Of the things that strangers most often ask (or yell from a distance) at me about, #1 is probably my truck, and second is my hat. Because melanoma is a thing I try to protect my skin. I don't enjoy wearing sunscreen so I started wearing big hats. One day walking down the street in San Francisco it struck me that you could use the design of a circular steel band and fabric, like those tents you can throw and they open up instantly (and maybe frisbees and other things?) for a hat. I sat down on the curb, googled it, found foldablehats.com and immediately ordered one.

image depicting a foldable hat opening

It comes with a cool little zippered carrying bag but I find the hat generally stays folded up in my bag without it. And that's what's so cool! It fits in a small bag but it's a huge hat! If I have to wait in the sun I can crouch in a way that the hat shades my whole body.

human wearing sunglasses and a big black circular hat

fresshhh foldable hat still necessary in January in California, 2015

I would have preferred a different color though the black doesn't show stains much and black should in theory have a higher UPF. However a significant amount of light still comes through (also the thin cotton is really weak) so I hand-sewed a second layer of fabric. I used pieces of a black fabric I found in a dumpster (of what appeared to be some kind of textile factory) in the Dogpatch, and Macbook cleaning cloths (accumulated working in IT). I sewed it with floss for longterm strength. The result has a post-apocolyptic witch vibe which is not my usual vibe. But I have adopted it. The crazy stitching also makes people ask if I made the hat. Which, the answer is no, but I did basically recreate it on top of itself, so kinda.

top of black hat showing white stitching

I also at one point replaced the under-the-chin cord. Which is super necessary in high winds because this thing catches the wind like a sail.

the bottom of the circular black hat showing white stitching and green label

Recently I invested in a roll of ribbons printed with my name and phone number to be sewn into clothes, bags etc in case I lose them. Added one to the hat tonight.

I should probably link to this page on my tools page but I am too lazy to do it tonight!!