My husband asked me to make a Voyager hat for him, as a costume item.
Voyager hats were worn by the people who paddled canoes
in the northern parts of North America as traders
for Hudson Bay Company, et al. in the 1700's.
After researching the subject, I found that these hats were knitted,
or made of wool or linen cloth.
Since I don't knit, I searched for a pattern to make a cloth hat.
I found some information on the Song of the Paddle Forum
songofpaddle.co.uk posted by Pierre Girard, who lives in Minnesota, USA.
The title of his post is - French Voyageur Tuque -
His direction seem to be for a single layer hat. (I could not be sure because his pictures did not come up on the post.)
I used it as a launching place and made my own DOUBLE THICKNESS hat, which I think is like the historical version.
Drafting the pattern:
You will need paper large enough to draft the pattern, such as butcher or newspaper.
Measure the circumference of the head, divide by four. To this number, add 1 inch for half-inch seam allowances.
(In my case, the circumference was 22 1/2 inches, divided by four
resulting in 5.625 inches or about 5 5/8 inches. Adding 1 inch equals 6 5/8 inches.)
The height of the cap will be about 3 times the width, which works out to be about the same measurement as the circumference.
After some trial and error, I made the height 21 inches.
This is a double thickness hat made by stuffing one end into the other,
so the actual patten lenght will be double this measurement.
The pattern is shaped like an very elongated American football
with each end a little blunted like a football.
Mine measured 42 inches long, 6 5/8 side at the center, tapering at each end.
Materials for the cloth Voyager Hat:
1 yard of 45 inch cloth.
Traditionally this would be wool or linen in red or blue.
I used fleece; not traditional but serviceable.
Fold the cloth in half so it is double thickness and pin down the pattern.
I drafted two pattern pieces just to make layout easier.
You can see where I split the pattern and added extra length when I found it was a bit short.
The pattern pictured here should read - approx. 21 inches - because of my correction.
That length is then doubled, to make the whole pattern 42 inches long.
Cut out a total of four elongated football shaped pieces.
Pin and stich all four seams, using 1/2 inch seam allowances.
Leave a four inch opening in one of the seams as shown so the hat can be turned right side out.
At this point, check to make sure the hat fits your head.
Refer to the picture two steps down to see how to stuff the hat, one end inside the other, so you can try it on.
After making any necessary size adjustments, unstuff the hat again and trim the seam allowances
Turn right side out through the seam opening.
Slip stitch the seam opening closed with matching thread.
I used white thread for illustration purposes.
Take one end of the football shape and stuff it inside until it touches the opposite end of the hat.
This makes a double thickness hat with no need for a hem around the bottom edge, which would spoil the look of the hat.
Adjust and primp until the shape looks right.
The hat is worn with the pointed end flopped over.
Although tassles show up on some knitted version, these hats did not originally have them.
My husband says it is a very warm hat.
Too bad we don't live in Canada.
~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~ ~