As you know, I developed an interest in Pixie hats last year, and my research back then turned up this pattern. I knew I wanted to make this one of the first patterns I tried out.
My review today is pretty short because, compared to the 1954 scarf hat, it has very few issues. I've only made up a quick version, so you won't be seeing any close ups of my long hand stitching and lack of lining.
- The magazine version, and Princess Margaret's original inspiration, were both made of velvet, and I've done the same.
- One key step in the process is stretching your fabric on the fold of the
brim piece around the wired buckram brim foundation. So you will need
something with stretch, or with a reasonable amount of give and cut on the
bias. This is actually the secret to how my version ended up being
a colour block hat - the first
pants I cut upfabric I tried didn't have the required give.
- They do suggest felt is possible, but I think you would end up with too much thickness at the brim when it is folded, unless you used a very thin felt.
- The size worked for me as it was - my head size is 22.5 inches. It isn't even tight!
- The pattern is hand drawn, and not close to symmetrical, even though the hat looks like it should be even. I don't know why this bugs me so much, but this is so often the case with these patterns and I don't know whether it is on purpose or not. I think in fact that is exactly why it bugs me. Anyway after drawing my own I folded it in half and evened it up.
- The hat sewed up easily and the instructions covered the steps pretty well. You have to stretch the brim over its foundation, as I mentioned before, so the more stretch your fabric has, the less bunching you have at the join of crown and brim.
- I did struggle with the joining the brim and crown and it didn't look like it would sit up properly, but once I put it on there was no problem.
- I didn't bother with lining or the headsize ribbon, but the instructions for these seem ok.
- The hat is designed to sit towards the back of the head, with the brim across the top.
- In windy situations I'd recommend a hat pin or some other attachment, but for the purposes of wandering around and taking photos I found it stayed on fine with nothing.
Sorry about the blurry photos by the way. I failed at selfies again!
This hat falls into the category of "looks cute, but I wouldn't wear it." As I mentioned on instagram, I felt like a 1940s witch as soon as I put it on, and I can't really get past that. I love the shape of the brim framing my face, but the pointed crown is just a bit too much for me.
You could round off the crown, but then it wouldn't be a pixie hat, so why bother? I'd love to find a way to make it wearable, but I just don't know how to do it. Perhaps trims would help. I feel that a pixie style without the halo brim might actually work better for me.
Short of any inspiration in that direction, I'll be keeping this pattern for vintage Halloween looks or maybe a cute Christmas elf. Or scaled down for an adorable little girl's hat!
What do you think? Too witchy or just the right amount of pixie charm?
I've already started on the next pattern, and I have hopes for its wearability...if I can just work out the instructions.