Millinery wish-list

I’ve made these lists before, and here’s another one – though this one is specific to millinery!

I was making this list, remaking this list, and remaking it again… and thus far I’m organizing it by era represented… in a round-about way at least.  I imagine that this list might become a ‘work-in-progress’ even after I publish it, because I can imagine myself having more and more ideas as time goes by.

Georgian hats

Screenshot from The Brotherhood of the Wolf from the Costumer's Guide.

Tricorn hat

I made a few mini-tricorn facinator hats, but I would like to make a full-sized version as well.  I can’t quite figure if I want something highly decorated (like with a giant bird or a sailboat) or if I want to keep it fairly simple – just black with some trim or something.  I also can’t quite figure if I want it in wool (once we’re there with the class that is) or if I want one in fabric to go with a different outfit or something…

Obviously, this part of the wish list is not particularly well thought out yet. For the time being my reference photo is from a movie called The Brotherhood of the Wolf (which I’ve never actually seen as far as I know…)  which is a wool felt (I imagine) tricorn with red fringe-like trim on the brim edge and three metal decorations just on the left hand side.  (There’s another screenshot showing both sides, and it’s only on the left.)

Status  – Early November – blocked buckram crown

Mini Tricorn

Although I’ve made the mini tricorn hats already, I still have them in mind – likely due to just finishing watching Marie Antoinette!  Like the ones in the movie I’m thinking candy colours, lots of trim…

Screenshot from Marie Antoinette

In the movie, the majority of the ones I saw are domed tops, with a few flat tops that I noticed as well.  Since I’m unlikely to find a block the right size for a domed top mini tricorn, a flat top one will likely have to do!  In terms of size itself, I was reading an article about mini hats, suggesting that 3/4 size is perhaps more flattering and interesting than the “doll” size that is common with the minis.  This means that 18″ crown would be ideal… which I might actually find in a domed block… We’ll have to see!

My reference photo is from Marie Antoinette – from the Costumer`s Guide website.   This hone has trim on the underside of the brim, and a rosette made out of loops of the same trim on the left side.  There`s also a golden braid on the crown band, with a small gold pin in the shape of a star in the centre front. There`s also a grey ostrich feather in the center back – which isn`t as visible in this screenshot, but is in the side shot.

Screenshot from Marie Antoinette

In this side shot, (also from The Costumer`s Guide) shows the ostrich feather a bit better, and more importantly, it shows the size, and proportion of the hat – along with how it`s worn, perched very far forward on the  head, with the lovely curls behind.   The hat from the Bright Pink Gown  from Marie Antoinette also seems to be a flat-top small tricorn as well.

Status – early November, blocked buckram crown, covered crown and crown lining, cut out brim.  Mid-November, completed hats, waiting for further embellishment.

Dinner plate

Promo Still from Marie Antoinette

Such a funny name, I know… but every time I look at this style of hat, all I can think of is a dinner plate!  The best guess I have for the real name is a porkpie, but I don`t think that`s really right either…

Once again I`m referencing Marie Antoinette – this shot from the Costumer`s Guide  as well.   In this shot the title character, as well as the woman in the background left are both wearing the style I have in mind. I think the one on the right is a bit different, but the basic idea is the same: a small hat worn very forward on the head, with a small flat-top crown with a very short band and a moderate brim.

Promo still from Marie Antoinette

Another shot from Marie Antoinette has more of these hats – though Marie Antoinette`s has a much taller brim – the one in the background (pink) is more like what I have in mind I think.

The Ball-Jointed Doll magazine online also has a tutorial for a ‘dinner plate’ style of hat, that they call a Marie Antoinette hat.  It is, of course, made of card and glue, but I found the tutorial really charming nonetheless! (And, btw… I found the article via a search for hats… not a search for doll things..hehe)

Mostly I want to make the hat for the `ship`hat below…
Status – Early November – Crown band and tip cut out of buckram and assembled.  Still need to cover, cut out brim, etc.  Mid-November, crown is mostly covered.  Kind of stagnating on this one.

