Summer Beach Hat: Fail!

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If you’re a member of Burdastyle, you may have seen the Summer Beach Hat project posted last week. (Model picture to the left.) Cute, no?

I immediately thought, this is the project for me! The sun is not my friend, as I burn very easily. And now that I wear my hair with bangs, I’m always worried they will misbehave, especially in the heat and humidity. Hello, frizz!

So I was pretty pumped about making this beach hat. I have a straw fedora already but wanted another option for the summer… however I’m declaring this project a FAIL.

I may have rushed in overconfidently – after all, my last few projects have turned out well. I can make a hat, I thought. How hard can it be? It just has to fit on my head, no dealing with hips and thighs. Easy, right? Nooo…

Now, I have to admit, I’m new to Burdastyle and this is the first time I’ve used one of their tutorials. Let me tell you, this one is not for the beginner. Or maybe it is if you know a bit about hat-making first? I’m not sure. I’m not meaning to knock Burdastyle at all, I love the idea of this hat! Just not my finished project.

One important thing to note is that it’s a tutorial, not a pattern. There are guidelines to making your own hat but you draft up your own pattern.  No pieces to print and cut out. I knew this, but thought I could figure it out regardless.

Here’s my semi-finished beach hat:

Doesn’t it look like a mushroom on top? All of the pictures of me wearing it are incredibly unflattering and I’m making strange faces. Here’s the best of the bunch, promise not to laugh! I left it small on purpose:

The reason it’s so weird on the top is because you have to draft your own crown. Basically, the instructions read “Draw a rectangle, now taper the ends to a point.” I’m guessing that this would work better with a couple of prototypes first, to figure out the crown shaping.

When I was describing it to a friend, she mentioned that Strawberry Shortcake has a poufy-on-top hat. But does she have the cone-of-shame attached below?

The cone-of-shame shaped brim is because the instructions are rather vague as well. I’m wondering if I missed something, or didn’t read properly? I used the recommended fabric (linen) and heavy weight interfacing.

Anyways, I wanted to share the fail project to show I’m not perfect. No matter how long you’ve been sewing, the occasional project will end up in the trash bin.

Sometimes it’s the wrong fabric choice, sometimes it’s fit or style, and sometimes it just wasn’t meant to be. Just don’t let it get you down! Take what you learned from it, and move on.

If anyone feels they can rescue this hat project from the trash bin, send me a note or leave a comment. I’ll happily mail it to you!

In the meantime, I’ll be moving on to the next project…

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27 Responses to Summer Beach Hat: Fail!

  1. FineandGood June 28, 2010 at 6:18 am #

    I’m glad you posted, but not that it didn’t work out. I was thinking of doing that project but now I know if I do to proceed with caution!

  2. Stacy June 28, 2010 at 6:29 am #

    I hate it when a project leaves you wondering if you missed something. I can say that I do better when there is an actual pattern on something like that. Maybe this post could help

  3. Karen June 28, 2010 at 6:35 am #

    Were you also supposed to put the fabric on the underside of the interfacing? Did it call for stitching any part of the wide brim for additional strength and support?

    It looks salvageable to me! I would love to see you end victorious!

  4. Ms.Cleaver June 28, 2010 at 6:58 am #

    I was considering this project as well, but I did think the instructions were vague and thought that is was weird that one side was wider than the other. FYI – Amy Butler also does a Sun Hat pattern:

  5. G June 28, 2010 at 7:00 am #

    Maybe YOU could rescue it with this tut (end of the page):

  6. Christie June 28, 2010 at 8:22 am #

    You are the cutest! I love these pics. The hat doesn’t look that bad:).

  7. Mr. Sewaholic June 28, 2010 at 9:09 am #

    The hat’s a dud, but you still look sexy sporting it!

  8. Selfish Seamstress June 28, 2010 at 10:00 am #

    Ha! When I saw that BurdaStyle tutorial my first thought was “Whoa there, you don’t just eyeball that shape.” It takes a pretty specific curve to get a smooth dome over your head. Unfortunately I think their vague method is only going to work for a few people who just get lucky and happen to draw the right curve by accident. I really think they should have just made a pattern available, even if just for that one piece. I think a lot of people are going to end up with unwearable hats, and unfortunately I suspect a lot of people will choose this as their first (or one of their first) sewing projects. Well, adorable photos anyway and good luck on the next one if you decide to give it another shot!

  9. Ali June 28, 2010 at 10:38 am #

    Ha! You’re darling, Tasia. I enjoyed reading about this project (and the photos!). And I think you have every right to bash BurdaStyle. They have major cuteness points but when it comes to instructions (and so I suspect with the tute), I feel like it’s the blind leading the blind. I’m still recovering from the Ruby Shorts debacle.

