As you may know, I love baseball and I especially love old school baseball uniforms and hats (oh yeah and jackets and sweaters and stir-ups, oh my). While I am happy for spring training to have started, I do feel a little distant from my favorite game. Another bad year for my Reds is definitely on the books, and goddamn, I am sick of steroids. With my newfound love of the Blazers, I don’t need baseball to signal the new year. After working diligently to make Sarah’s idea hats realties I decided to tackle making myself a baseball cap.
Using the basic set of skills acquired from the Idea Hat Recipe book and the remains of an old hat that I ripped apart for pattern pieces, I set out to make myself a hat in the style of the early 20th century baseball. My first attempt was a lovely red wool number that unfortunately looked more like a bicycle cap than a baseball cap, with its bill pointing straight down. There was a really great look to the cap, unfortunately, trying to fix the hat and make the bill more symmetrical, I totally cheesed it up and had to ditch it. This sucked for a number of reasons, it had a great look to it and had already been to its first Blazer game, you know one of those “the path to hell is paved with good intentions” kind of deal. (Note: Sarah is still pissed at me for wrecking this one—it looked really good.)
This first example is what I am now calling “The City” hat (the “P” on the front for, you guessed it, Portland). Instead of doing the mathematics (err, liberal arts major that I was) I decided to guess and added an inch of length to the pattern pieces left over from the dearly departed hat from the last paragraph. Since I was guessing the hat turned out to be an enormous size. To get it to fit I added an elastic band which gave “The City” a cool look with a “baggy” style cap with a really 19th century bill. It took me a couple of days, but I really have grown to love the damn thing.
Being that I really wanted to make an authentic cap I sat down at the kitchen table Saturday with the French curve, a piece of scrap paper and my thinking cap, in the guise of my previous hat. I took the circumference of my head, divided it by six (the number of panels) and added a seam allowance. I used the French curve to make the triangular shaped panels. After sewing the body of the hat together I tried it on and walked dorkily around the house with a nicely fitted unfinished hat. All baseball hats have vents, in the last hats I used the eyelet function on the sewing machine to make them in, with this hat we used Sarah’s lovely new “Crop-a-Dile” to add metal eyelets, which were sweet. I added the bill and used satin ribbon to make the band. After all the math, sizing and thinking, it was still too big, which meant a piece of elastic sewn into the back two panels to pull it tight. I wore this around Sunday and have decided to re-make the headband out of cotton, satin feels nice for a while but is too weak and just basically doesn’t work.
I probably should mention that the wool I used for these hats was from the scrap bin at the Pendleton outlet in Washougal (we rushed up there one Sunday afternoon to get there before they closed—how dorky is that?), which totaled $4 for two hats that are wearable and two that are now in the trash pile. To make the bill, instead of using cardboard or plastic like modern hats, I used a piece of buckram and fusible fleece which makes a bill that is shape-able and works really well for the short brimmed style. If I were to make a more modern (like say the 1940s) hat, I would use a harder material because it allows for the hat to pull tighter on your head. I will probably be making a lot of hats for the next couple of days, (indeed there is a half finished “Idea Hat” for Sarah sitting on the table).
We missed the big college baseball games from the weekend, but take a look at the Oregon State Beavers’ new uniforms. A nice retro style, with the contrasting colored facing which the Sewist has informed me is going to be really cool this year (she actually follows these trends). I just want the socks!
~JoshNo related posts...
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