Marie Antoinette ‘ship’ hat

Hat by Topsy Turvy designs

I have seen a few hats out there that have obviously been inspired by Marie Antoinette’s “ship” hat – Topsy turvy is one of them, and this one is based on the aforementioned `dinner plate`hat.

From the (terribly little) research I did – the woman who wore the `ship`was actually a contemporary of Marie Antoinette – not actually M.A. herself – but she was known for putting all sorts of crazy things in her wigs, so it`s not completely out of the realm of possibilities…

Hat from Paris Atelier's blog post about Modern Marie

Hey Sailor  also does some `ship`hats.  Hers are small tricorns as far as I can see, though I can’t see much detail in the fashion shots.There’s a fairly fabulous costume up on craftster worth a look too…  There actually seem to be a number of interpretations of this idea, which makes my interest kind of wane a little bit – although it certainly means there are probably more resources available!

Screenshot from the Sofia Coppola movie Marie Antoinette

From the Marie Antoinette movie, there’s a scene where she basically has the ship just perched into her wig – but I think I really want it to be on a hat instead… The movie had a LOT of mini-tricorn hats, tricorn hats, and ‘dinner-plate’ (porkpie?) hats.

Beautiful "ghost ship" facinator hat from Professor Maelstromme's Steam Lab

I’ve already picked up the lightweight clay to make the hull of the ship though, and I’m thinking of white silk for the sails.  I just need to think a little more about the masts and other elements.  I’m still kind of half-hoping to find something in a toy or model store (that isn’t hundreds of dollars like the models I’ve already seen!) to help me avoid the bulk of the work….

Status – Nothing so far

Regency-inspired hats

The Regency era was a very short period of time after the Georgian period but before  the Victorian era.  From Beau Brummel .com the Regency period  came “after the Georgian time of powdered wigs and gaudy satins, but before the Victorian  time of dull, straitlaced staidness. Some say that when Victoria took the throne, she was fed up with the loose  morals and hedonistic behavior which had characterized the Regency. The Regency Era, generally c1790-1820, was  indeed a time of undiluted pleasure-seeking and over-indulgence.”  In 1811  King George III (the “mad” king) was deemed unfit to rule England and his son ruled as his proxy as Prince Regent until 1820.

Straw bonnet

Straw bonnets existed in both the Regency and Victorian eras, however I was reading a website that suggested that the Regency ones were a little smaller and more restrained.  I have yet to do the research to back this up… but it felt appropriate to put this hat style in here all the same…

Bonnet from Lily of the Valley designs - gorgeous!

I first thought about making this style because of one of mum’s doll books – there’s a pattern for one in one of the books, and of all the other hats, it somehow appealed to me.  I also love the Elegant Gothic Lolita/etc fashions using the bonnets (albeit often in velvet rather than straw) and I then found a little tutorial on the Lily of the Valley blog (a Mori (forest) – girl/EGL/etc designer) for a straw Spoon Bonnet.

This bonnet has basically a pillbox frame for the crown, and then a shaped straw brim, which is possibly the nicest version of this that I’ve seen.  This was obviously a LOT more work than just taking a straw hat and cutting it apart and gluing on some trim, and I really respect the work she’s put into it.

Bonnet from the EGL hat competition.

In her post, she also refers to the contest she entered this hat into, and that led me to this hat from the EGL LiveJournal group.  I don’t love the colours, but I love the method of trimming this hat – both inside and outside of the brim.  I would really like to do something similar to this with a bonnet (although I really do prefer it lined with the white lace rather than the self-fabric.

