Making the Faux vintage purple velvet hat

As I mentioned in a previous post, I’m not a purple person.

With that being said, when I came up with the shape for a new hat, I wasn’t really sure what fabric I wanted to use. Since the shape vaguely reminded me of 1940s asymmetrical hats, I was in the mood for something vaguely vintage feeling. But what?

A year or so ago, I inherited bags full of vintage and retro clothes from a woman I’ve known since I was 5 or 6… She loved collecting beautiful clothes (as much as I love collecting fabrics I’m guessing, and to the same lack-of-room results), and I was thrilled to get my hands on leathers, suedes, velvets, brocades…. of course all far too small for me to wear, but all very reusable for crafting, accessories and to other ends.

So, for this hat, I selected out a super-plain cotton velvet dress, in a deep, rich purple to source the fabric from.  I wanted the lining to be high contrast, so not just a different colour, but also a different texture entirely.  I wavered back and forth between a silver satin and a brassy gold satin (both remnants from the days when I worked at the fabric store…) and thought that although I don’t usually wear gold-tone, that the gold would bring out more of the ‘vintage’ feel when teamed with the purple.

So, the creation of this hat….

Designing the shape

I started with a soft wire, looped it into a circle, and then just sort of played with it on my head.  I had a general idea of how I wanted the hat to sit, but needed to fuss around a little bit with width.  From there I  made a tube of paper from the recycling bin, and taped it onto the wire, and then trimmed off the paper below the wire (where it would rest on my head) and checked the fit to ensure that taping didn’t warp the shape at all.   Then I trimmed off the top of the paper in a way that would kind of echo the wired edge.

The shaped wire taped to scrap newsprint

Drafting the pattern

Once I had the paper mock up, I marked centre front and back, removed the wire and opened up the paper.  From here I cut the pattern in half, so I had two pieces.  These I traced on on top of the other on a piece of copy paper, and then trued the shape since my eye had been good, but not great.  With this I had half a pattern piece which I traced off full-size onto another sheet of paper to full-size.

Tracing off the pattern

I measured the area where the tip would go, and examined the shape, and from there estimated the pattern piece, cut it out, and taped it to the other pattern piece to test the fit – success!

Testing out the paper pattern

To avoid this being a really image-heavy post, I’m going to break this post up… so stay tuned for part two!

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