Bucketful of Sunshine Too

The Next Iteration

Right after I finish making something, I’ll get back to my sketchbook, draw out the product and start berating myself aka analyse what I liked and didn’t like about it.

This review usually extends across the preparation and the actual making stages. Sometimes I deduce that it was an incorrect measurement or the lack of sufficient seam allowance that became the weakest link. Other times, I am reminded of my own ineptitude in sewing simple lines over different fabrics (it is often a lot harder than it sounds).

Naturally, the bucket hat was no exception. The usual review happened after I was done making it. And right after that, I knew I wanted to come up with a newer version – one that fixed the issues in the first, while also embodying my current skill level and curiosities. ODDBALL KIND has been a journey from coming up with designs on t-shirts to reworking denim, and the journey doesn’t end there – newer iterations would capture this journey of experimentation and are, in a sense, time capsules that capture a moment in time.

Into The Unknown

After reviewing the bucket hat, I had a better idea of how I wanted to approach the next version of the bucket hat:

  1. The contrast between the two sides has to be greater
  2. Experiment with colours and materials that fit with the ODDBALL KIND identity
  3. Explore techniques/approaches which I am interested in

Next was the drafting stage.

At that moment in time, I had just started to explore a different fabric – corduroy. I love the texture of it. It had the sheen that was reminiscent of velvet yet it was in rows and surprisingly, it was also very durable.

Armed with a new colour palette, I started looking for preloved/discarded clothes that bore the colour and material I was looking for. I looked up Carousell, visited thrift stores and asked around circles of friends for their unwanted clothes.

With some materials ready, I revisited the pattern design and tweaked some measurements. At the same time, I started planning how to layout the different fabrics, instead of randomly putting different panels together like in the first version.

Moreover, I wanted to truly make the Bohemian side of the hat crazier and more expressive. It was to have more uneven stitches, some tears and scuffs, with crazy paint splashes and dabs of colour.

Around the same time, I was interested to try paint splatter on the Bohemian side and had already done some small experiments with different colours and different brands of acrylic paint. I used Jasart’s Byron fabric medium to mix with the acrylic paints before splashing them on the hat and used an iron on high to heat set the paint splashes – iron on the flip side or use baking sheet as a handkerchief as a precaution as paint might stick to the iron.

Ideating and drafting the new iteration.

Drafting patches into each panel of the bucket hat.

Challenges

With new variables, comes new hiccups. Working with different fabrics makes sewing even a straight line a challenge. Some fabrics have elastics woven into them, making them stretchy. Some are stretchy in one direction (usually the bias), some stretch two ways. And yet some others, usually with a high elastane content, stretch in all directions. The thickness of the fabric also varies, which affects sewing and stitching. Moreover, because some fabrics are more porous than others, the acrylic paint looks more vibrant on certain patches and duller on others.

The new version of the bucket hat almost covering the hair line completely.

The first version of the bucket hat sitting above the end of the hairline.

Takeaways

Alas, the hat is made.

The measurements I changed at the drafting stage ended up backfiring – the crown was too wide, which ended up making everything larger than expected, at least to my measurements. The brim was shorter than the first iteration, which was something I like. Subsequently, a prototype made from scrap fabrics needs to be made before the construction of the entire item.

I did not like the orange paint splatter – it was too bright and reflective compared to the matte look of the entire hat. Moreover, the orange paint was stiff and lumpy compared to the maroon acrylic paint splatters. After all, they were from different brands too, which explained the differences. The maroon paint was also from the Byron series (same brand as the fabric medium) which goes to show how mixing brands might not lead to the intended outcome.

Acrylic paint unintentionally ending up on the clean side.

The paint also got onto the clean side as the paint splatter was only done after the two sides were sewn together. Perhaps the paint splatter can be done before assembling both sides together. In the same vein, some of the wilder zigzag stitches can be seen on the clean side too as they were added only after the assembly. Again, this can be done before both parts are sewn together.

The colours of the Sashiko threads could have also been more varied for the Bohemian side, while on the clean side, there could be some more muted hand stitching.

In coming up with the second iteration of the bucket hat, I’ve come to understand that making something ‘better’ might not just be about making it with more good features or enhancing its existing use, but rather,  it can be a more nuanced snapshot of the current sensibilities and tastes. Whether that’s an appreciation for something I’ve just discovered or a rabbit hole I’m currently in the midst of exploring. Never mind that there are hiccups along the way and that some new versions turn out worse than their predecessors, it still captured a moment in time, where I was interested to explore a foreign approach to something that is familiar.

– The Kind Oddball, 優しく個性的な人

BOHEMIAN SIDE

CLEAN SIDE

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