Kit has neutral linen outer fabric shown in detail in the listing .
Easy Mini Top Hat Making Tutorial
NOTES: If buying a full hat kit from us it comes with Latex glue and bondaweb iron on adhesive strips for bonding the fabric. This is for legal reasons as it is a non toxic glue. It works well with fabric but you do need to leave a few minutes until tacky and then clamp / hold pieces together firmly and leave to dry completely between stages to give it the full strength. So the hat making time is extended. In the tutorial below I am using neoprene contact adhesive glue in gel form. This is a solvent based glue, not suitable for children. It works brilliant and I like the gel form as no drips so it doesn't get everywhere. It bonds almost instantly so you can make a complete hat in about an hour or two with some practice. You must use in a well ventilated room latex gloves recommended.
CUTTING OUT: Start by cutting out the Buckram pieces as indicated on pattern. This needs to be done very carefully and accurately. Even the width of a pencil line and scissors cutting outside that line can add considerable size to the circumference of a circle..Also the weight of a fabric can change the size of the crown circumference if it is very thick. Be aware of this when you first start. Lay each buckram piece onto main fabric and cut out leaving approx 2cm / 3/4" allowance all way around. Use a natural cotton or linen fabric for your first hat. Synthetic fabrics are more challenging and can take a bit of experience to make perfect hats.
Hat making buckram is like a very heavy interfacing, one side has iron on adhesive. Bond the shiny side of hat making Buckram crown piece to wrong side of the crown fabric. Use v hot iron and no steam. Hold iron in one place for several seconds and move on. weigh down until completely cool and fabric should be completely evenly bonded.
To fold the edges over I am using contact adhesive. you may also use bondaweb strips to iron the fabric edges over or latex glue. if using latex its same as above but leave until rubbery before folding over.
Fold over edges, make sure the fabric is smooth and tight to edges of buckram. weigh until dry. (heavy book ideal)
Bond the buckram side piece to fabric same as for crown. The pattern will show you the overlap end. Trim fabric to edge of buckram at this end.
Trim the corners on other end of hat sides. Glue both buckram and fabric and fold over.
Showing hat sides with end folded over and glued.
Snip fabric curved sections of hat sides fabric so they will fold over buckram neatly. Glue both fabric edges and buckram, when tacky fold over. Make sure fabric is tightly pulled over edges with no lumps, fold or loose sections. Measure the overlap carefully. Glue ends, the inside of end with folded fabric and outside of end with fabric trimmed to edge of buckram.
Showing hat side covered and ready to join back seam.
Glue both ends of hat side piece. One will glue on wrong side and other on right side. Overlap to mark and clamp. leave until set.
Align the centre front of crown to centre front of hat sides. Pin and check for fit. It can be hard to see if you are exact with your first hat. Pin quarter points then as many pins as you think you need to check the fit. Hand sew crown to sides with tiny stitches that should hardly show on outside. It is also possible with this type of hat to join using a hat glue gun. You need to hold crown and sides very firmly and dot glue inside at the quarter marks. Hold each one until completely cold. check you have no glue on outside of hat. This method takes practice and patience!
This step is for the no sew method of doing the hat brim. Some beginners seem to have trouble doing the hat brim edges with bias binding, and some makers don't have a sewing machine. This method has no bias binding edges . Under brim is pleated and glued in place. First bond the brim buckram piece to fabric brim same as for crown and sides. Make sure it is perfectly centred. On WRONG side of fabric glue around the outer raw edge of the fabric, about 15mm deep from edge. Then snip the centre tabs along marked lines and cut out centre fabric oval, (kits are pre cut ready). Glue the buckram centre tabs. Leave to become barely tacky, (so you can turn the piece over without getting glue on table.) Turn piece over and glue the fabric edges on right side of fabric, this time only 1cm deep from the edge.
Showing the centre tabs of brim buckram glued.
Turn brim so buckram side faces up. Start to fold and pleat the fabric so neatly pleated and smooth edges. I mark front and back so the pleats are even both sides. If you have glued correctly this should be easy and the fabric will glue to both centre tabs and itself.
Showing under brim pleated. weigh down until dry ( use silicone sheet or non stick paper between fabric and weight.) When dry snip the centre tabs again.
On righ side of brim you need to glue centre tabs to stick to indie of hat sides. Pic Showing the centre tabs of brim glued using a paper glue guide to prevent glue getting on right side of fabric.
Glue the inside edge of hat sides, leave until tacky.
Mark dots centre front and back on brim on edge of tabs.
Press centre back tabs in place, then centre front and work your way around the sides pushing up so the edge of tabs curve into the curve of hat. If using contact adhesive it will not come unstuck once pressed together so take care.
Almost done, just elastic loops and lining to add.
Cut 2 x 12cm pieces elastic. Make 2 loops of elastic, glue into hat at each side or if preferred a bit towards the back at each side. the hat curves up at the sides and sits slightly higher off the head so by attaching the elastic slightly off centre towards the back it will fit neatly. A hat elastic to match your hair can be added and hair combs and grips will help hold it in place.