So it turns out the secret to pouf success (or at least to less obvious pouf failure) is rather extreme blocking. I first blocked the hat on a plate. This led to the aforementioned jellyfish incident. The crease or line made by the edge of the plate was too close to the top of the hat, which made the band at the brim far too thick. It was not flattering. I think the theory was sound, and it might have worked with a larger plate, but I didn’t have one handy.
The second attempt involved a giant mixing bowl, much larger than any human head. This got me closer to the desired result, but it was still not quite right. The brim was too stretched out and tended to slip down over my eyes after a minute or two. The third attempt involved another bowl, this one even bigger around but much shallower. That was apparently the way to go. The top of the hat got thoroughly stretched, but the brim didn’t, resulting in a much more secure fit. I may still run a few rows of elastic through the inside of the brim just to give it a tiny bit more grip, but the overall project may now be declared a success.
Oh, and for those who are worried about it, the leg of the second zombie sock (henceforth to be known as Truckle) is just about done and the first draft of the pattern is written. I’ll likely be putting out a request for testers for it some time later this week. I know folks like it, so I didn’t want it to slip by anyone who’s been waiting for it.