Stovepipe bonnet from the Oregon Regency Society

I also really like the stovepipe bonnets shown on the Oregon Regency Society page – there are some beautiful versions – though I think that the stovepipe might be a bit TOO tall for me – a bit too costume for my liking.  (Not that I have ANY problem with costume… but I’m thinking I want something a bit more wearable…)

So.. really the biggest question here is if I want it to be a straw hat… or if I want it to be a buckram hat, covered in fabric.   Since we do have a straw portion of our class coming up, and I don’t really have any other ideas for straws, it might be really nice to try this in straw….

There is also the soft-poke bonnet, where the crown is replaced/covered with a puffy pillow of poofy fabric – but I’m not as attracted to this style right now….

Status – nothing so far

Victorian style hats

Of course, with my desire for more things Steampunk, and my love of Victorian and Neo-Victorian fashion.. I can’t ignore Victorian-influenced hats in my wish list!

Mini Victorian Riding Hat

Victorian mini riding hat from Ms. Purdy's

Along with the mini (almost 3/4) Tricorn, I think that the same form would make for a really nice mini riding hat as well.  Basically I think it will take on a Derby shape, but I foresee it being highly embellished.  I found a photo of something similar to what I have in mind on the Ms Purdy hat site, in green.  However, the photo isn’t really good for showing how the hat is constructed, so there’s also this brown version worth taking a look at just to see how the actual hat looks beneath all of the decoration.

Brown version from Ms Purdy's. Click for larger version

Status – buckram blocked

Curved riding top hat

Another style I’m interested in is a top hat with a very high “curve”.  I’ve seen this style repeatedly from one of the milliners I follow, and an example can be seen here.  That being said, I am not putting this style at the top of my list at all.

Edwardian Hat

Screenshot from the movie Titanic

Portrait/cartweel brimmed hat

Basically a hat with a huge brim.  The instructor said that everyone will probably want to do something with a large brim, so she’s ready for us… haha.  She mentioned that these large brims often require a wire framework as well – that often just buckram can’t support the weight/shape of a wide brim.  Unfortunately, we haven’t gotten there yet to get more information about how wide is ‘wide’ and how to create that wire framework.

I’m thinking of something along the lines of the hat Rose wore while boarding the Titanic (erm.. in the movie…) or photos I’ve seen of Audrey Hepburn from My Fair Lady (as Eliza Doolittle). (Another movie I’ve never seen…)

I’m also thinking of this with a very ‘poofy’ crown as well, though I haven’t really seen much that speaks to me yet as an example.
Status: Mid November –  I’ve made the base of the crown, and have wired the brim so far.

1920’s hat


Angelina Jolie in a cute cloche

One of the hats we’ll be making in class (remember, this is a scheduled post!) is a cloche, presumably in felt.  I wasn’t too thrilled about making a cloche, since again, I don’t know if it will be something that’s flattering to my face.  To the left is a shot of Angelina Jolie from the movie The Changeling. The shot is from the Beauty Cent website.   I don’t know if I have ever actually worn a cloche – they seem very fitted, and it’s possible that any I’ve ever tried have been too small…

So, when our instructor said that we would be doing a cloche, I was somewhat uninspired – but that was until I wandered onto the BJD Magazine blog.  (Ball Jointed Doll)  I don’t even remember how I found myself on the website, but there was a tutorial for a cloche for dolls – but really it’s the shape that I love, and the embellishment!  I am not entirely sure how I can translate some of these embellishments to human-size, but I’m a lot more inspired now!  I love the oversized look of the cloche too – much less form-fitting – and thus I like the shape a lot better.

Ball-Jointed Doll in a cloche

Another cloche example

Even the traditional cloche shapes, embellished in the same way, I really like!  I think the really large flow-y bell would also be much more flattering than the typical head-hugging style.

There are also a few examples of nice cloches on the Victorian Trading company website.

Status – haven’t started in any way yet.

Glamourous 1940s asymmetrical hat
Vogue photo from The Fedora Lounge

Years ago Vogue patterns came out with patterns for 1940’s style hats, and I loved them.  Unfortunately, without access (at that time) to real wool felt, nor the skill to steam and shape them – I pretty much gave up on the idea.  Hopefully throughout the class though I’ll be able to create something in this vein… really though at this point I have no ideas.

