Today I made a beanie for Mathilda. It was a special request, sort of.
Actually, it was a variation on a request, and it also fulfilled a requirement that I had already committed to. Mathilda has a dance performance tomorrow night, she is supposed to wear, amongst other things, a black beanie. She doesn’t already have a black beanie, so I needed to make one. Last night she requested a My Little Pony hoodie that is also a mask. So, I kind of morphed those two things into one, and came up with this.
I’m going to show you how I did it.
Small amounts of:
Black fleece (mine is textured)
Purple knit jersey
Blue knit jersey
Black knit jersey
Silver knit jersey
Ottobre Magazine 6/2013, pattern number 23: Panda Beanie
This took me about 1.5 hours from start to finish
Brother My Star 3 Sewing Machine
Lots of pins
Needle for handsewing
Preparing the Pattern
I traced the specified pattern pieces onto paper (my paper comes on a roll, so it curls a bit), sized to fit a head circumference of 56cm (we have big heads in this family).
You could use any beanie pattern by lengthening the main piece so that it is long enough to cover the eyes. However, it is important that the beanie is cut with darts that go from side to side (so that you can insert the ears) and a back seam (so that you can insert the mane).
This pattern is actually for a Panda beanie/mask, so it already has templates for the eyes and ears. I modified the templates by extending the ears into a pointed shape and adding a “corner” to the eye piece.
I cut the main fabric, which is black, and therefore difficult to photograph exactly the same way as the lining, which is shown below, in purple, which is much easier to photograph. The front is placed on the fold of the fabric. This pattern has a centre front dart too, which could be used to insert a horn to make it a unicorn beanie, if you wanted to. In this case, I didn’t.
In addition to this main piece, I also cut 2 ears from the black main fabric.
I cut the eyes and 2 ears from some silver fabric.
The eye piece has the seam allowance included, but I added a small seam allowance to the other pieces.
Construction – Eyes
I followed the pattern instructions pretty closely for this project, starting with the eyes. I cut the circle out of the eye pieces and the lining.
But, not the outer fabric. I placed the silver eye pieces into position face down onto the wrong side of the black fabric and pinned them in place.
Using a straight stitch, number 2, on my Brother sewing machine, I stitched around the inner circles. There is only a very small seam allowance needed.
Next, following the pattern instructions, I cut out the centre circle from the black fabric. I clipped the seam allowance all the way around so that it would turn more easily and then turned the silver through to the right side, and used a whole lot of pins to hold it in place.
I changed my stitch to a stretch sewing stitch, number 15.
And stitched very close to the edge of the silver eye pieces. The stretch stitch adds a bit of thickness to the line of stitching.
Construction – The Ears and Mane
I am making these ears black on the back, and silver on the front. I stitched the two pieces together with right sides facing and trimmed the sides using pinking shears, this will help the fabric to turn on the curved edges without pulling (the eyes were too small to use the pinking shears).
I turned the ears to the right way out and positioned them on the beanie a little bit higher and closer to the centre than the pattern suggested, because this is a pony not a panda.
To make the mane, I cut rectangles from small scraps of black, blue and purple fabric. I then cut long strips into the rectangles, leaving them attached at one side. Each strip is approx. 1 inch wide. I cut several pieces, of varying lengths and widths as I plan to overlap them to create a full looking mane. The back seam of the beanie is almost 10 inches long, I cut enough strips to have a double layer all the way.
A couple of notes about cutting the strips:
I am using knit jersey fabric, it won’t fray, so there is not need to hem it or finish the edges in any way.
However, it will curl, depending on how you cut it. In the picture below, you can see that I cut the purple fabric in two different directions, one down the grain, and one across the grain. One way will make the strips curl up, the other way will make them twist. I went for curly strips for this project, but twisty would also look good, but I think it best that all the strips are cut consistently or they could end up getting tangled and messy.
I pinned all the strips down one side of the back seam of the black fabric. I overlapped them randomly, trying to get the black all the way from top to bottom, but on each side, with some purple at the top and the bottom and the blue piece in the middle.
I used a lot of pins to do this, as the seam is curved. In the picture above, you can see where I positioned the ears. It is hard to see because of the black on black.
I stitched my mane in place, then removed all the pins before stitching the darts and the back seam together. And when I turned it to the right side, this is what I ended up with.
Its looking pretty good!
Construction – the Lining
The lining is purple, and soooo much easier to photograph than the black, so I’ll show you the construction of the darts and back seam in more detail. First, I stitched the front dart, and the back seam, make sure to leave a small opening in the back seam for turning later.
Then, I folded the fabric in half, so that I could stitch the side darts in one long line.
This makes for a nice tidy finish on the right side of the fabric.
Next, I attached the lining to the main fabric. I found this easiest to put the lining inside the main, right sides together, carefully matching the eyes and back seam.
Then, pull the fabric through the gap in the back seam of the lining.
When its all pulled through, (and you’ve checked all your stitching and are sure that you won’t need to turn it back inside again), use some matching thread to neatly hand stitch the gap closed.
Use the same matching thread to carefully stitch the lining in place around the eyes.
I pinned the fabric in place around the eyes so that it wouldn’t move (because its a knit and they tend to flex a bit) and just folded the seam allowance under by a very small amount as I stitched around by hand.
And that’s it, finished.
My daughter loves it.
Thanks for reading. If you have any questions, please leave a comment below!