Thursday, April 19, 2012

Welder's Hat: I found a free pattern!

So here I am with NO MAKE-UP wearing a welding cap and trying to take photos of myself while posing in front of our big picture window.  The neighbors, leaving for work, pause for a moment as they try and figure out what the heck I'm doing.  I'm a 35 year old SAHM of two, and I can take pics of myself in full view of the neighbors if I want to, I tell myself.  I'm just so excited to share this cool new free pattern that I found. I feel like there is no time for mascara and waiting until the afternoon sun is high enough to shoot photos in the back yard.  This needs to be done now.  So there you have it. ;-)

welding
[Photo Credit: www.skinnermetalproducts.com]

Perhaps you'd appreciate a little background first?  If not, scroll down a couple paragraphs because I'm feeling wordy this morning!  To begin I should tell you that my father is a welder as well as my brother and a couple of my cousins.  That is how I came to be searching the web for a sewing pattern in the first place.

One mark of a good and safe welder's cap is that it is made of 100% cotton (linen may work as well).  That makes sense because we all know that synthetics like nylon and polyester melt when exposed to heat and flame.  Also, as you can imagine, welding is a hot job and a breathable, absorbent material like cotton is preferable.  One's hair and back of neck are exposed when wearing a welder's protective mask.  The cap part of a weldering hat is made to stop the sparks from burning hair while the soft, short bill is turned around backwards to cover and protect the neck.  And lastly, the adjustable halo straps of a welding mask are made that much more comfortable when cushioned by a welder's hat.

And besides all that, I think welding hats are cute!  What do you think?  Can you imagine what they would look like with a few fabric flowers, yo-yos, buttons, and broaches to fancy them up a bit?  Welding hats could really be fashionable.  The cap part is deep so it will cover a lot of square inches of hair.  It was a little too deep for me and my pony tail so I folded the back of the hat band up in the back.  This revealed a peek at the fabric of the reverse side and let me wear my pony tail a bit higher.  I think it's a cute look.


OK, now onto the the DIY part of this post!  I found a w-o-n-d-e-r-f-u-l FREE pattern online.  Special thanks to fellow flickr member Seamingly Simple!  You can find her ingenious pattern HERE and the instructions HERE.  Or you can find it on PatternReview.com HERE.  Did I mention the hat is REVERSIBLE?  No?  Well, it is and that's another pretty cool thing, right?

What you'll need:

  1. The printable pattern.
  2. 1/2 yard of fabric. (1/4 yard for each side since it's reversible)
  3. A scrap of thin quilt batting OR interfacing for the bill.  I didn't use either in the hat I made for myself because the fabrics I chose were of a heavier weight.  I used Craft Bond fusible interfacing in the bill of the hat I made for my son.
  4. Coordinating thread.  (contrasting thread might be fun for the top-stitching)
  5. A little time.  The first hat took me an hour start to finish, but second one took me only 30 min.
Some tips that I found helpful:
  • Cutting the bill fabric on the bias is not necessary, but I like the look and how it lays nice and flat on the curved seam.
  • The instructions concerning construction of the crown were confusing to me.  I ended up making 2 bowl-shaped caps, attached the bill to one of the bands, and then attached the bands to the caps.  From there I stitched the two hats together, right sides together, around the the bottom of the band.  I left an opening and pulled the right sides through just like when I attach the lining to a purse.
  • I trimmed the seam allowances of the curved seam of the bill with pinking shears.  That just seemed easier than cutting out a bunch of little notches to ease the curve.
  • The "scale bar" on the printable pattern is ingenious!  Just so you know, if you print it out at 100%, the scale bar measures 10cm and the pattern is perfect for a 25" head.  If you print it out at 96%, the scale bar measures 9.6cm, at 93% it measures 9.3cm and so on.  You can totally customize this pattern to fit ANY head size.  

My son likes his hat, but suggests I make another one for him using "tougher, boyish" fabric!


