A (twisted) Mad Hatter’s Hat construction

Taping the pattern to the buckram

Taping the pattern to the buckram

Once I had the pattern for my “twisted” Mad Hatter’s hat, it was time to get started on cutting it out and constructing it!

It might be a good idea to cut everything out at once, but I didn’t… partially because it was really an experiment, and I knew that things might change between the pattern drafting and the final result.

Cutting out the buckram

Instead of trying to pin into the buckram, I used tape. This means I could trace around the paper pattern with a pencil, without having to fuss around with trying to get pins through the tough material. I also transfered my centre front (CF) and centre back (CB) marks with pencil onto the buckram too. Since I’d be fully covering the buckram with solid, dark fabric, I didn’t have to worry about the marks showing through to the final product.

Constructing the Pillbox hat


The steps for constructing the Pillbox hat part of this hat included:

  1. Sewing together the Pillbox hat band by hand. (I used binder clips to hold these pieces together, and then taped them before stitching. This works better than trying to use pins.)
  2. Wiring the top edge of the Pillbox hat band
  3. Clipping the curved edge of the Pillbox hat tip to the seam line (in the photo I’ve actually sewn along the seam line so it pops out) so that the seam allowance will fold down
  4. Taping the tip down onto the band to fit it.  This works a lot better than trying to pin the two pattern pieces together.
  5. Hand-sewing the tip to the band, covering the wire.
  6. Hand-sewing a large oval of stretchy black panne velvet to the tip of the hat. The band will be covered, but the large seam allowance goes well down the sides of the band. The stretchy fabric allows the fabric to smoothly cover the curves without needing much gathering along the sides.

Stay tuned – I have a quick demonstration of how to wire buckram coming in an upcoming post, and then I’ll continue with the next steps in constructing this hat!

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