So I have been experimenting with various thicknesses and types of felt to fashion some hats for Matilda. Usually, I draw a hat top and brim by tracing around something circular. Next, I use a ruler to draw a long skinny rectangle for the hat band making sure the length matches the circumference of the hat top. I cut out all the pieces and sew them together by hand using small stitches and voila, instant hat!
I did however, decide that I wanted to try to make a one piece wool felt hat. Could the felt be molded/shaped into a hat? How do real hat makers do this, I wondered. So...I took a piece of 100% wool felt and dunked it into a bowl of hot water, squished it a bit, and left it there for a few minutes to soak. Next, I fashioned a mini hat 'mold' out of a clump of tinfoil and placed the wet wool on top of it. (I did squeeze the excess water out first.) Then I pressed the wool over the shape and tried using various elastics, weights, a spice lid, anything to hold the wool against the mold. In the end, I found a simple elastic and little bit of blow dryer and iron action sped up the drying process. I left it to dry fully overnight and voila, a one piece wool felt hat!