This straw hat has blown off my head a few too many times, and there were large holes and cracks developing in the brim. But no more! Now it is cute. Or, it is at least me, eclectic! And I don’t need to spend the money on a new hat. More importantly to me, really, I don’t have to throw this hat away. I hate hate hate throwing things away.
If your style is eclectic, then patching a straw hat with cloth is easy peasy. Just slap some patches of fabric down and run your sewing machine backwards and forwards at 3/8″ intervals, or whatever suits your hat. (Backwards because you probably can’t get the crown of the hat through your sewing machine’s throat.) The most important detail is that you don’t want to chew the straw up more than you have to, so set a good long stitch length. If you use a really tiny stitch you will be essentially perforating the page, and your hat will probably crack along the stitch lines. Counter productive. Your hat probably already has a stitched edge on the brim, I guess that’s the cheap way to make straw hats, mine looks like it was stitched at about 4 stitches to the inch. My darned patches vary from 4 to 8 stitches per inch, I’m betting the longer stitch lengths will hold up better, but I just started figuring all this out, so we’ll see.
You could get fancy and turn the edges under, I would do that before darning the patch down to avoid unnecessary stitching on the straw, but I just left the edges raw. They’re random patches from my scrap bag, I think they would look silly if I got too fussy about it.
If you have a really bad hole you can darn it every which way to hold everything together. This hole under the brim was the one that finally drove me to sewing my hat. About 8 inches of the brim was about to fall off.
But now I have a happy hat again! In time for my two week Maine Island Vacation. We leave Saturday! Hurray! So things may be quiet around here for a while. (Does this count as a tutorial?)