After sewing 6 Oliver + S Bucket Hats, I kind of feel like a bucket hat expert! The hats are not perfect, but I challenge you to go and find a RTW hat that is. :)
First of all, I tried several methods to construct the hat, and I think that Jessica from A Little Gray has the easiest method by far. Go and see her tutorial for the full run-down. Basically you complete the main fabric hat and the lining hat separately, sew them right sides together around the brims, leaving a gap for turning right side out.
Since I was sewing so many bucket hats, I had some fun chaining. If you have never chained before, you should try it out!It was the most fun part of this project and makes me smile just looking at this picture! :)
The most annoying step for me was sewing the side panels to the crown (I have heard others say this too). Below, you can see I have pinned the side panels on top of the crown piece. It is much easier to sew with the crown on the bottom. I started at one side seam, aligning notches and seam allowance carefully.
Here I am placing my hands so that I can manipulate the side panels to match the crown. Do not pull the fabric of the side panel towards you! Only pull the fabric carefully to the the left to realign the seam allowances. Pulling the fabric of the side panel towards you will stretch it, and you will find excess fabric when you get to the end of the seam. Avoid this simply by gently tugging it to the side and not by pulling towards you.
Below you can see clearly why this is probably the most annoying step of the whole bucket hat. The outer edge of the crown piece is longer than the side piece, that is why it buckles in like this. But trust me, the seam lines are exact. I sewed with only 4 pins and saw every notch line up perfectly, as long as I didn't stretch the side piece!
I found that once I got past this annoying seam, the rest of the steps seamed a lot simpler! I top stitched each seam right after it was finished. So the next step here was to top stitch.
Is there any other steps of bucket hats that you find annoying? Leave me a comment :)