Yesterday, Raina and I went to Disney On Ice, Dare to Dream. She is pretty in love with the princesses right now, so I thought I'd run with that and make her a Rapunzel hat so she could "let down her hair" while the cool air is still here!
The idea kind of started small... but it ended up better than I could have imagined!! I am on a mission to empty out my box (uh, boxes) of started but not-yet-finished projects. One was a pink fleece hat that I started from a pretty basic hat pattern. I have had those pink fleece pieces cut for about 5 months.
I knew I wanted to add a bright fun fabric to the other side, probably flannel so it would be cozy. I had some of this bright pink star flannel stashed away for something special, so after some hemming (HA! sewing pun!) I pulled it out for the hat. I sewed them both right sides together, then pinned both layers (fleece and flannel) together with right sides facing.
It was missing something. The earflaps are cute, but I wanted some hangy business. I thought about
braiding some strips of the pink fleece, but it didn't seem exciting enough. I thought about some little braids with rainbow yarn. I thought about adding a ruffle or some scalloped fleece in another color (ideas for future hats!). All were ruled out. Then I remembered the show yesterday. And how my little princess stood up when Rapunzel came out, waved, blew a kiss, and yelled to me excitedly, "She's HERE! Rapunzel is HERE!!"
Rapunzel braids! With flowers, like she has at the lantern festival, for those of you who have seen the movie :)
So I cut an obscene number of yellow yarn pieces, longish in length. I tied them at the top, and braided some nice braids. It was tricky getting them started because I didn't want to have the braids too tight, so I held the top in my mouth and braided them backwards, down from my mouth. Sort of gross, but it's for my own daughter. If I was going to make one for your daughter (which I could, if you wanted!) I promise I would not put it in my mouth :) I got some pretty yucko mouth fuzz from the yarn, so I took a break to have some diet coke. (Afternoon coffee!)
Tangent time. How did you learn to braid? Do you remember? Regular braiding I probably learned on a barboe doll, but for french braids? I was paid. My neighbor paid me to learn how to french braid when I was in sixth grade so I could do her daughter's hair on picture day. True story.
When the braids were done, and tied of tightly with the same yarn at the bottom, I trimmed them, then put them between the hat layers. Makes no sense? I started with the bottom of the braid, and pushed it into the earflap. I kept pushing it in until all that was left was the end that had been in my mouth...
Then I pinned tightly around that, leaving a good end outside the hem. After that I sewed all the way around, leaving an opening in the back to turn the hat right side out. When I got here
I wondered what I had been thinking. But I was using a zigzag stitch, so I lifted the presser foot to accommodate the thickness, said a little prayer, and pushed on through. It worked! On both braids! Yay!
After turning the hat, and pushing out all the points and turns, I sewed the opening closed. You could handsew, but I topstitched over it with a small stitch because I really wanted to finish this before anyone woke up :). For a gift, I would definitely hand sew, so that there would be no visible stitches.
Then came the fun part! I got out my flower stash! Some little silk ones, some little ribbon ones, and a jar full of all the little felt flowers I've been making that haven't gotten themselves hot glued onto hair clips yet! I hand sewed them on pretty randomly, trying to vary color and placement so it would be interesting. I used two large flowers at the part where the braid is tied off.
And a cluster of felt flowers on the side of the hat...
And I love it. I kind of want one for myself.
And for pictures, I convinced a cantelope to model!
Princess Raina? She loves it, too :)