19 November 2013

My youngest has been asking me for ages to make her a princess hat and cloak a la a picture she showed me in one of her books.  She was very specific about what she wanted it had to be the same, down to the patterns on the material.  I was very touched and proud that she asked me to make it for her rather than her assuming we would just go out and buy it.  I gently informed her that we may not be able to buy the exact same material but we could go and look in the haberdashers to see what they had.  In the mean time I remembered that a while ago I had bought a few pieces of material from a friend who is emigrating, they were all suitable for making princess capes and I had bought them with that in mind.  She chose the piece of organza type material with sparkly bits.  We still needed something to make the hat or Hennin to give it its correct title.  She thought going round the haberdashers to choose her material was wonderful she spent quite a while deciding what she wanted and eventually chose some gold satin material which was, as she informed me, most suitable for princesses!

I made the hat by cutting a piece the shape of a quarter of a circle. I drew this on the material by holding a pencil on a piece of string at the corner, making a large drawing compass.  The radius was approx 15 inches/38cm.  In order for the hat to stand up, so to speak, I also used a stiffening material I went for the iron on type which in sewing speak is fusible interfacing.  I cut the interfacing slightly smaller than the material so that I could fold the seams to sew them more easily.  I sewed the two seams up and added two small pieces of the organza material to make the veil, although these are a token veil as they would not cover her face.

The cloak I made by sewing a hem round the bottom and a seam at the top for the elastic.  Once I had threaded the elastic through and sewn it together I also stitched the cloak together just at the top.  Whilst I was sewing the seam at the top I discovered something new on my sewing machine.  I bought my machine for £5, fifteen years ago from someone I was working with at the time.  It had been originally purchased in the Middle East the only 'instructions' with it are a small booklet with pictures only no words at all.  I am a self taught sewer, still at a basic level of sewing, so much of what I have learnt has been along the way often by trial and error, I am sure some of the things I do would have an experienced seamstress spluttering.  I have made a couple of items from this lovely book and the author talks about machine back stitching at the the beginning and end of each seam, I had no idea if my machine could do this so I had always done this by hand.  Whilst consulting my highly detailed instructions to remind myself how to place the bobbin, it has been a while....., when I realised that one of the pictures was showing you how to back stitch.  So I gave it a go and it worked, whey hey something new to my repertoire and less time fiddling about doing it by hand.

I was lucky enough to have some time in the haberdasher this week on my own, such a luxury, I could chose what I wanted in peace and take my time.  My children don't spend their time pulling all the ribbons off the shelves of fiddling with the buttons but after a few minutes in the shop they are usually asking when are we going.  So I had time to choose some material to make some Christmas presents for the children, I will reveal all another time.......

Joining in with Nicole for Keep Calm and Craft On.


  1. These are beautiful! I love that feeling when your children ask you to make them something too, very special.

  2. Gorgeous work littlest will look fab in her hat and cape


  3. I know exactly what you mean about haberdashery shopping with children. They are asking, "When are we going?" and you're thinking, "We only just got here!" The princess hat and cloak are lovely, so floaty and beautiful. You're daughter must be thrilled. Well done you!

  4. What a beautiful dressing up outfit. Thank you also for the kind comment you left on my blog :)

  5. What fun. She will love playing with it.

  6. It's just gorgeous! And how lovely that she wanted you to make it. You've done her proud. I know what you mean about browsing the haberdashery alone - I know it's weird but I really like to do that kind of shopping all on my own. x

  7. This is beautiful! I have a wizard hat on my crafting list for my middle boy's holiday gift- I will try your technique!


Hello......would love to hear from you :)