Thoughts on construction of the hat frame for the 1912 Project’s March Challenge Pattern, the Mad March Hat:
  • The provided diagram is misleading. It makes it appear that everything is round. This cannot be accurate as your head is oval. So you have an oval in a round shape. This also means that when the pattern measurements say that the width or the part that sits on your head is 2 5/8″, that will be at different angles at front, back and sides. This differs from most hats you might make today in that the headsize opening is usually the inside of the brim that you see, leading out to the edge of  the brim. This had has a headsize opening burried up and inside the sides of the hat. The inside frame could almost be free floating, but this would affect the tilt of the hat, which would probably look better at a static point.
  • I made a very rough frame (sorry, no pics, that would have required a third hand and Zaphod Beeblebrox I am not) to get an idea of the scale of the hat and how it would look with my face shape. This is a very tall hat on me, partially because the stated headsize opening is 20 1/2″, which is about a inch too small for me and also, 7 1/2″ is pretty tall and the back is higher! I have a top hat that is more like 6″ and seems like the max height my face shape can handle.
  • The drawing looks to me like the brim of the hat is tilted backwards. To accomplish this some thought will have to be given as to the angle of the headsize opening and  the internal structure.
  • The differing back and front heights make for different possible angles. The back could be vertical and the front more angled inward or the back could be slightly inward and the front somewhat inward. I think the latter looks better.
  • The headsize opening could be the second line on the inner frame (which is what I assumed), but it could be the top line, though that might place the brim too low over  the eyes. Either way, there will be two wires at those two locations and one needs to make the hat feel secure on your head. There really isn’t going to be anywhere to pin this hat to your head.

Click here for  Mad March Hat diagram 1, which I think improves on the provided diagram.

So – points to consider:

  1. headsize opening shapes will vary person to person (for a comfortable fit) and are always oval, not round
  2. the headsize opening should be sized to fit you; don’t just go with the stated measurement
  3. decide what height looks best with your face shape and intended hairstyle
  4. consider both at what angle the headsize opening sits on you, at what angle you want the hat to sit, and at what angle you want the front and back of the hat to be. Depending on the how you create your hat, the back may end up straight up and down, which may or may not look odd to you.

Next step: resizing the proportions of the hat to suit my face shape. And yes, another mock-up.

Previously: The March Hat, Beneath Which, We Are All Mad