The Garden of Good and Evil Hat


I never intended to complete the pink challenge. I was all lined up for the under it all challenge as my first attempt of the year. That’s the first disclaimer. The second is please excuse my terrible photography. And finally that, in spite of this, it is somehow done a wearable long before the due date. In fact, a quick glance over the Facebook page for this challenge seems to suggest that I’m the first one done. Given my rate of finishing things last year, this is beyond unexpected.

I’ve set myself the challenge this year of using HSF to make things that are actually wearable in a modern context. Or at least adaptable. Much as I love historical clothing, I can’t justify making things that will never get worn. And since I don’t do re-enacting, or work in a field that would let me wear a robe a l’anglais or bustles on a day to day basis (is there anywhere in Australia that would let this happen), this means that challenges I choose to complete will take some thought. Yet this challenge required almost none, and it’s use as a challenge item is something of an after thought.

But, with the summer giving me such a rosy glow I decided I needed a hat before stepping out into the garden to do some weeding. Only I couldn’t find any of the hats I own. I know there are 3 or so somewhere in the house, but their exact location is a mystery. So I headed to Etsy where, in another one of those coincidences that makes me thing this challenge was pre-destined for completion, I had bookmarked a cloche hat pattern on Friday while I was bored on the train. A quick trip into the stash, and I was ready to go.




So why is this the Garden of Good and Evil hat? Well let’s just say that it has a contrary nature to it. The pattern only has 4 pieces, so it should be extremely easy to put together. But the instructions of the pattern – which I was attempting to follow, given that this is my first ever attempt at a hat – were, in some cases, none too clear. Or at least none too clear to me. In the end, I went my own way and was kind of glad I did. Although I cut things carefully, the band somehow ended up a slightly different size to the body of the hat, so there was some easing required. and I added some topstitching to the lining of the brim, just to make things a little smoother. The evilness also came from the fabric. The insides of the hat ended up a mass of threads where the edges pulled as I was working the seams, but the curves didn’t let me do much to tidy up other than snip threads where I found them. I had to go round several times for the finished item to make sure I had caught everything.

Hats are always tricky for my to wear anyway, thanks to a combination of a head circumference at the upper end of the scale (well it has to fit all my brains in, no?) and a seriously ludicrous amount of hair, which both make it difficult to find something that will fit. This combined with my round face makes finding something to suit tricky. I’m not entirely convinced by the outcome with this hat either. It’s a half decent fit, which is novel for me, not having to cram it on and hope for the best, but it’s a style that I have my reservations about how well it suits me. But, it will let me get into the garden to deal with the summer weed infestation that is taking over, without getting too excessively pink (so basically, I’ve completed the pink challenge, to avoid getting pink) and didn’t cost me anything other than the pattern. Good, evil, it’s all here in one handy stash-busting hat.




The Challenge: Pink. Although it doesn’t photograph like it, it really is pink, trust me! Just at the brown end of the spectrum is all!

Fabric: Canvas and craft cotton

Pattern:  Stitchwerx Designs, Darling Dahlia Cloche Hat S106

Year: Pattern is new, styling is 1920s

Notions: The pattern is designed to have a flower on the side. I’m not a fan of that for this hat, which is all about the practicality…

How historically accurate is it? The style is reasonably accurate. It’s all made out of fabrics that would have been around in the 20s, and I only used the straight stitch on the machine – if I’d made it on my 1920s treadle the outcome would have been exactly the same, just slightly slower. The colours I’m not too sure about, but the stripe is not unrealistic, I think. So all in all, not a bad take for a first attempt at a hat.

Hours to complete: 2 and a smidge. I wasn’t clock watching, but feel like writing this post has taken me longer than the hat did.

First worn: Today. Likely to get a few more putting given the weather at the moment. And the pattern may get remade for winter as well, depending on how I feel about this one after a couple of wears.

Total cost: $7 for the pattern. All fabrics are from the stash.