Putting on our idea hats…

You may remember that we’ve mentioned a few times that we really like hats. You may also have noticed that we’re slightly obsessed with looking for weird, quirky things to make together. Our latest project really scored on both accounts.

Recently, we have taken to going to Uwajimaya and the Japanese language bookstore contained within, Kinokuniya. It is a fantastic place where you can not only get cool books (albeit in Japanese) and then get us all sorts of tofu and interesting sauces to put on said tofu. Plus, we were able to find some great embroidery books for Sarah’s mom, who is quite the stitcher. Taking inspiration from the Geek Sewing blog we used to enjoy (it’s no longer in existence, but Geek Sewing contributes over on the forums at Tamyu’s site) we thought, “What the hell? Let’s give this Japanese sewing thing a try.” Sarah found a couple of really great books on retro clothing (we’ll write about those soon, we promise) and we both were over the moon with excitement for this fantastically titled book: Idea Hat Recipe!

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So, we’re pretty sure that “Idea Hat” is a Japanese translation of the term “thinking cap.” It was written by a Paris-based Japanese hatmaker called Sept Bleus. There’s sort of a duel concept thing going on in this book. First, all of the hats resemble desserts. Second, the book comes with a bunch of different elements (printed on pattern paper like Burda World of Fashion) that are combined in “recipes” that you piece together to make different hat styles. So, there’s sort of a foodie kind of theme going on. The one we created was “Marcaron The Russe.”

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Our first couple attempts were sort of like a bad fairy tale, one was enormous and the next was way too small. These are the problems you run into without directions that you can understand. If it were in German, between the two of us, we could figure it out. But Japanese—the only thing we understood were the numbers. But when they’re not related to anything, numbers aren’t that useful. We could have salvaged the first attempt, but Josh decided foolishly to cut eyeholes into it so he could look like a character from Fat Albert (Dumb Donald to be exact). Instead of looking cartoony, which would have made this needless destruction at least funny, Josh instead looked like a bank robber (a stupid, poorly wardrobed one at that).

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For the first successful hat we used the leftover fabric from Sarah’s fabulous retro dress. Instead of adding seam allowances (we assumed that the Idea Hats needed seams added—they didn’t) we used the exact pattern pieces and just a tiny seam allowance. Josh added a covered button to the top to finish it off. This one’s just a smidge too big, but with enough blow drying, Sarah’s hair can puff up enough to make it work.

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The second hat (it was quite a weekend) was made to match Sarah’s funky German soccer (fußball) jacket. We decided to use black medium weight denim and added an elastic headband to keep it tight and a really awesome metallic thread that matches the German flag on her jacket. Jawohl!

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Coming soon… report on Josh’s hat adventure for himself and our first attempt at printing on fabric!

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~Josh & Sarah

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6 thoughts on “Putting on our idea hats…

  1. Pingback: Sewer-Sewist » Spring Training

  2. Since you appear to be hat addicts you need to check out flipsidehats.com
    Very fun & 2 hats in one! Enjoy. Yours look fun too & I especially like the elastic!

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  6. I don’t read Japanese but love the patterns. Before I purchase the book, I’d like to know if the instruction and pictures are clear enough like written directions. ALoha!

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