Simplicity 8468: confirmation that I am no milliner. 

The Pattern:
Simplicity 8468, HAT, MINI-BAG, SHOULDER BAG, BERET, SCARF, KNITTED BERET AND KNITTED SCARF, copyright 1969 Simplicity Pattern Co. Inc. 
Maybe you remember this pattern? From that time when I decided to give it a second chance and not Throw it? 
When it was knitted for me by my friend HRM who suggested I, 

Throw this thing, and toss a lit match in after.

Well. She was right. 
The original post is here, complete with HRM’s notes on the knitting process, and here below is the hat she made.  

It’s cute. I still like the version she made me. However, here below are bad versions, which I made in an optimistic, hugs&rainbows, this’ll-totally-work haze. 

This one above is the beret, which I thought was going to be floppier? More flat on top? More standing away from the head, less like something I might wear in a kitchen? Or a convent? 
Maybe I don’t understand what a beret is supposed to be. 
This one was made from a cashmere sweater from the thrift shop. I used the ribbed hem of the sweater for the edge, instead of elastic in a channel like the patterns says. 
I find the seam across the crown really visible and distracting, and yet it doesn’t add shape or style. So I’m not a fan. I prefer the more typical darts-at-the-top method for rounding out a hat. 

And here above is the hat. 
This hat hurts my head. And I don’t mean like in a “math is tough!” kind of way, I mean it physically hurts my head. 
Which is my fault. 
Totally my fault.
I used a really thick fabric for this, some kind of industrial synthetic felt. I think it was actually a packing material, like it came to the house in a box to protect the contents and instead of throwing it out I was like, “ooh! This is almost like fabric!!!” 
All that fat seam allowance turns to the inside and tourniquets my head and it’s awful. 
So this one is going to the thrift shop. It would be great for a kids dress-up box. Just not my kid, because I am Over It. 

Sew It or Throw It:
Throwing it! 
Here’s the thing though: I still believe this could be done well. Just not by me. By some other person. A person who has:

  1. Experience manipulating felt
  2. A free-arm sewing machine
  3. A nice wooden head-block 
  4. Education in millinery, and the patience that comes with that education. 

Millinery is a skill. I respect milliners, I’m not one, I don’t want to put in the time to become one. I want to make a dorky hat, complain about it, and send it off to a new home.

Fly away, dorky hat!


11 thoughts on “Simplicity 8468: confirmation that I am no milliner. 

      1. Ha! What if it’s not well drafted? Skill is one thing but looking at your photos of the black hat I wonder about the sizing. What if the sizing is off in this pattern?

        So that black hat is made in felt, right? Throw it in the washing machine, shrink it, and join the tiny hat club maybe?


        1. Ha! Tiny hat club.
          I think that the drafting is ok, but my thick fabric threw off the scale of the whole thing. Made the crown higher and wider and the inner hat size smaller. Maybe a fabric thickness gauge would be helpful, like a line with the words No Fabrics In Excess Of This Gauge. Or, maybe, I could just use common sense and/or the recommended fabrics list in the future.


          1. Ah… I don’t know if that’s helpful or just the opposite, but the photos only become amusing after you’ve studied them for a moment and you realize the hat is too small. I know this one’s a throw, but you can definitely pull off this kind of hat… when it fits.


  1. I like Kalimak’s idea of shrinking the black one and wearing it on top of your head.

    I am fascinated by millinery. In my mind I am the lady who always wears a hat. They add so much drama to a simple outfit and are practical,rain or shine. I want to use my left over fabrics to always make a hat, but at the moment I don’t really know how.One day I will crack them.

    But this Simplicity pattern hats were created at the dying days of hattery. They are excuses for hats. Hat’s need more attitude and style.


    1. I *am* a lady who always wears a hat!
      But not in a well-dressed way. The hat is always a series of straw for summer, canvas or wool for winter, the same one no matter what outfit, until I lose it and have to get another, only for keeping the sun off, not for style.
      Although I try to not pick ugly ones.
      I had a gardening hat that I kept trying to believe in, because it had such a shady brim, but finally had to admit that it was majorly unflattering and should stay home. And then I tried to reshape it but ended up breaking it.
      I was hoping this floppy hat would turn out to be my new summer hat, but oh well, back to good old straw.


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