Professional Patterns For Hats
I am often asked to make patterns for headwear of various types, from jockey hats to hoods and caps and all sorts of designer hat shapes. While I would not classify myself as an expert in this field as yet, my forty years experience in pattern cutting generally just about anything means that I have a head start when it comes to hat patterns.
Pattern cutting is about understanding how shapes work and how those shapes fit on the body, whatever part of the body it fits. Unlike the body however, the head shape does not change much from person to person, so the skill lies more in achieving pattern accuracy and understanding what 3D shape a flat pattern will make once sewn together.
Sometimes it is necessary to stretch one pattern piece on to another, while at other times it is necessary to ease rather than stretch to achieve the desired effect or to compensate for the way the fabric reacts to being sewn together.
Although sometimes hat patterns appear quite straight forward, it is rarely a good idea to make the patterns yourself without a good understanding of pattern cutting and fabrics. Even using a pattern from a magazine or a pattern book is not generally a good idea as these are generally made for home sewing rathe than for a professional hat making factory.
I believe that niche areas such as millinery or hat making have far more potential for success than general fashion. There is far less competition and the products tend to be fairly compact and relatively high value.