September 23, 2022
by Cynthia Anderson
Halloween is the perfect excuse to get creative and have fun making a costume, especially for a child. In the previous blog Make a Child's Halloween Costume with the 208 Kinsale Cloak for Young Folk, I made a cape as a simple foundation for bat-themed witch/wizard costume. While the cape was lots of fun to make, it was just the beginning and an excuse to make more Halloween stuff. In this blog, I will show you how to make a Harry Potter-inspired witch/wizard hat. How to make a ruff, bat hair pins, and wand is soon to follow!
Note the measurements you need down on some paper before you start. First measure the forehead circumference using a fabric measuring tape. Measure the head placing the measuring tape above the eyebrows and ears. Add 1/2" (13mm) to 1" (2.5cm) of ease to the circumference, depending on how high or low you want the hat to sit.
My circumference is 19 1/2" (50cm) + 1/2" (13mm) of ease = 20"( 51cm) total head circumference
Next, decide the width of the brim. This will also be the width of the hat. My brim diameter is 14" (36cm) . It can be any width you like.
Make the Brim Pattern
First, determine the head diameter (hat opening) using this formula: total head circumference /divide by pi (3.14159) = head diameter
For my hat:
20" (51cm) / 3.14 = 6.4" (16cm). For ease of measuring the pattern, I decided to round to the nearest 1/8" (3mm) which is 6.5" (16.5cm), which is close enough. My head diameter is 6.5" (16.5cm).
Make a center point on a large piece of paper or Swedish tracing paper. Then draw a circle for the head diameter based on your measurement. Then draw another circle outside the head diameter circle, measuring 3" from the head diameter circle (or whatever brim size you choose). The head diameter circle is centered in the width of the brim circle. Cut this pattern out, including the hat opening.
Try the paper pattern on for size and evaluate if the brim width is how you want it. But, before you cut the fabric opening for the head, consider how stiff or floppy you want the brim to be.
To create just the right amount of brim flop, I am using two layers of felt. If you prefer an even more ridged brim, sandwich a stiff layer of interfacing or fabric between the two layers. I determined one layer to be much too floppy.To give the brim more structure I decided to stitch the two layers together with a circular free-hand stitch on the sewing machine using black thread. The stitching adds a quilted design aesthetic as well adding extra heft. I used pins to help keep the layers from shifting while stitching. It is easier to maneuver when stitching if the head opening has not been cut out yet.
Make the Cone Pattern
First, decide on the height of the hat.
My hat is 11" (20cm) tall.
Draw a horizontal line that measures the head diameter, then mark the center point.
From the center point draw a vertical line to the hat height.
Connect the vertical height point to the horizontal head diameter width.
Use the triangle template and trace it again twice more as shown.
Draw a curve to smooth out the bottom edge of the cone shape.
Be sure to add the seam allowance to each straight edge of the pattern. I am using a 1/4" (6mm) seam allowance. Cut out and use as a pattern for the hat cone.
Using the cone pattern, check to be sure it fits and be sure it fits into the head opening of the brim. Make adjustments if needed.
With right sides together pin and stitch the seam allowance.
Assemble the Hat
With right sides together match and pin the edges of the hat opening and the bottom cone edge, stitch on the seam allowance. I used 1/4" (6mm) seam allowance.
Clip the point of the cone to make turning right side out easier and for inserting the top wire detail.
With the wrong side still facing out, add a pipe cleaner along the seam stitching, using hot glue to tack it down. This will make a hat that can be bent and shaped. Only attach the pipe cleaner to the narrowest point of the cone shape first. This will help to make turning much easier. Once the cone is turned, then finish gluing the pipe cleaner in place.
Wrap seam binding around the base of the hat a few times and tack in place with a few hand-stitches to hold. Or use hot glue.
Add the Finishing Touches
The hat's whimsical top detail, is made of stars, a crest-moon shape, and felt bats danging from wire. Cut the star and crest-moon shapes out of two layers of unbleached cotton muslin, with interfacing sandwiched between, and machine stitch the shapes with black thread. Leave a small hole in the stitching, in which to insert a length of 26 gauge wire. Use a dab of hot glue to seal the hole opening.
For the bats, use the same template used on the cape, but scale them down to be much smaller. Cut them out of a single layer of felt and attach a length of wire as well.
Arrange the shapes to the desired length and twist the wires together to make a bouquet. Apply a small amount of hot glue to the end of the twisted wires and wrap with masking tape before the glue sets.
Insert the wire bouquet into the tip of the hat and add a bit more hot glue from the inside the hat to secure the hold.
In the next blog the fun continues - learn how to make a simple ruff, wand, and hair pin decorations that you can copy or customize for your own inspired Halloween costume.
February 14, 2024