Beach Hat Hack Attack

One of my best friends has finally gotten me into wearing hats when I’m on the beach and when I surf. I’ve had skin cancer twice, once on my face, once on my ear. When I had it removed on my face, they sent me to a plastic surgeon. I remember seeing all the pics on the waiting room wall of various women with cartoon boobs. And after my surgery, I would constantly get emails about “enhancements” available. Yikes.

Guess they know nothing about surfers. Every scrape, bruise, stitch and staple goes up on Instagram, and scars are worn with pride. “Leave that scar! I’VE got a story to tell!”

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My stylin’ hat

Whateves. Alls I know is that any surgery hurts, it’s freakin’ expensive, and it always seems to keep me out of the water during a fun swell. So, got myself a nice beachy straw hat to match my Jams that I don’t want to get crushed like my other unfortunate hats.

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Yep, this is what happened to my other beachy hats

So, I grabbed a plastic pants hanger from the closet (like you can pick up at any Big Box store), shoved the clips closer together, and used BOTH clips to hang the hat. This will reduce the stress of hanging it up by one point only, AND the belt hook even holds a couple of hair ties that I constantly seem to need. Bonus.

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Hangs nicely on the peg in the garage

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I think the Shakers hung up their surf gear like this…’Tis A Gift To Be Simple..

Gotta watch out not to get tan anymore, especially as I’m getting older. I’ll be sporting a hat, rash guard and leggings to surf I guess….no tan lines.

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Now that FB is dead, will tan lines come back in fashion?!?

DIY Upcycled Neoprene Surfing Beanie

In case you didn’t already know, I hate winter. We don’t generally get snow in this part of Florida- just windy, gloomy days with a biting chill that can become unbearable sometimes. At least the winters appear to be getting shorter in the Northern Hemisphere, and that means I may have waterfront property sooner than later.

Always look on da bright side, yo.

As I’ve been playing with and learning more about Neoprene upcycling, I’ve considered more things I can make, and one thing I NEED is a well fitting Neoprene beanie hat that will stay on when I surf to keep my head warm from the chilly wind. However, most surf beanies are fitted right to the skull- great for guys with short hairstyles, not so great for surfer chicks with ponytails…

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BLEH!!!! NO chinstraps, please

I wanted to make something that had the top open enough to allow my ponytail to poke through, but I could close it up if I had wanted to wear it down. I used plain paper, a pen, and rulers to draft out a beanie pattern that would use 4 of these pieces (this is a good visual tutorial that is similar to my project).

 

 

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Drafting out my beanie pattern

 

I had an ancient 1.5 mm Hyperflex Neoprene surf vest that had plenty of decent material to use. I made sure to cut away any original flatlocked and finished seams on the vest, so the sewing machine wouldn’t bite on them.

 

 

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Cutting away the neoprene pieces out of the vest

 

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Laying out the pieces and pattern

 

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The four beanie pieces cut out

 

In this project, I used a simple 2-thread overlock on the serger since the total thickness would be 3 mm (1.5 mm for each layer). If it was any thicker than 3 mm in total, I would’ve hand stitched the pieces together. Totally doable with a sharp heavy hand needle, some heavy nylon thread, and a basic whipstitch.

 

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Two pieces of the beanies serged along the edge, with the top left open

 

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Fit check!

 

For the hat band, I used 1″ fold-over elastic in black. I measured the elastic about 3″ shorter than the hat’s circumference, and stretched as I stitched to fit.

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After the hat band (fold over elastic) has been sewed on

 

On the crown, I hand stitched grommets (2 at the top of each quarter, 8 total). I made these grommets so I could pull elastic or a drawstring through to close the crown. I made my own drawstring ribbon from some scrap Lycra in a fun purple paisley print. Just because it’s so freakin’ jaunty. You can use elastic cord, or other drawstring materials.

 

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Different things to use as drawstrings

 

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Last fit check

 

Done! Now, I can thread my ponytail through, and it will help as a pseudo-tether as well.

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Better than a chinstrap

 

Hey, surfers may get a bad reputation as stoners, but at least our beanies and hats don’t turn out like the skiers’ and snowboarders’. Ya hippies.

 

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I’ve skied in one of these, full disclosure