  10. Farah June 28, 2010 at 10:39 am #

    It’s not a fail – It’s a lesson.

    Your pictures are adorable, I love the dress you are wearing.

  11. ~Sherry~ June 28, 2010 at 12:47 pm #

    I notice Burdastyle have cropped the top of the hat off their picture – maybe their version wasn’t too hot either!
    All they needed to do was give you one small crown piece which would have easily fitted on an A4 sheet, and saved a lot of headaches!

  12. Brumby June 28, 2010 at 3:17 pm #

    Perhaps set it aside and readdress it in a week or two?

    That’s what I had to do with my Jorinde jacket which was my first BS pattern attempt (and coincidentally has just being restyled and re-released today). Once I was feeling less ‘ggrr I hate you’ I threw away BS’s instructions, used my common sense and finished the garment.

    Maybe also a combination of the links the other sewers have kindly supplied may help too as they may have the pattern piece that will ‘save the day’.

    I also love the dress you are wearing, great colours and pattern!

  13. Gail June 28, 2010 at 4:00 pm #

    Oh well noone can accuse you of having a swell head!

  14. rita June 28, 2010 at 8:15 pm #

    If you’re interested in making your own hats, I recommend “Saturday Night Hats” by Eugenia Kim. Many classic styles, some is sewn from scratch, some are more embellished. Hers are all stylish and cute, not “crafty”.

  15. Angela June 29, 2010 at 5:01 am #

    Sorry about your hat! I’ve only made one hat and it was a bucket hat for my granny.

  16. The Sew Convert June 29, 2010 at 6:00 am #

    Oh! Sorry about the hat but this is a really cute post nonetheless. I was gonna try that tute too, I’ve even printed in out..thanks for the warning!

  17. Stacy June 29, 2010 at 7:03 am #

    Wow, what a cautionary tale! I was all excited about trying to make that hat, but now…not so much.

  18. Tasia June 29, 2010 at 8:56 am #

    Thanks for all the recommendations (and the votes of confidence that I COULD save this hat!) @Stacy: , @Ms.Cleaver: , @G: thanks for the links!
    @rita: I’ve heard of Saturday Night Hats before and thought it looked like a good resource, thanks for the suggestion! I like hats, I wanted to make one, and definitely want to look cool and not artsy-craftsy.
    @Stacy: , @The Sew Convert: , @Ms.Cleaver: @FineandGood: Yeah, if you DO try it, proceed with caution. Like @Selfish Seamstress: said, you really need more guidance with that crown piece. A pattern piece would be super helpful as it’s hard to get a proper shape on your own.
    Thanks for the compliments on my dress too!

  19. Tasia June 29, 2010 at 9:03 am #

    But after all that, I think it’s still going in the bin. In order to save it I’d have to buy more fabric, and more interfacing, and start all over… Although, I’m considering the Saturday Night Hat book for next time = more guidance!

  20. Jodi June 29, 2010 at 1:20 pm #

    I tried making this hat too but I couldn’t figure out how to sew all the pieces together in the centre. I gave up…

  21. Tasia June 29, 2010 at 1:24 pm #

    Ahh I know, Jodi, I had the same problem! If you sew right to the edge of the crown side seam, you can’t attach the rest of the pieces… I unpicked 1.5cm at the top so that I could join the side panels – however then I ended up with a hole at the top!
    I suppose that’s where I’m supposed to put a covered button, like on a baseball cap, to cover up the hole.. but yeah. Not the easiest tutorial!

  22. Sigrid June 29, 2010 at 4:18 pm #

    I guess there is a good reason the photo was cropped at the top.

  23. Tasia June 29, 2010 at 5:46 pm #

    Hi Sigrid, you’re not kidding. Although, they do show some top pictures on the site and her version is still better than mine:

  24. Monet June 30, 2010 at 12:03 pm #

    Thanks for sharing…you know I am ALL ABOUT sharing your un-successes (although I still do think this is pretty cute!!!!).

  25. Margie June 30, 2010 at 1:11 pm #

    I tried to make this hat on Sunday. I had a super super hard time with the crown, and the brim didn’t work out much better. I didn’t get to finish cause I ran out of interfacing…but after reading this article I’m thinking I might just throw in the towel.

    ps. I love your blog. I’m going to bookmark it. I have been looking for some good sewing blogs (other than BurdaStyle )

  26. Whitney July 11, 2010 at 8:52 am #

    Shoot, so sad I didn’t find this post until today — last night I went to bed after making a crown that looks just like yours. I have to attribute it to not tapering it enough at the top of the crown pieces, but as others said above, without a pattern it’s just luck of the draw if you get the right shape or not. Planning to try again today (if I have enough fabric)…


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