Here’s my Bumble dog toy. My whole family – not just the dogs- went nuts over this toy. My stepson decides that for his birthday he wants a Bumble winter hat -You know, the cool ones, I think they’re called trader hats or trapper hats. So I go shopping on the Internet and CANNOT FIND ONE. I thought that these days you could find ANYTHING on the Internet for sale. Guess not. OK, I’ll make one… or two… (Maybe one for me too.)
So here’s the hat I made. I made it with fake fur, anti-pill fleece (lining and braids) and felt, all from Joann Fabric and Crafts. I used a standard sewing machine, straight-stitching seams, satin stitching edges, and machine quilting over some areas of the felt. Overall pretty easy – IF you already have a pattern for the hat – I didn’t.
The first thing I do is check whether or not my fake fur is going to shrink. I cut a swatch 2 3/4 ” by 3″ and “textile” wash it, meaning I put it in a sink full of lukewarm soapy water, swish it around being careful to not tangle the fur. Let it sit for a half hour, drain sink, then rinse in same manner as washing. Let dry. It didn’t shrink but came out somewhat softer, which is a good thing in this case.
Now I need to make the hat. Since I don’t have a pattern, I’ll make it. This is called “winging it”. I first make a cylinder that fits around my head, sort of like a tin can. Then I put it on my head and pin 4 darts into it, the seam in the back becoming one of the darts. Since I made the pattern with muslin (non-stretch) I made the pattern fit the circumference of my head exactly.
I sew everything together with long (setting 4 or 5) stitches and try it on. At this point I’m relying more on how it feels to my hands since the tin can hat is over my eyes. I cut out little holes so I can see out (Mushmouth from Fat Albert!) and start marking marks so I know where to cut the arch around the face and around back of neck. Also, I know I want little dangle-y parts under the ears to flow down into braids. I cut away on my marks and get a pattern I like. I also cut away everything except for 5/8″ seam allowance on darts and back seam and then rip out the seaming. Voila! (Hmmm… I’m the pope?!)
I cut out one hat using fleece and one hat using fake fur. I sewed together the fleece version except for a good 3 or 4 inches up the back. On the fake fur version I only sewed the one dart that is in the front to make it easier to put Bumble face on. (In this picture I have sewn together the outer fur layer with long stitches to see what it looks like done. Then I took stitches out for next steps.
On to the Bumble face! In my opinion I thought the face looked like an egg with a horizontal slice taken out. I cut out an egg shape. The next part is to see if it’s actually going to fit on the front of the hat.
I transferred the shapes to 2 pieces of Pellon Wonder Under (Iron-On Transfer Web) and drew the details of the face. I cut these out -lips, teeth, eyeballs. But also cut additional pieces so that the black (inside of mouth) would be the same size of the interior of the mouth including teeth. Now I have actual pattern piece for each shape.
Once I had pattern pieces cut out of the Wonder Under I peeled off the paper backing and ironed them onto the felt: tongue onto red, eyes and teeth onto white, inside of mouth onto black. (The blue was already cut out because I used those pieces to make sure face fit onto hat.)
Once all the pieces were fused on the face it looked like this.
Now it’s time to use a very narrow zig-zag (not quite a satin stitch but close)stitch to go around all the edges except for the very outer edge of the blue. On the eyes I used white thread to edge part of the eye but used black thread to complete the edge and add an iris (?). I went back over all of the mouth areas and filled them in with satin stitch. Using 6 strands of embroidery floss I added the nostrils.
I positioned the face bits on the hat, leaving enough room at the edge around the face to make a seam with the lining (fleece). Once I was absolutely sure where I wanted to place them I combed fur away from center of placement area, carefully clipped away some of the fur and then ironed in place.
I straight stitched each part into place and then zig-zagged the outside edges of the blue parts.
I sewed up the back seam on the hat, cut another hat from the fleece using the same pattern and sewed that together except for a 4 inch section up the back. The tassels are also made from fleece. (Don’t forget that the cut edge will curl to the wrong side (inside) of the fabric.)
I cut 3 strips 1 1/2 inch wide and about 3 feet long. I folded them right sides together and sewed 1/4 inch deep seams down the edges. Don’t trim the seams- the edges will fill the tubes and make them more like cylinders.
Once you have all 3 tubes turned right side out, braid them. sew across the ends so they don’t unravel. Then find the middle of each length, cut into 2 sections and sew across these new ends. Put the 2 parts of the hat (the fur part and the fleece part) together with right sides together and pin, including the braids at the tips around the face. Sew all around the outside edge and turn. Once turned, close up remaining unsewn seam in back of fleece part.
Optionally you can add little blue felt paws at ends of braids to be the “paws” of the Bumble. Or you can add, as I did, blue embroidery floss or yarn as a wrap for the ends of the braids.
Here is another Bumble hat I made shortly after the first. Yes, I made this one for myself. I used a curly fake fur, made the dangly bits into Bumble arms with blue paws at the ends that I can slip my fingers into, and put a brim on the hat. The brim is just fleece with lots of interfacing between the layers. I didn’t use felt for the face or paws; I used fleece so the whole entire thing is very washable.
(Note to self: Don’t use husband for model after 10 PM.)