Week 21 Braided Sun Hat
There are certain acts or repetitive motions that are part of sewing that I love. A few of my favourites are, for instance, rolling out a heavy bolt of fabric, thud, thud, thud, on the cutting table. Then the sound of sharp fabric scissors cutting a crisp line through the material and sliding across the table. The distinctive snap as you reach the end of the fabric as the metal touches metal.
This week, I cut 180 feet of one inch wide fabric strips from my entire yard of material. I then serged together all the long strips into three very long pieces that I then braided together. By hand, I slowly coiled and stitched the braid to itself to create this hat (with the help of my model and my Mom!)
I am trying this style of hat for a couple of reasons, the first being to follow up from last weeks attempt to make a great sun hat. By braiding the material, I thought it would give the hat more substance and stiffness. More like a straw hat. The result is just that, and because it is slightly elastic, it fits very snugly and does not get blown off in the wind like some straw hats.
The second reason is to try and address the idea of using scrap fabric in a different way. If I were ever to scale up production of garments, would this be a potential solution for using off cuts of fabric from not zero waste patterns?
I realize that the term zero waste design is taken very literally in the community. And there are various degrees of execution. Often I see companies describing themselves as near zero waste, or low waste, where others are literally using every scrap, making paper out of the tiny fibers that are cut off by the serger or composting remnant fibres.
This concept of using small scraps, pieced together, is very labour intensive, Likely not cost effective in a larger production sense, but non-the-less a rewarding exercise.