Hat + ears = cuteness overload!

I love this hat pattern, the Cosy Winter Hood from the book Oliver +S “Little Things to Sew“.  Really what isn’t to love about it, it’s a hat with ears! I have made this hat many times over.  The first time I made it was for Bertie when he was about 18 months old.  I found a tweed skirt in my local charity shop and I was off, you know I love an upcycle. I lined it with some bamboo fleece from Bamboo Fabric Store and it became the cosiest hat around.  How cute does he look? He was cute once, that was before he turned 3!

Once, he was cute!


We then moved on to a super hero obsession so I converted the design into a bat hat! I redrew the ears, making them slightly more pointed and placed them backward, not anatomically correct but they looked more batman-esque! I used a black denim and lined it with some charcoal fleece. The denim wasn’t as successful as the tweed, there is no ‘give’ in the fabric. It doesn’t fit as well as the original.

Here in his homemade batman costume!
On second thoughts, is it more donkey than bat??

The third one I made was from a beautiful piece of blue wool I found at the charity shop, I tried it in the medium size this time (kids 4-6). It was way too big for Bertie, so it’s mine now! I love the contrast with the white bamboo fleece. I have to say, I haven’t been game enough to wear it out yet!

Bertie & me!

I have also taught one of my students to make this hat. It’s a great project for an enthusiastic sewer and not all that hard. It teaches sewing curved seams, lining a piece and basic construction. She did an awesome job with it.  She also insisted we wear our hats to all future sewing lessons – well at least I am game for that!

Sewing up a storm in our hats!
My student rocking her hat!

What I love about this hat is the options for adaptation. Playing around with the lining colour can totally transform this hat. It has a huge scope for upcycling anything at hand like a shrunk sweater or heavy wool skirt. But the most fun you can have is changing the ears, long skinny ears for a bunny, triangular ears for a cat or the best type of ears – bat ears, for your inner super hero!

To infinity and beyond…

This was my first ever attempt at making a costume and to date, I think it’s the best one I have made.  Bertie was only 2 when he told me in his jumbled language that he wanted to be Buzz Lightyear.  I haven’t had a kid who was interested in dress up until Bertie came along, so I was up for the challenge.

Like the Captain Barnacles suit (see: Let’s Dress Up!) I used a mixture of patterns.  The pants were my very favourite Parsley Pants by pattern designer Made by Rae.  The easiest and quickest pants to make.  With the top, I decided to add a velcro strip down the back for getting it on and off quickly (catering for the whims of a 2 year old).

I used a cheap white poly cotton and lots of lovely coloured felt. I love using felt, it is so easy to cut and apply. I used both iron-on glue and a row of stitching on each piece.

I also made a jet pack, I found a lovely homemade version on Pinterest.  A couple of bottles, some coloured card, glue and a scalpel knife and there you have it.

The whole project was a real labour of love, but worth every minute – if nothing else, just for these cute photos of Bertie!

Buzz Lightyear costume
I hot-glued a red bike light to the sleeve, just for that authentic laser beam (hours of fun!)
Buzz Lightyear costume
A very proud Buzz Lightyear
Buzz Lightyear costume
The homemade jet pack – I will thank Bertie’s godmother for the tonic bottles!

The Captain Barnacles Suit

Bertie and I are off to see the Octonauts stage show this week. In honour of this epic event in our social calendar, I made him a Captain Barnacles outfit!  It was a real mishmash of patterns, the top is part of a girls dress and the pants are my favourite ‘Parsley Pants‘ pattern from Made by Rae. I used poly cotton for the main pieces in the two blue colours and decorated with wool felt.  The zip is by far the best feature, it’s a 1960’s zip found in a charity store in York (UK) for 50 pence. He is pretty pleased with it, having slept in it for days!