The Challenge: Tops and Toes
Fabric: Cotton scraps
Pattern: none, but this page got me the basic info I needed: 18th Century Hats
Year: 18th century
Notions: straw hat, thread, satin ribbons
How historically accurate is it? Not too shabby, I think.
Hours to complete: Several
First worn: Not yet, made to go with a dress for Memorial Day
Total cost: Less than $15
For this challenge, I decided to tackle the hat I want to go with my 18th. c. Pet-en-l'Air I will be making to wear when I go to visit my mom over Memorial Day weekend in Chestertown, MD for the annual Chestertown Tea Party Festival. She's talked about me making her a dress to wear for a few years and I decided that I would finally get to it and while I was at it, I would make something for myself as well and take a vacation day and go see what this festival is all about. ... Also known as... a reason to get dressed up!
I am going to write this tutorial style as my translation of the above blog post from Couture Mayah.
I started with a basic straw hat that you can get just about anywhere.
Step 1: Remove crown from brim.
Step 2: Iron brim flat.
Step 3: Remove top of crown.
Step 4: Shorten crown to desired height. You'll have all these pieces when you're done.
Step 5: Either add on some braid you removed to make the opening smaller or curse yourself for removing the crown in the first place because you ended up sewing back on. (I wish I had made the opening a bit smaller but I think with a period appropriate hair style it will be OK).
A close up of my stitching. I used a yellowing thread I had on had and it was close enough in color to hat to work, but it doesn't matter too much if you are going to cover this area with trim.
Because I didn't add to the opening of the brim, I ended up having to add to the top of the crown so it would fit.
Step 6: Add extra braid on to the crown.
Step 7: It's easiest to stitch the crown on if you first pin it in place.
Success!!! A low-crown hat!!! Time for the fun part... decoration!
Step 8: I did a pinked trim. I ran a gathering stitch down the middle and then gathered it to the amount of scrunchiness I had in my head.
Step 9: Stitch 1st layer of trim on to hat. I very carefully stitched this so that the stitches did not go all the way through the hat so that they would not show on the underside.
Step 10: Add 2nd layer of trim. I chose a blue that was in the pattern of my dress fabric. It just so happens it was also the same color blue that I used for hair ribbon on my Regency dress so I got to use up the leftovers and then purchase 1 more spool to get it all done. On the outer row I only stitched through the white trim but on the inner row I had to go all the way through the hat because of the angle.
Step 11: I tacked the back up in the manner that appealed to me the most. I used a heavy upholstery thread so it would not easily break.
Step 12: Make some bows by any means you know how (or curse me for forgetting to take pictures of that step). I made a large bow for the back and 2 small bows for the sides. The blue ribbon looked nice on the bows but I really wanted bring in more of the red/burgundy of the print so I ended up buying a burgundy ribbon to use instead. Tack the bows into place where you want them. I didn't use too many stitches to do this so that I could change them out in the future if I wanted.
Step 12: When you finally remember that you need a method for the hat to stay on your head, get some wide ribbon and stitch a length on each side of the underside of the brim of the hat where it meets the crown. I used a 1 yard length of 1.5" wide white satin ribbon.
Then, when you're all done with your glorious hat and you're still on that new hat high.... make a matching hat for your mom's dog and a mob cap for your mom, while keeping in mind that you're mom is jealous of your hat and you should probably make her a big one too.