My niece needed to do a presentation for school dressed as 16th century Portuguese explorer Vasco Da Gama, pictured below:



Sis emailed me to ask if I had an appropriate hat, but the closest thing I could find was my pumpkin beret, which is roughly the right shape, but entirely the wrong colors and also adult sized. But I had some black fabric from a previous project lying around. I went to the craft store, picked up a few things, looked up hat sizes online, and got to sewing. I used the pumpkin as a model, but sized everything to roughly 90% of the adult measurements.




It came out a little smaller than I'd intended, but it fit. Niece was thrilled. Said it looked "perfect" and "awesome." Also she said she loved the pompom on top, and it looked "so pompomy." This is the girl who, at 9 years old, already makes her own (very stylish and professional-looking) pocketbooks and dresses using her sewing machine, and will happily strut like a model to show them off.

I spent two days making that. (Would have gone a lot faster if I hadn't done it by hand, but I didn't want to use Mom's antique sewing machine without her.) It was worth it, no question. Niece absolutely loves it. (My other niece was impressed and told me I was making her Halloween costume. I said sure and asked what she wanted. She said she usually decides the day before...) I finished it as a rush job, putting the last few seams together on the train into the city. I was still working on the last touch when she arrived at my sister's apartment. It was a crazy thing to do, but it was fun. One might almost say I'm mad as a hatter...
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