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Handmade bucket hat is cute for kids, offers creative outlet for busy adults
Making a bucket hat probably isn't on anyone's bucket list, but maybe it should be.
The reversible bucket hat in the book "Oliver + S: Little Things to Sew" (STC Craft, 2011) is classic, cute and comfortable. And author Liesl Gibson maintains that making it is a treat for grown-ups as well as the young recipients.
Sewing, for Gibson, is "almost a luxury." It "buys you some time ' time to do something creative with your hands. When so many of us are working on computers and not doing much with our hands, there's a real satisfaction in making something."
Gibson, a former clothing designer, began designing patterns for children's clothing several years ago, for her young daughter. When others started asking for her patterns, she launched her Oliver + S line of patterns, and followed up with the book. It includes new takes on classic items such as a messenger bag, art smock, baby bib and tutu. Gibson designed an "explorer vest" with lots of pockets after watching her daughter and friends gather stones, twigs and other little treasures.
Gibson said she's been encouraged to see many women learning to sew when they become mothers. But she also believes her patterns and projects have a broader appeal, to anyone interested in sewing for children because it doesn't take much fabric and doesn't involve the fussy fitting issues that make sewing adult clothes difficult.
"I think the big surprise for me was that it wasn't such a small audience," she said.
Each project in the book is rated by difficulty using a 1-4 "scissor" system. Projects marked with one pair of scissors are suitable for beginners; those with 4 scissors are for advanced sewers.
While children likely would find some of the toy projects more appealing, the classic clothing and accessory designs lend themselves to experimenting with a variety of fabrics. The bucket hat, for example, can be customized by using a patterned fabric featuring a particular child's interests. And a child who might otherwise balk at wearing a hat might embrace one that he or she had a hand in designing.
As with many of the book's projects, Gibson designed the hat with her daughter in mind. But it works just as well for boys.
It's a great project for summer ' the wide brim offers sun protection. "I became very particular about the fit. I wanted the brim to be at a certain angle," she said.
The hat is reversible, so you can choose two favorite fabrics, or you could put a pocket on the outside.
It is rated "two scissors" because it requires sewing curved seams and topstitching, but no one step is complicated.
"It's small enough that you can make a bunch," Gibson said.
To download the bucket hat pattern and directions go to: http://bit.ly/nACy4S