Friday, February 02, 2007

Saturday Night Hat - I'm lovin' this book

Do you like hats?

I think wearing a hat can make you feel cute or classy or sexy or sassy. Putting on a hat changes your attitude. Hats have a way of pulling an outfit together.And I bet most of us have thrown a hat on when we're having a "bad hair day".

Me? I love hats. I love the thought of wearing a hat. But I don't actually wear them that often. However, that just might change after browsing through the book "Saturday Night Hat" by Eugenia Kim.

When the book first came out I was tempted to purchase it based on the cover art and description alone. But I'm reluctant to purchase a sewing book without seeing more than the book cover. I've been disappointed too many times by great ad copy and a beautifully photographed cover only to discover that the content didn't come close to delivering what was promised.

The local Barnes and Noble didn't have a copy in stock, although they were willing to order it for me. But, I don't want to order a book I haven't seen yet. I checked my library and they did not have the book either! So I put in a request with the library and asked that they purchase the book. They did indeed order the book and I impatiently checked my account daily to see when the book would arrive.

After Stacy reviewed the book on her blog I grew even more impatient. But not impatient enough to go buy a copy. The book finally arrived today and tonight I am browsing through a brand new library copy.

My thoughts? I should have just bought the book! This book does not disappoint.

The book is filled with colorful photographs of the hats to compliment the how-to instructions. The chapters begin with a brief history and a bit of trivia on the each hat style, which I found informative and fun to read.
  • Chapter 1 - the Beret - including the mini beret. Which, I gotta be honest here, reminds me of a clown hat. Now it could be because my father and I are volunteer clowns in a clown club and many clowns were undersized hats to complete their costumes.
  • Chapter 2 - the Cloche. This is one of my favorite hat shapes. This hat looks really great if you have a short bob hair cut.
  • Chapter 3 - The Cocktail. Think Jackie-O and the era of the cocktail parties. Very classy. The author includes some really cute styles - like Hello Kitty. Not that I would wear it, but it does have me thinking "outside the box" on potential hats. (And the first thing I thought of was what a great children's craft project it would make - the girls could make Hello Kitty hats with paper plates as a base.....)
  • Chapter 4 - The Fedora. This is one hat style that I love I can't wear it very well. This particular chapter gives ideas for embellishing a pre-purchased fedora hat. There are no instructions or pattern for creating one.
  • Chapter 5 - The Cap - baseball, newsboy and engineer. Basic hat shapes where you can highlight great fabrics. My favorite is the newsboy. I find it a little softer and more feminine - even when sewn in traditional menswear fabrics - than the baseball or engineer cap.
  • Chapter 6 - The Sun Hat. What hat book would be complete without instructions for these floppy wide brimmed hats? A sun hat is a delight to wear - fun or flirty - depends on your attitude while you wear it.
The book does include patterns/templates to use to sew the hats, but they need to be enlarged on a photocopier.

And if the book doesn't provide enough inspiration, you can always check out the designer's web page.

I already own a few other books (and a dozen or so patterns) for making hats. Two of my hat books are for making miniature hats but are great for inspiration.

This book, The Art of Making Miniature Millinery, provides step by step instructions for making fashion doll hats. However, there are some great hats that I'd like to make for myself including a gorgeous tea hat for when I take my mother to a Victorian tea luncheon next month.

And this faux fur one.

And this lovely little beaded pillbox.

Another great hat book in my library is Classic Millinery Techniques. This book is also filled with photographs of beautiful hats with the focus on the construction and technical aspects of creating hats.

I think Saturday Night Hat will make a great addition to my sewing library. Fortunately for me, until I get around to purchasing a copy I can have use of a copy for free - courtesy of my local library!

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  1. I loved Saturday Night hat! The only thing that I had wished is that the patterns were full size and didn't require a copier to enlarge (just a small complaint). I just love all the fun and funky patterns included in it!

    Your mini millinery book looks fantastic! I'm not sure that I would have the patience to make one, but I certainly like looking at the pictures. Did you see the lifesize version of the Marie Antoinette ship at Craft?

  2. This is very interesting as I'm browsing for wedding hats and not finding a thing I like. Sounds like fun!



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