I searched and searched a couple of years ago for the perfect bug hat. I tried on various ones at MEC, LeBaron, Sail, etc. I didn't like any of them. Granted a bug hat is usually not on the cutting edge of fashion. And the bugs would much prefer you show up without one anyways. I was looking for one where the netting didn't touch my face. I decided to make my own and here's how I did it.
You'll need a sewing machine, thread, fabric, scissors, elastic, and a long shoelace. I went to Party City and purchased a witch's hat for about $5. My logic was that the witch's hat would have a very large brim, and it does. One downside is that these hats only come in witch black. I bought a couple of meters of black very tightly woven netted fabric at Fabricland. I also wanted to make a bug shirt with the same fabric.
This project shouldn't take too long. As long as you have all the necessary items, you could probably whip it up in under an hour.
I measured the circumference of the brim of the hat. I cut that amount of fabric plus an inch for seam allowance for the width. I cut it about 24 inches long as well. I had lots of fabric, no need to skimp.
Because this is not a pretty item, I really didn't make much effort to do pretty seams. Also, I found the fabric tore fairly easy (on a tough trip going through multiple unmaintained portages), so I'd recommend doing a French seam where the fabric meets itself (not needed on the brim).
Here's where you can see what a French seam is: The Wiki Explanation
Once the side seam was sewn, I sewed the fabric onto the brim. Next I created a casing along the bottom of the "veil" where I inserted a shoe lace I had on hand. This allows you to tighten the bottom of the face screening.
Lastly, I sewed some elastic (black of course) on the hat so I could keep the hat on if a breeze blew up.
Oh, and because paddling down a lake wear a witch's hat might be a tad bit frightening, I turned the hat inside out and tied a knot in the pointed top, which made it look like it has a rounded peak.
Here's a picture of the final product:
For effect, I have been known to cackle as I paddle down the lake wearing this. Or pretend I'm some Victorian widow while I break out in a very bad British accent.
I've taken a small netted bag meant for some other gear that I don't use it for and I'm able to put this hat into it. There is a wire in the brim and if you grab either side of the hat, twist in opposite directions and fold the two sides of your new "figure 8" on top of each other, it packs down quite nicely. It can go in the bag, or just in the side pack of my large backpack, which is where I usually keep it handy when travelling during bug season.
The black fabric works best for vision. However, I am most definitely NOT a vision while wearing this. Warning, the following photo is not a flattering one.
|I am also modelling the homemade bug shirt