This hat reminds me of a page boy cap, one of my fave styles.  Here are a couple page boys I found online.  I bet the welder's hat could be modified a bit the emulate one of these:
Burberry Wool Duffle Cap
[source]
Here's a similar hat that I found from Nordstrom.
Shorten the bill of the welder's hat and make it out of tweed?

[source]
This is a pageboy hat from TJ Maxx.
Make some fabric buttons to decorate your welder's hat?

Happy crafting and big hugs from Montana,
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17 comments:

  1. Rikka, you are so crafty!!! I love the hat and the story that goes along with it!!!!

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  2. You look fabulous in your welder's hat, Rikka. Thanks for the background... I had never heard of a welder's hat.

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  3. Love the hat pattern and want to use it so bad. I am having problems with my printer printing it to scale though. I think I am the problems though. I hope I can get it to work. If anyone has suggestions or can tell me how to enlarge the pattern to fit a size 23 pleae let me know.

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    Replies
    1. If you print it out at 93% of the original size, your scale bar should measure 9.3cm and be the perfect fit for a 23 inch head. This is the procedure I use for my printouts: When I have the pattern image downloaded and open on my computer open (I open it in Windows Photo Gallery but many programs will open it) I hit "print" > deselect "fit picture to frame" > select "options" > "page layout" > "reduce/enlarge document" by "percentage" > I type in the percentage > then "print" again. Hopefully you'll get it all figured out. Read the comments in flickr as well and see if they can help you out.

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  4. Thanks so much!! You don't know how much I appreciated your help. YOU ARE A SWEETHEART!! I will try this and see if I can get it to work...Thanks again.

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  5. I was able to make it work going to Paint!!! In print you can go to page lay out and do the percentages there. It took awhile for me to realize that the photo galleries for Windows XP don't do the percentages anymore, but pixels mostly. That was my problem, everything is going to newer versions where percentages aren't used. This is really sad for cases like this.Thanks for your help!!! Soooooooooo appreciated!!! Case solved!!

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  6. Just wondering...do any of you serge the edges so they don't fray?

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    Replies
    1. I didn't serge mine. I suppose you could trim 'em with pinking shears to stop fraying as well. If you try serging, please let us know how it turns out.

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  7. I have serged the edges using my daughter in law's serger. Turns out great and looks nice. The only thing is that you have to watch your seam allowance because a couple of times it showed through on the right side of the material..lol..I am just a so so type of sewer. I would give myself a "C"..lol I taught for 32 years and retired now so everything is still graded for me I guess. I was just curious if I was the only one that did that. It takes a little longer to make the caps but I think they would last longer. Also, I wash my material so that when I sew it won't shrink after sewing and be too small.

    Ricochet, I need to ask you something and wondered if I can email you? You might can help me in another situation with sewing. email me at dianhanson@aol.com
    Thanks so much for your continued response.

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    Replies
    1. I just emailed you. Thanks for the serging info. :-)

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  8. Rikka, I just found this project and I love it. I pinned this project, so I can come and see the instructions later. Thanks for all the information.
    Have a nice day.
    Marisa.

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  9. This is great my brother just started a welding program and as a quilter I have tons of smaller pieces of cotton around.
    thanks a bunch!

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  10. Great Welding Cap pattern, guys are loving them! Thank you!

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  11. What a great idea! I do all sorts of crafts but never find much to make for my man-this is perfect! And all his buddies will be asking for them too :-) -perfect excuse to BUY MORE FABRIC!

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  12. I am enjoying reading your page. I came to your site in search of a free pattern for a six pannel welders hat. I cant seem to find how to find it to download and print.

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  13. Oh my goodness, this is just what I needed!! So excited. Thank you for posting about it!!!

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  14. I'm a beginner at sewing but I will try this! My stepson has begged me to make one for him and with the help of this site, I think I can do it!

    Thanks so much for sharing this!

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