A friend of mine just wrote with some questions about the birthday crown I just made for Lucy, and just when I was about to send off the email, I thought some of you might be interested in some crown-making tips as well!
If I was really ambitious, I would take photos of all of these steps and post them next to each instruction, but... I just spend 8 hours traveling from Abilene, TX to Phoenix, AZ, and I'm really tired :).
Here's what I wrote to my friend....
To answer some of your questions.. I did use elastic in the back. I chose black because I knew white would start to get dingy over the years. The felt part of the crown is 12.5 inches and the elastic part is 4.5 inches (I actually made the elastic about 2 inches longer to start with, but it was too big for lucy's tiny head, so I just tacked it on both sides to make it 4.5 inches. It ended up working out great because when she gets older, I can just take out those few stitches and lengthen the elastic back to it's original length).
I used a medium weight stabilizer in between the two layers. I'm not sure if there's a difference between stabilizer and interfacing, but mine doesn't have any sort of fuzibility (if that's a word).
I would also probably recommend using real wool felt so that it's more durable. They didn't have the colors I wanted in the wool felt at Joann when I went, so i just chose synthetic. When I was working with it, though, it left this weird film on my hands. It's not a big deal, but I probably would choose a higher quality material next time.
Also, for the trim... make sure there's no lead in it. I originally chose a different trim, but when I was taking up to the counter to get cut, I noticed a warning on it that it contains lead! Needless to say, I chose a different one.
It was definitely easy to draw the outline of the crown onto the felt, then sew through all three pieces. Then I just cut it out along the seam line, and it was all set.
For the numbers, I cut out 2 pieces of gold felt, and 1 piece of pink for each number. I used the bottom of a can of corn as my template, and traced around the can onto the pink felt with a regular pen. While the felt pieces were still in the shape of squares (before cutting out the circles), I sewed 2 pieces of velcro onto one of the gold pieces of felt. I used a disappearing ink pen to draw the number onto the pink felt, then I put the pink felt on the top, the plain gold one in the middle, and the velcro one on the bottom. I used the regular pen marking as a guide and sewed a seam with the right side of the presser foot lined up with the pen mark. Then I sewed a seam tracing the number that I drew on the pink felt. Then I cut out the circle getting close to the seam, and then very carefully cut out the pink felt from inside the number.
Adding a little princess patch is a great thought. I was toying with the idea of making a separate crown just for dress up. I thought the birthday crown might get worn out if it was used all year. There's also a pattern out there for a princess hat. Did you see that? That could be fun too. (you know.. a cone-shaped hat with tulle coming out of the top).
.... So that's it. Lots of words, but hopefully you can learn from my mistakes!