Friday, April 23, 2010

Ottilia Sews! Herbie Brimmed Hat ...and a Prize Draw!

This summer little gentlemen – and trendy young ladies too – add a finishing touch to their outfits with a Borsalino-style (fedora) hat. Our hat is sewn from tightly-woven cotton fabric and stiffened with interfacing to help it keep its shape. The illustrated step-by-step instructions will guide you through making it.

Lots of hats of this style have recently appeared on the catwalks of children’s fashion shows. Take up our invitation to sew a hat for your child and post a photo of it to us. All those who send photos of hats will be entered in a draw for ten wonderful product prizes! Please let us also know whether we may publish your photo on our blog.

UPDATE: Please send your submissions to

The draw will take place on May 1 at 12:00 noon (Finnish time). ANOTHER UPDATE: The deadline has been extended until May 10.

Herbie brimmed hat for little gentlemen, head circumference 50-52-54-56 cm

The pattern for the hat appeared in issue 3/2010. You’ll find pictures of the hat on pages 14–15 and 18–19 and the sewing instructions on pages 44–45.



Cut exterior crown top and side panels from cotton fabric as indicated on list of pattern pieces. Add 7 mm seam allowances to all edges of panels. Cut crown top and side panels of lining with 5 mm seam allowances.

Brim: Cut curved outer and inner edges of upper brim panels (brim front and back) with 5 mm seam allowances and straight edges with 7 mm seam allowances. Cut lower brim panels (brim front and back) with 7 mm seam allowances.

Label the hat panels by sticking pieces of painter’s tape to their right side, with the name of the panel written on the tape. Copy the pattern markings on the hat panels using notches (notch = a 3 mm deep clip into the fabric edge, placed within the seam allowance). *Note that the pattern piece for the binding strip includes seam allowances and that it is cut on the bias. 


Construction techniques: Stitch seams with straight stitch. Stitch all seams with 7 mm seam allowances; thus the lining and upper brim will be slightly smaller and the hat will take its shape more easily. Press seams open and topstitch them on both sides of seamline, placing stitching close to seamline, unless otherwise instructed.

Stabilizing: Cut interfacings for areas shaded in grey on small-scale patterns and fuse them to exterior hat panels (cut interfacings with 5 mm seam allowances).

Joining crown exterior: Pin and stitch side panels together, right sides facing. Press seams open and topstitch them on both sides of seamline. Pin and stitch crown top to side panels, right sides together and aligning center-front and center-back marks. Topstitch seam as above.

Joining crown lining: Stitch side panels together, right sides facing, and press seams open. Stitch crown top panel to side panels, right sides together. Fold seam allowances toward side panels and topstitch seam.

Brim: Pin and stitch upper and lower brim panels together in pairs (brim front + brim back). Press seams open and top-stitch them on both sides of seamline. Pin brim halves together, wrong sides facing, and machine-baste their outer and inner edges together, placing stitching close to edge.

Stitch ends of binding strips together to form circle. Pin binding to outer edge of brim, placing it right sides together with lower brim half and aligning its seams with side seams on brim. Stitch binding in place, stretching it slightly as you sew. Trim seam allowance on outer edge of brim even (to width of 5 mm). Fold binding over to upper brim side. Turn seam allowance on free edge of binding under, pin turned-under edge to brim and stitch it in place close to edge.

Joining crown and brim: Turn exterior crown right side out and crown lining inside out. Place lining within exterior, wrong sides together, and pin them together carefully (if necessary, trim seam allowance on bottom edge of lining to make it fit within exterior). Machine-baste bottom edges of crown sections together. Pin and machine-baste brim to crown, with upper brim and crown exterior right sides together and aligning center-front and center-back marks. Finish seam allowances together with zigzag stitch or serger.

Finishing: Stitch ends of grosgrain ribbon together, right sides facing. Fold brim up against crown. Pin and stitch longer edge of grosgrain ribbon over seam allowance on bottom edge of crown, placing edge of ribbon along stitching line that attaches brim and aligning seam on ribbon with center-back mark. Attach top edge of grosgrain ribbon to center-front and center-back seams with a few hand stitches.

Turn hat right way out and give it final shaping by steaming it over a hat block (or over a cushion shaped into a ball).


Jan Reed said...

Great project! I may just have to do this one myself!!

Tcilou said...

Thanks a lot for this step by step....It probably help me much!
(sorry for my bad french is much better!)

Krista said...

Woohoo! I love this hat!! I already made the vest for my boy for a wedding we attended last week. He looked so ahndsome! I just ran out of time to make the hat to go with it.
Thanks for the photo tutorial. I love tutorials.
Keep up the inspiring work!!

Anonymous said...

I just finished cutting this and am getting ready to sew this for my son. I cant wait!!!!

~ Kristen

Leah said...

Love making hats - my kids love wearing them too...

MaaritH said...

Many thanks for these instructions!

shm said...

That hat is soo chic!
The pictures does make it look easy to sew :)
And wishing everybody Good Luck for the draw!

I am Arizona; a person, not a place. said...

Thank you for this tutorial! I don't know if I'll finish in time for the contest, but I'm looking forward to making this hat!

mma clothing said...

cute hat design..
good for kids..
i love it..

fran said...

love it!

Heather said...

I just came across this fabulous tutorial and would love to know if I can get the hat pattern still? Do you have backorders of the magazine? Such a gorgeous hat, just what I'm looking for. I hope you can help.

Anonymous said...

many thanks, many mothers in our great country, from Europe to the East love your magazine. and even learn English Lussita from Russia