The Challenge: Make Do and Mend
Fabric: cotton batiste
Year: unknown exactly. Victorian
Notions: thread, 1 ostrich plume
How historically accurate is it? unknown
Hours to complete: probably about 3-4 hours total (1 1/2 movies and about 3 episodes of Antiques Roadshow)
First worn: not yet
Total cost: $40.35 total ($2.35 for the fabric, $3 for the ostrich plume, & $35.00 for the hat.)
Last year I only managed to complete 2 challenges for the Historical Sew Fortnightly challenge. Mainly because I already had things planned out and it was a bunch of non-historical stuff. This year I was able to plan ahead. I made my To Do list of everything I wanted to sew and not I just have to find the piece that works with each Challenge. For the first challenge of the new year, Make Do and Mend, I decided to finally repair a (possibly) Victorian portrait hat I bought at Heart of Ohio Antique Mall almost a year ago.
As beautiful as the top side is, the underside is... lacking.
The crown had been crushed at some point and it just looked too shabby so I did a little research and came up with the steam method of restoring crushed hats. I put on a kettle of water and when it was boiling nicely, I held the hat over it, rotating occasionally. Once it was pliable, I stuffed the crown with some craft-type paper and let it sit for a couple of days. It looks way better now (the first picture at the top is actually after the steaming).
I purchased some black batiste (I really hate that Jo-Ann's refers to this as Daphne now) to make a new lining. To line the crown I just laid the fabric over the hat and pushed it into the crown, pinned it in place, then stitched it down.
Then, I made a long strip and put a gathering stitch on one side. The side that would not be gathered, I stitched the velvet. The gathered side was taken in the fit and stitched to my inside lining.
I know it's not the prettiest lining job ever, but it works and now I can wear the hat without that underside screaming "Look at me!".
On the outside, the plumes have seen better days, but it could be worse. There was a bit of an empty space between the black and the light blue plume. Maybe there was something else there at some point. Maybe a bow?
I'm pretty happy with the way it turned out, especially considering I have never worked on a hat in this manner before (i.e. without a glue gun in hand). I can't wait to make something to be able to wear it with!