We can probably all agree that my schtick is that I really don’t give a damn about anyone else. I’m an only child, an alternative-genre artist, self-employed and simultaneously self-aggrandizing and self-deprecating. It’s an easy schtick to have.
It’s also kind of a lie.
I tend to keep my own emotions and feelings about people and situations very close to my chest. Partially, probably, to keep my poor, battered, chronically mentally-ill soul from being injured any further. Partially because I really feel that it’s nobody’s damn business how I feel about anything. But occasionally something will sneak through that minefield and burrow its way into my cold, dead, jaded millennial heart.
I have a friend named Audry. Audry is a sculptor, and I’ve modeled for her classes and open sculpting sessions a few times over the years. She was the first teacher at the Palette and Chisel to hire me in 2015, and I came back and started working for her again this past January.
When I traipsed into the studio on one of these occasions, I was wearing the brown corduroy hat I made a few years ago. (Simplicity 9644) She told me she really liked it, and was pretty excited when I mentioned I made it. I like Audry, I liked her pretty much immediately when I met her, which… cold, dead, jaded heart, so wanting to be someone’s friend immediately doesn’t really come naturally to me.
Anyway. I thought about it, and I thought maybe I’d like to make her a hat. I had wanted a new one for a while anyway, and I had a ton of black stretch denim in my stash from this obnoxiously huge black denim goth duster I made myself as part of a school project. I also had the bottom half of an extremely cheap prom dress just begging to be made into lining. So, I thought, I’d make a hat for Audry, and a hat for me.
She lost her mother at the end of March. That’s really the thing that turned the “I should do this nice thing for someone” into an “I’m going to do this nice thing for someone. Like, right now.” See, I’m really not good with emotional platitudes, but I can make people things and give them stuff and show them that I love them and I’m thinking about them in all kinds of other ways. My love language is stuff.
So I made two hats. One for Audry, one for me. This was the first time I ever made two of something at the same time. It took me about six hours total to finish both, which must be some kind of land-speed record for me. The brims are made of buckram, because the instructions want you to use heavyweight interfacing but if you did that it would literally just crumple up in your face.
Every time I wear mine, I feel slightly like I just fell out of a Tom of Finland illustration.
Also of note: This hat (both of them, really) is my first make for the 2018 make nine challenge. Took me long enough.
Bonus: When you’re making this particular hat, but haven’t put the brim on yet, you alternately look like the Bishop of Canturbury or a 14th century peasant.