Thursday, July 31, 2014

Camp Doll Diaries - Cooking Up Fun in the Sewing Studio

This tutorial has been a long time coming. I first designed this quick chef hat pattern for all the young women at my church to make for girls camp. I wanted to post a tutorial, and then decided to write a book instead. Many months later since then, the folks over at Doll Diaries, contacted me and wondered if I wanted to share a tutorial for all their doll diaries fans. I have two American Girl Doll fans right here in my own home, so technically, we all jumped at the chance to participate in their 2014 Camp Doll Diaries event this summer. If you are coming from the Doll Diaries site - welcome to my Kid Giddy blog. This post will show you how to make the Chef hat. If you have come to my site first - you can make your hat and then visit my Apron post on the Doll Diaries site.
Hi everyone, I'm so excited you are here. We love cooking in the kitchen, but we also love to sew. Today we are going to sew this cute chef hat, and matching apron, so pick out some cute fabric you love and let's get started.

These chef hats and aprons are fairly quick and require a little bit of previous sewing skills, or the help of someone who already sews. The cost of making your own hat and apron will be approximately $3-$5 if you already have the basics, and I will share below some many options to personalize your hat and apron.

What you'll need:
2 fat quarters (your choice of fabric - it can be white or printed) (for beginners I recommend felt for the apron, as it is easier to hand sew, and less flimsy)
2-4 buttons
36" (or 1 yard) of grosgrain ribbon (satin is not recommended)
Basics: Pencil, paper, scissors, needle, thread, pins, sewing machine (helpful but is not necessary if you can and are willing to hand sew), and an iron.

What you'll do:
Step 1: Cut your chef hat band piece to 12.5" x 3". Fold it in half lengthwise, right sides together, and sew along the short raw edge, using a 1/4" seam allowance (green band). Open the band into a circle and press open the sewn seam (purple band). Fold the band in half so the right sides are facing outward and press (blue band).
Step 2: Press the band flat with the seam at one end (green band). Fold the band in half, and each half in half again (purple band). Press the whole band (blue band) to create crease marks for ease of use in later steps. Your band should look like the navy band above. Set the band aside.
Step 3: Cut out the chef hat top using any dinner plate that is approx 34" around. If you have a circle cutter or special ruler, maybe even a protractor - by all means use what you have that is easiest. I also recommend tracing on a piece of paper first to use as a template.
Step 4: Fold the top piece in half, and then each half in half again. Press all folds so you have crease marks to match up to the bands.

Note: These next steps (5-8) will be the most challenging as it requires a lot of pins. If you have wonder clips, those may work better for younger children, as will skipping steps 5-8 and start at 10.
Step 5: Open up the top circle piece and lay it right side up. Place the band in the center, with the raw edge up, and begin to line up the crease marks on the circle to the marks on the band. Begin with both sides, the top, and bottom.
Step 6: Pin the crease marks that are in between the sides, top and bottom that you just pinned. You should now have 8 pins (or clips).
Step 7: There are now 8 sections that are going to be divided once more. Pull each section to the sides to find the center and pin in place. Repeat this step to the other 7 sections.
Your chef hat should look like this, and have 16 sections.
Step 8: Option 1 - flatten and accordion each section in the center to create a box pleat.
Your chef hat would look like this.
Step 8: Option 2 - fold over each section to the right to create a knife pleat.
Your chef hat would look like this, and would have a sort of spiral effect.
Step 9: Once you have decided which way you want to finish your hat, place the hat around the arm of the machine and stitch the raw edges of the top and the band using a 1/4" seam allowance.
Step 10: If you do not want to pleat your hat at all, and would prefer to gather the edge for a completely different look, switch your machine to a larger stitch length. Leave a good 3" of thread on the beginning and stitch all the way around the top using a 1/8" seam allowance, and leave a 3" tail at the end too. Gently pull on one thread at time to find the piece that will cause it to gather. One will and one won't.
Step 11: Continue to gather the top piece from both ends of the thread, and space the gatherings evenly all the way around as best you can.
Step 12: Pin the band to the inside using the crease marks as your guide (same as steps 5, 6)
Step 13: Sew the raw edge all the way around using a 1/4" seam allowance, and remove the gathering stitch to finish.
Your chef hat will look like this and have a gathered fluffy look.

If you'd like to personalize the hat or apron you could add the following:
1. Name or initials
2. Pocket on the apron (2.5" x 3")
3. Applique shapes
4. Embroidery details
5. Fabric markers, paint or tie dye
6. Felt flower embellishments

Now that you have finished sewing your hats and aprons, it's time to get cooking in the kitchen. Some of our most favorite recipes are Cherry Salad (which is Gluten free!!! and has been pinned like crazy on pinterest), Wonton Soup, and my childhood memory Fluffernutter Balls!

There are so many ways to make this chef hat and apron set just the way you want it and yummy things to whip up. I would love to see your creations, and hope you'll share them with me. Please follow and tag me on Instagram and on Twitter @kidgiddy, or visit my Kid Giddy Facebook page to post a picture of your doll's new chef attire and be sure to use the #kidgiddydolldiaries hashtag. I can't wait to hear what's cooking in your kitchen. As for ours, it's smoothies galore these days, and a few bunny grahams. Be sure to check out the other Camp Doll Diaries events to see what other fun things there are to do this summer, for all your doll fans.

Thanks so much for visiting and sewing with me. If you are new to my blog, please be sure to click the follow button on the right, sign up for my emails (clicking the link below), and all that good stuff. Happy sewing!