the hat and fold down trimmed edges to fit as shown.
 Trace the outline of the cardboard top on the fabric top.  Now place the cardboard pieces together, gluing or sewing them together
 Place the flared fabric right side facing onto the flared cardboard.  This should fit snugly.  Place the fabric top right side facing down over the top of the hat.  This is a tricky step, so take your time.  I used pins to hold it in place, then used contrasting thread to baste it in place.  You want the top to be evenly taut.
 Now sew together (right sides facing).  Remove pins and basting thread.  Turn right side out and carefully fit over your cardboard.
 Get your baseball cap out.
 Place the flared top on the hat.
 Pin or baste the hat rim to the rim of the flared top.
 Baste and sew the two hats together using bias tape.  
 If you haven't already done so, baste the front of the two hats together.
 I used Fabri-Tac (a killer fabric glue!) to glue the ribbon to the front.  I folded the ends under to cover the raw edges.
 Glue two buttons at each end of the ribbon.
I also glued three foam letters-GTC- to the front for "Great Train Campaign."

I'm linking up to House of Hepworth and Weekend Wrap Up Party.

5 lovely comments:

Penny said... Best Blogger Tips

Great job, April! You are very talented!:o)

cindy said... Best Blogger Tips

This is really neat! You have more talent than you give yourself=)

Rebecca at Cotton+Wood said... Best Blogger Tips

Wow, April!! A-maz-ing!!!

fedricsonya said... Best Blogger Tips

Sew or basic the arc, blockage to accomplish abiding the "hat" is apart on the wearer at this point. Do this to both the balance and the fabric.

Top Hats

Anonymous said... Best Blogger Tips

i need this pattern for a church drama. great job.