Thursday, July 15, 2010

Good Show Watson! Little boy vest and newsboy hat tutorial

**Disclaimer** This vest and hat were made for Finn my soon to be 3 year old. He would totally wear it for me but HATES to have his picture taken. I told him I would give him a special treat if he would let me take his picture, he came back with "I'm gunna play in my room". HA! So poor Sawyer is stuffed into it. I thought "Hey, they are only 16 months apart no biggie right?" Oh and don't mind the arm tattoos, it was Dino day at camp and he refuses to wash them off. They've got to come off eventually right? RIGHT?

A while ago I inherited a large tweed skirt. It was to big for me but was from a nice store and I am a sucker for tweed so I wanted to size it down. I had just received my serger and thought BAM! I am going to knock this out in seconds. Well in seconds I had sewn right side to wrong side and lost a chunk of the skirt in the process. I was so frustrated I folded it up and shoved it in one of my fabric drawers. I found it the other day and thought I have GOT to make something with this (because nothing says tweed like 90 degree heat, right?) I was working on some of the balls for the Mercy visitors when Sawyer came a long and put one on his head and showed me his "hat" this gave me an idea. If you cut the ball pattern in half you could totally make a hat! I was a little apprehensive because I had tried to make a hat a few years ago and it did not end up too pretty. It was supposed to be for me but ended up on Finn:
Don't get me wrong super cute, just when you are going for an adult hat it wasn't exactly a triumph ;) But I think I got it this time... of course it is for a three year old so maybe I can only make small hats? Well I had all this great fabric and cherry on top it all had built in lining!!! I figured well lets see how far we can make it go.
What we will make today: A vest with matching hat and a little bonus for you mommies, because sometimes it is fun to be matchy matchy!
What you need:
An old button up skirt
A small section of stiff interfacing
Sewing machine
Needle and Thread
The Ball pattern found HERE
Some mustaches on a stick to get you in the mystery solving, tweed wearing, hat donning mood.

I am sorry that I didn't take a picture of the skirt before I started cutting, I was just so excited I got a head of myself. I went and grabbed one of the boys sweater vests to use it as a guide. I laid it on top of the skirt right up to the top and cut this shape out:
Then I put the two pieces right sides together and sewed up the side sections (sorry for the shallow depth of field, not very good photography on my part today :))
Then I finished the armholes and hemmed the bottom.
(Since this vest already had a lining I just folded the armholes over and sewed them down. I thought about putting right sides together and sewing them then flipping them out but since the lining was sewed to the center where the buttons are there wasn't to much give, but you could totally try it with yours)
Now I went up to the neck and cut a little scoop neck making sure to leave enough room between the button and the top to fold it over and finish it nicely
After finishing the neck, I turned it so that right sides were facing each other and sewed the shoulders.
Oh my goodness that is IT!!! You have a totally awesome completely lined little tweed vest laying in front of you! What is fabulous is how nicely the button part is sewn and you didn't even have to do it!
No button holes, no hand sewing, and none of the fabric from your stash (key for me). Okay so are you totally pumped and ready for the matching hat?
Grab the pattern size you picked out (small, medium or large depending on the noggin') and cut it in half width wise. Then you will want to cut out six of your main fabric and six of your lining fabric and separate them into piles. I had plenty of the skirt left for all 12 pieces:
Now you are going to make a chain of sorts. Line of two pieces of the hat, right sides together. Sew from the bottom all the way through and even past the top a little. Then add another piece and another until you are out of pieces. Then line up the last with the first and sew! Repeat with your lining until you have something that looks like this:
Now for the bill. Take the main section of your hat and flatten in out. Out of the same fabric cut a "smiley face" that is as long as this half of the hat. How wide of a smile it is depends on how wide you want your brim. I tend to think little brims are cute.
Use the one you just created to cut out a second brim. Now use one of them to cut out your interfacing.
Once you have cut the interfacing out, trim it down a bit so that it will fit inside the outline of the brim. Then per the instructions attach one to each brim piece
Now with right sides facing each other sew from one side of the smile around to the other. Then, flip the brim right sides out and top stitch the same place you just sewed to give it some nice sturdiness and definition
Your ends may have a little bit poking out, like this:
but don't worry about it, or cut it off :) Okay now we need some pins, oh I should add that to the list oopps. With right sides facing each other place your lining INSIDE your main hat fabric. Now, find where you would like the brim to go. Fold your brim in half to locate the middle. Now you are going to slip it in between the main hat and the lining. Pin it in place. Make sure a little bit of the brim sticks up and out between the other pieces so it for sure gets sewn in.
(I tried to keep mine apart a little so you could see the brim sticking out)
Once you have pinned all the way around you are going to sew all the way around the hat (make SURE you get ALL the brim, it is awful to turn it right side out and find you missed a little piece, um not that I did that... okay I did, take my word for it, it stinks) Make sure to leave a gap at some point (I chose the back) so that you can flip it right side out. Once you are done sewing, flip go a head and flip it right side out. Now you can tuck in the piece of the gap and top stitch all the way around the hat. I didn't want the top of the hat all open and unfinished looking, to I took one of the buttons I had cut off while making the vest and sewed it on top
Then I took the other two buttons I cut off and sewed them on either end of the bill
Done and done folks! Sawyer is ready for any mystery, or as our friend said when he saw him, to attend any country club function ha! He chose to lounge around instead.
After the vest and the hat I STILL had some fabric left and I thought it only fair I make Evie and I something tweed. I toyed with a necklace but since tweed is so itchy I went with a hair clip instead. I love making the torn silk rosettes and thought I would see how it looks with tweed.
(Please excuse my ratty looking hair and for some odd reason taking a picture in our bathroom? What the what was I thinking? And oh my goodness I have a band aid on my finger from where I sewed over it, how embarrassing)
All you need for these is:
A long strip of fabric
A hot glue gun
A clippy of some sort
No feeling in your fingers because at some point you will probably get hot glue on them!
These are actually ridiculously simple (I have no idea how people are selling necklaces of them for hundreds of dollars on Etsy... must be using real silk)
Take your long strip and roll up the end once. Put a little hot glue right next to your roll
Now you are going to roll and twist at the same time, essentially folding it so what was on top goes on the bottom and glueing every few roll/twists.
(This shows up WAY more when you use a fabric that doesn't have two sides exactly the same ha!) Eventually you will have this:
Now cut out a little circle of felt (I used my pinking sheers only because I am trying to prove that they were a totally necessary purchase)
Now you are going to glue your felt circle onto the back of your rosette
Now you are going to glue the whole thing to the clip of your choice. A little hint to those using alligator type clips: If you use the eraser of a pencil to hold open the clip it won't glue shut but also won't stick to the eraser! I went a head and made Evie a matching one but since I try to do crafts while she is sleeping I wasn't able to snap a pic, bummers.
So there you have it four items from one skirt and no money spent! And to top it off I still have a few scraps booo yah! Have fun sewing!


  1. Oh how handsome is that vest...Love it, you are doing wonderfully my dear :)

  2. really cute! I agree with Nikki your doing a great job with your sewing and this blog!

  3. I just recently found your blog and I am really enjoying it.......I love your pictures and that you sew for little boys! (I only have boys and as much as I chase them around the house - they just won't wear a dress for me, LOL!) Sadly I haven't really sewn that much for them. It's so hard to find boy stuff in the sewing world. You're inspiring. Way to be! :)


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