Friday, December 3, 2010

My First Tutorial! Child's Artist Beret

Wow, I don't know about you, but this is pretty exciting for me. This is my first tutorial on this blog. I'm going to show it as a post here, but I've also made it into a PDF. It may take some wrangling for me to figure out how to add that...but it's done and just a matter of getting it to work.

I blogged about making 25 of these last winter for my daughter's kindergarten class. They were doing a unit on "Fine Art", so to get themselves in the mood to work like artists, they each wore a beret, like Vincent Van Gogh, or, if you prefer, Fancy Nancy. When the teacher asked me to make them, she gave me a photocopied sheet of someone's hand written directions. Immediately I thought I should do a tutorial, and here we are, a good 7 months later. All in good time.

Please, please, share any comments or suggestions you have if you make any of these. Without further ado...

Child’s Beret – A la Fancy Nancy or Van Gogh, or whomever your favorite artist might be

18” square piece of craft felt
2 yards of double fold bias tape
2 ½ yards of ¼” elastic
Coordinating thread


1. Cut an 18” diameter circle from your felt

2. Pin the bias tape, open side towards the cut felt edge ¼” from the edge. Do not overlap the ends of the bias tape, but put the two cut edges as close together as you can. (See Image A) The closer you’re able to get them, while not overlapping, the better the beret will sit evenly and the more “round” looking it will appear.

3. Stitch along the open edge of the bias tape, as close as you can to the edge, ensuring that you stitch through both layers. I suggest pinning a lot. This seems to help keep the layers from slipping apart, which the bias tape seems to do when you’re not looking!

4. Make sure you leave enough room in the “pocket” of the bias tape to slide the elastic through.

5. Put a safety pin through the end of the elastic to make it easier to pull through your “pocket” of bias tape. Start at one end of the opening, and slide the elastic through, all the way around your beret. Try to keep it as flat as possible as you do this, it will help to make the beret sit flatter on your child’s head.

6. Pull the ends of the elastic together to tighten the circle up and create your beret. Use your child’s head as a guide for how large or small you need the hat to be. Knot both ends of the elastic, but DO NOT CUT IT.

7. You can knot the two pieces together and tuck them up inside the beret to keep the size steady. The reason for not cutting is that you can adjust the size as your child grows.

8. Make a tiny slit (and I mean tiny!) at the very center of the beret. You can use yarn, ribbon, or rickrack folded in half to make a loop. Once your loop is folded in half, push the folded end through the slit in the center of the beret. You can either knot them together, or make 3-4 stitches to hold it in place. (Image B)

9. Voila! You have a fancy beret to inspire your little artist to make wonderful creations. (Image C)

So run, run to make your kids some berets so they can make you some FINE refrigerator art.