Faux vintage purple velvet hat

So, as I mentioned in my previous post about making the faux vintage hat, I wanted to break up the work-in-progress into a separate post, so that the post about the hat wouldn’t be too image-heavy.  Well, once I designed the pattern for the hat, it was time to get started on the construction!

Constructing the hat

I constructed this hat much like I did for the band on the Red Silk Pillbox Hat.

  1. Cut out in buckram with an overlap for centre back
  2. Stitch back centre overlapped seam
  3. Wire  bottom edge.  Because of the shape, this was extremely difficult.  On the lower edge I didn’t do anything with the wire before hand, just stitched it on.  This was a huge mistake, and I ended up having to re-shape the wire once it was all attached, which was a bit frustrating.  As a result, the wire is NOT right on the edge of the buckram in all places, and there is a slight ridge that I can see through the velvet.  This is something that the instructor pointed out when I brought the hat to class as a work-in-progress.  I do wish she had mentioned how to avoid this in the previous class before I had wired the hat.
  4. Wire the top edge.  After such frustration with the bottom edge, I shaped the wire for the top edge as I was stitching it on. This was much more successful.  It would have been very difficult to shape this edge once it was attached.
  5. Cover both edges with bias tape

Since this was going to be a hat without a tip, I constructed the fabric covering differently from the Red Silk Pillbox Hat.

  1. Using the paper pattern for the buckram, I cut out the fashion fabric (velvet) and the lining (satin) leaving a regular seam allowance at the top and centre backs, with a generous seam allowance at the bottom edge.
  2. On the machine, I sewed the centre back seam for each fabrics
  3. On the machine, I sewed the lining to the fashion fabric right sides together along the top edge.
  4. Turned the fabrics to wrong sides together and slipped them over the buckram hat form.
  5. Hand-stitched the fabrics along the top edge to the buckram form, hiding the stitches inside the “ditch” and within the velvet pile.
  6. Basted the lining to the lower edge and trimmed off the excess
  7. Turned the velvet inside the hat and basted it inside, hiding the stitches on the outside of the hat inside the pile.
  8. Trimmed the velvet inside the hat.

    The black grosgrain ribbon stitched in as the sweatband

  9. Hand-stitched the sweatband into the hat.  I had to do some serious shaping of the rayon grosgrain to get the curves to fit properly.  The hand stitching was very challenging because of the size and shape of the hat, so most of it was done through from the inside of the hat to the outside, hiding the stitches in the pile of the velvet, since sliding the needle behind the fabric was almost impossible.
  10. Hand-stitched a small comb into the centre back of the hat, to add a bit of extra security when the hat is worn.

Decorating the hat

The shape of the hat really suggested netting or flowers or something ‘spilling’ out of the hat, but I wasn’t sure what I really wanted to do with this.  I took the hat to my millinery class and asked my instructor for her feedback.  She came up with the same idea, which was nice to reinforce my idea.  I had a copper-toned filigree ‘flower’ from Michael’s Craft store (from the fairly new Bead Landing™ Bezels, Frames and Filigree collection in the jewelry section.) which I thought would work really well with the colour scheme and the “vintage” feeling. I also really wanted to use some of the (meters and meters) of black French/Russian veil fabric, so started out just playing with the veil material for a while, and finally did a birdcage-style gather, and tucked it inside the hat on the side, and put the ‘flower’ on the outside sort of pinning down the veil.

The finished and embellished hat

Finished hat on my Styrofoam head (keep in mind the head is smaller than my own..)

Finished hat on my Styrofoam head (keep in mind the head is smaller than my own..)


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