HOW TO: PACK A HAT IN YOUR SUITCASE

Recently I’ve started collecting hats the way that other people collect shoes, to me they’re the ultimate accessory, particularly when travelling – nothing dresses up a simple outfit like a panama or straw hat. I took not one but three to Thailand recently and have to say they became my constant companion.

One of the biggest issues when travelling with a hat is how you actually transport the thing without it a) ending up looking like a flat crushed pancake if you just throw it in your suitcase or b) annoying you constantly if you take it as carry on or c) getting left behind at airport security. After a fair bit of trial and error I’ve come up with one way to get around the whole ‘do they still sell hat boxes’ conundrum. Read on to see how I go about it.

Packing a hat in your suitcase www.apairandasparediy.com

Wearing: Eugenia Kim Hat, One Teaspoon Shorts, Club Monaco shirt,  J Crew Bag and flats, Daniel Wellington Watch

Packing a hat in your suitcase www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. First, get together all the clothes you want to pack. Then, pack all your heavy items at the bottom of your bag including shoes, bags and heavier fabrics like denims. Make sure when you lay out the heavier clothes on top of your accessories that you do so to create a nice flat surface.

2. Next, take a nice heavy piece of clothing like a denim shirt and fold then roll it up.

3. Taking your hat, push the shirt down carefully into the crown (the part where your head goes), making sure it fills completely. If there’s still space, add another item of clothing so the crown part is completely stuffed.

4. Next, lay your hat upright onto the flat surface of clothing. Then start adding your remaining items of clothing around the hat. For me that meant adding pieces of my holiday wardrobe like this skirt (perfect holiday wear), this romper and this bikini (like this).

5. Pack all your items around the hat, making sure you pack it all nice a tight so the hat can’t flop around. Once you’ve done that add some more clothes on top so it’s nice a flat. Now just zip up your bag and away you go!

One tip from my return journey from Thailand – this technique works best if you don’t stuff your suitcase full, because if you do it’s pretty hard to prevent your precious hat being squashed. In those situations (the ones where you’ve bought so much and have to sit on your suitcase to get it closed) the only real option is to wear your hat on the plane.

Packing a hat in your suitcase www.apairandasparediy.com

Wearing: Eugenia Kim Hat, One Teaspoon Shorts, Club Monaco shirt,  J Crew Bag and flats, Daniel Wellington Watch

Packing a hat in your suitcase www.apairandasparediy.comPacking a hat in your suitcase www.apairandasparediy.comPacking a hat in your suitcase www.apairandasparediy.comPacking a hat in your suitcase www.apairandasparediy.com

You’ll notice I kept my wardrobe fairly co-ordinated in a colour palette sense when I was packing for Thailand, in an effort to stick with the principles of this (very old) post. Always helps to keep things simple!

DIY OFF THE SHOULDER BEACH DRESS

Being on holidays inspires in my all sorts of fun and summery DIYs. As you may have noticed, I’m currently loving all things off the shoulder, and what’s more relaxed and beach to bar-ish than a piece that works both as a cover up and a dress? Ok so to be honest, without any lining this piece best functions over bikinis, which works a treat here in Thailand where I’m currently travelling, but probably not so much at home during after work drinks. However, using a less sheer fabric or by adding a slip or lining, this style of dress could have a million different lives, and it’s surprisingly easy to make!

Make a simple off the shoulder beach dress www.apairandasparediy.com

Wearing DIY dress, J Crew bag and shoes, H&M hat (I love this), Daniel Wellington Watch

Easy off the shoulder dress Easy off the shoulder dress

You need:

  • 2 m (2.4 yards) of heavy (perhaps sheer) fabric, lace style would work well
  • Scissors
  • 2.5cm (1 in) elastic
  • A sewing machine

Simple off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

So, this dress is really easy because it’s pretty much 2 big squares and 2 big rectangles, that’s all you need. I used fabric which didn’t require hemming which made the process even easier! Refer to the pattern below to understand how that works.

If you’re referring to this off the shoulder top I made recently, note there is a major difference in construction – the top was created  using three gathered tubes each with separate elastic, however this dress is a body and arms attached with one piece of elastic gathering it at the top – making it a little more simple.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

1. Cut your fabric pieces out.

Simple off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Now sew your body section by sewing seams up the sides of the large pieces of fabric, stopping 10cm (4 inches) from the top. This is where you will attach arms on each side. Essentially what you will have is a tube with open top seams.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Fold and sew the seams of your arms, once again leaving around 10cm (4 in) open at the end, this is where you are going to jigsaw your arms and body together. Can you see how this is coming along?

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Sew the arms to the body, making sure you sew the seams on the same side (inside out) as the side seams, otherwise you’ll have to unpick and start again!

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

5. It will look lil this once the arms have been sewn on.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

6. If your fabric has holes such as mine did all you have to do is thread the elastic through the whole way around the fabric (making sure to leave an inch at the top for ruffling) and then tie it off once the elastic meets. If your fabric doesn’t have holes, I suggest you sew a hem and seam for the elastic as you would for a gathered skirt and insert the elastic that way.

Easy off the shoulder dress www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila! Will definitely be adding some skin coloured lining to this when I get back to Hong Kong!

Easy off the shoulder dressEasy off the shoulder dress

Looking for fabrics or materials for your next project or collection? Wander & Hunt is now sourcing in bulk everything you need to get serious about your craft. Read about that here.

DIY NET INSPIRATION BOARD

I’m such a huge fan of having inspiration boards around the office, usually in a constant state of flux dependent on what I’m thinking or planning at the time. One of the things I love about these is that in some ways they can act as artwork  as well as reminders around the office, something more than just a to do list. Not content to have a normal pin board, I recently set about creating this net inspiration board – was surprisingly simple to create and definitely ticks the box of functional art!

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.comCreate an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

You need:

  • A decorative fishing net
  • two dowels (or broom handles)
  • some extra string
  • a coil of coloured rope

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

How to:

1. Start by unravelling your net and threading the top through one of the dowels.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

2. Thread it all the way on making sure not to miss any loops.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

3. Do that for the other end so you have the top and bottom attached to the dowel.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

4. Now, because naturally the net will slide inwards due to the slack within it, you want to use some string to make it taught between the dowels. To do this you want to cut two pieces of string that are roughly 1.5 x the length of the net. Start by tying the string to the top of the dowel.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

5. Thread it all the way through down the side of the net.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

6. And then tie it off tight at the bottom, pulling the knot away to tighten the net. When you’ve done this on both side the net should sit taught between the dowels. String it up to the wall by adding some bright coloured cord.

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com

Voila!

Create an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.comCreate an inspiration board out of net www.apairandasparediy.com