Tuesday, June 16, 2015

I Just Can't Quit You, Rain Hats


Sometimes hat making is a smooth and easy process, where I contentedly whistle while I create.  The customer then picks up the hat, realizes she can't live without it., money exchanges hands, I feed the kid, pay the bills and a happy lady walks away with a new hat.  And then there are the Rain hats.....

I fall in love with the most adorable fabric and every cell in my body says, must have.   I pay a lot of money for this fabric because it is not inexpensive oil cloth, but is laminated cotton, free from PVC and BPA,  and then I start sewing.  Fabrics that are coated with plastic do not like to bend.  Threads snap, tensions go wonky, puckers happen, curse words fly out my mouth.  I hear Tony saying to Dustin, Oops, Mom just said Seal again in french.  (Phoque) and I vow to stop making rain hats. When the hat is completed, I look at my baby, forget the hard labour and feel nothing but love.  And so it goes, over and over.
Through the years, I have perfected the process.  I found the right thread and the right presser foot and learned that there are no shortcuts.  Every part needs to be hand basted before sewn and  linings need to be hand sewn into the hat.  All these steps make my rain hats pricey.  There are those special customers that appreciate this and I certainly understand if it's just out of budget, but more often than not I am confronted by horrified looks, or worse, conversations between two people holding up the price tag and shaking their heads as though I was not standing two feet away.  Fortunately, the ladies that do end up buying from me are always wonderful and tend to understand that hand made with love does cost more.  That said, there is a disconnect between the attention, both positive and negative, that the rain hats receive and the amount of hats I actually end up selling.  So, every year, I vow to just stop making rain hats.  But then, some adorable new print gets waved in front of my nose and some new design swirls around my brain and it's the same old story.  What's a girl to do?  Rain hats, I just can't quit you.
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