Monday, January 15, 2018

Firefly Hat and Tie

My brother's birthday was in June last year. At the time, he was working in pest control, and I thought it would be fun to make him a bug-themed tie. Most of the fabrics I found were pretty juvenile, but eventually I came across this firefly fabric... it's stretching the theme a little, because fireflies aren't usually considered pests! But I ordered a chunk, and some coordinating orange cotton broadcloth. (And about a month later I found a perfect fly print, but it was too late!)

  Then I proceeded to make a tie! It took a lot longer to make than I expected, because it's almost entirely hand-stitched. 

  I used a free pattern from Purl Soho but I really don't recommend it- mainly because the tie stiffener, if cut according to the pattern, is both too narrow and too short. The tie itself is on the narrow and short side too, and the pieces don't fit together quite right, plus the sewing method adds unnecessary bulk. Next time I'll find an old tie to take apart and make a pattern.

  I added one of my labels to keep the tail of the tie in place, but it pulled the tie a bit at the sides and formed a slight indent- and when I tried to sew it more loosely it bubbled away from the tie It probably wouldn't have been a problem if I'd interfaced the main fabric but since it's a pretty thick quilting cotton I skipped that.

 The tail barely fits in the label anyway, so next time I would just leave it off.

  Anyway, even though I wasn't delighted with the pattern or the addition of the label, I think it turned out okay!

  Then for my nephew, the same brother's son, and whose birthday is also in June, I decided to use the same fabrics and make a bucket hat:

  This is also a free pattern, from Oliver + S, and is a beautiful contrast to the tie pattern. The pieces are well-shaped, the instructions are professional, and everything fit together perfectly!  

  I decided to make the orange side the lining, and added a label, but the hat is normally reversible.

  I admit to being a bit tired of hand-stitching at this point, so instead of hand-stitching the lining crown down, I stuck it down with wash-away wonder-tape and top-stitched from the outside. It's not as neat as hand-stitching it would have been, but definitely faster.

  I used red thread for the top-stitching, and I love how it looks:

  I like how the seam allowance at the top of the hat is edge-stitched to the sides- it really helps keep everything neat!

  I'm really happy with how the hat turned out, and am definitely planning to make another at some point! My daughters were pretty impressed too, but since they have a small box stuffed with hats that they almost never wear, it will more likely be for another niece or nephew than for them! 

Thanks for stopping by,


  1. Wow, I think the tie turned out great! Such neat and perfect stitching!
    And the hat is adorable!

    1. Thank you! I do enjoy hand-stitching when I'm not in a hurry! ;-)
      I'd be willing to bet that A-train would be delighted with a similar hat. =)

  2. I love the fabric! And great work on the tie. I've never made one because I have no desire to do that much hand stitching...

    1. Thank you! I've seen people whipping out two or three a week so I kind of assumed they would be quicker to make!