As a maker of hats, I've been pushing myself to wear them more, but much of what I make is not casual everyday wear suited to my regular life. I've started wearing berets a lot, and with winter weather settling in here in the Blue Mountains, I'm happy that I have finally made myself one. In fact, I'm on a quest to make myself the perfect beret. This is just round one!
I've combined taking photos of the beret with my first set of maternity photos. The bump looks a lot bigger from up there than it does through the camera lens.
Building a maternity wardrobe has been an exciting exercise. Having to adapt to a new silhouette and different styles than I am used to forces me to think differently about clothes. I also had an excuse to buy a lot of new (to me) clothes at once, and I did the most focused shoppping I've ever done! I actually did some of the activities that are always recommended for building an organised and coordinated wardrobe, like creating a Pinterest board of looks you like, and looking for gaps in your existing wardrobe.
Having said that, this dress I actually bought pre-pregnancy, thinking it might suit a 1960s hat photoshoot. It won't last me for much longer, because it has no stretch, and the extra room it has is close to running out. But I love the cute polka-dots and I love pairing it with red accessories.
I had a guiltily-joyful time doing trigonometry to translate the proportions I wanted for my beret into pattern pieces. I drafted the same basic shape in a six-panel and eight-panel pattern, so I will be testing the eight-panel next. I like the overall shape, but I definitely want to tweak it further to be perfectly happy.
The fabric is a bright red 100% wool fabric that used to be the sleeves of my favourite coat. I feel that in refashion projects, you need to show a truly tragic before photo, so that your final result looks even more impressive. In this case, however, my coat was always lovely. It was just almost worn through at the elbows and starting to thin out in other places too.
I wore my red coat almost every cold day for about 6 years, often wearing it all day while teaching in the cold school building! One of my students called me "Miss-with-the-red-coat".
Here is my unusually-positive before photo, one of my favourites, from a trip about 4 years ago to the Hunter Valley Gardens. Coincidentally I'm wearing one of my not-made-by-me berets that inspired me to start on my own.
One thing I love about refashions is using bits of existing structure to make features on the new item, like using one of the coat buttons to top off this beret. And, of course, that a piece of clothing I loved so much and wore for so long, gets to stay a part of my wardrobe.
By making this just from the sleeves, I have all the rest of the coat to play with! You can probably expect to see more red hats in the future.