Sunday, June 5, 2011

Another Hat tutorial

This hat is very similar in construction to the red hat  I made in February, but I think it has come out as a very different hat and shows how a simple construction technique can be very versatile.
Amy and Rebecca in an excerpt from The Boston Marriage, in Edwardian costumes borrowed from a local amdram and given a quick do-over by moi. I wanted to give Amy a big wide brimmed Edwardian picture hat, but in theatre such hats cast shadows on the face, so I went with the style above instead. I altered Amy's rose madder jacket that had a peter pan collar by folding back the fronts and adding a Karrickmacross antique lace collar I was given. Naturally it came off straight after the show and went back in my stash!
 I used a silk jacquard chosen for its colour match to the suit and also its yumminess. It only took about .6m. Same as the red hat, I used heavy vilene and visofix to stick the fabric to both sides of the brim. Brim is wider at the back, another theatre thing.
 The brim, trimmed.
 I cut a long strip for the crown and played with it until I liked the size and shape. This one is toooo high.
Trimmed down to the right height. This is only about 3 inches deep. a little crown can go a long way. Stitched together with big rough tacking stitches.
I joined some offcuts to make a long, straight cut strip
 Wrapping the strip around the crown, I then slipstitched it in place. Make it fairly taut so it stays in place by itself.
 Next is the lid - a bit of math needed to work out the circumference as it needs so be oval not round. I used the visofix to stick the fabric to the vilene again...
 And then press under the cut edges. One 'lid,' done.

 Rim bound as was the red hat (I didn't take photos this time as I had to sew it on in reverse, this was the beginning of the end of my poor sewing machine!) Also as per red hat, I snipped the brim and folded the tabs up into the crown. Lid is slipstiched to the crown, brim is stitched to crown with tacking (basting stitches) that catch the tabs, then sewn again by hand for strength. For a project with a longer shelf life I would now line the brim to hide all the workings but not worth it for this.
 The untrimmed hat. As you can see it is a bit 'literal' - all straight ups and downs. This is why the next bit is so important to give it character.
I cut a wide strip on the bias longer than the crown and pinned a folded edge of it to the bottom of the crown as shown. Looks a bit odd!
Working around, I then pinned the other folded edge to the top edge of the crown.
Fiddling around with it I got soft ruching underway, pinning them into place the sewing them down, by hand of course, roughly, down the back. This is a fiddly job but a good DVD and good company made it fun!
 Drawing the loose end across, I folded it under, ruched it up and overcast it also. The top and bottom edges of this added fabric I tacked into place with big stitches. nothing needs fine stitching, in fact it doesn't really work.
To hide the stitching and to spruce it up, I added a flourish of lace. I was only using what I had - with more time and budget it would have got flowers as well!
So there you go. One hat, passably Edwardian. What else is possible from a simple straight up and down brimmed fabric hat? :)


  1. Oh cute! And exciting to see pictures of the Boston Marriage production!

  2. I love this hat! Thanks for the tutorial.

  3. Thanks Artemis. :) I just love making hats and am looking forward to trying a few other takes on this approach!