Status: nothing so far

1950’s Pillbox hats

I’m not actually a huge fan of pillbox hats, but since this is the first style we’ve explored in class, I’ve begun thinking of ways to adapt the style that would work for me. I’ve also thought about how the basic construction could be adapted for different styles.

Pillbox Facinator
mini pillbox from Kaboodle

I think it would be interesting to make a mini-pillbox facinator like this one.  I really like the buttons/buttonholes on this one too!

Another cool style is from Topsy Turvy Designs.

This Next also has a mini pillbox, but it’s been titled incorrectly.

Status: I have a pre-made hat form that I might use for this instead of making my own, though I haven’t gone much further.

Shaped Pillbox

It might not be really a pillbox when I’m done with it – but the basic construction is what I have in mind rather than the shape.

I can’t find any photos of what I have in mind yet, but it’s more of a facinator than a hat (it will need a clip or a comb to stay in place I think) but I have something in my head and the best description I can think of is “shaped pillbox”… for now.

Status: Mid-November… DONE! whoohoo!  I’ll have posts soon!

Modern interpretations

Feminine Top Hat

Bridal top hat from Suite 101

Another style that interests me is doing a modern, feminine interpretation of the classic top hat.  I have a few mini-top hat facinators (one I made, two I bought) but all are black.  Black is very wearable of course, but I keep thinking that something more colourful might be interesting as well.  I also have one (possibly vintage – I purchased it in a vintage clothing shop) men’s top hat. (Also in classic black.)  However, while going through the web, I found this photo to the left of a white top hat with netting/veiling, lots of flowers, and an asymmetrically shaped brim.  Lovely!

While I don’t think I want anything so bridal…I really do love the shape, the size, the adornments… everything except the colour! I can really see this in a wine or burgundy… maybe even a navy blue…

From the Victorian Trading company;

Status: nothing so far

Elegant Gothic Lolita mini-crown

MIni Crowns from the Enfant de Peche blog.

It’s been on my wish list for a while, but I’d also really like to make a mini-crown.  I don’t know who made these ones, but I found them on the Enfant de Peche blog. I don’t know if I can really even count these as hats… but let’s just roll with it anyways!

I love these ones in leather, and I saw one on Style Hive with fur trim at the bottom that I liked as well (the fur trim, not necessarily the whole crown).

Funny enough, I saw some REALLY similar as Xmas ornaments not too long ago.. (But I didn’t get them, because they were made really cheaply, and were a bit too small.)

Status: nothing so far

British eras

Georgian era c.1714-1830
Regency era c.1811-1820
Victorian era c.1837-1901
Edwardian era c.1901-1910
WW I 1914-1918
Interwar period 1918-1939
World War II 1939-1945

Yep… sometimes the eras overlap…

More miniature millinery

Mini tricorn

After making a few mini top hats, I wanted to try something different, so I decided to try mini tricorn hats instead! I had been thinking for a really long time about HOW a tricorn hat would be laid out, pattern-wise, and then I was in Dressew in Vancouver, and tried on a full-size costume tricorn (really low quality for Halloween).  Once I had it in my hands, the pattern became obvious, and I made a mental note so I could repeat it (in miniature!) at home.

I made two of these hats – the first one is a green shot with brown taffeta – the colour changes depending on the light, between a medium green, to a grey, to a copper colour.  It’s awesome fabric… (I had it left over from a corset I made and sold.)  This one is slightly bigger than the other one.  The hat is lined in gold dupionni silk (also leftover, this time from a one-shoulder dress and an overbust corset). The brim edge of the hat is wired, so that I could curve it properly to make the tricorn effect work.

The green hat is trimmed with mini black gimp braid (You can usually find the larger variety at general fabric stores, but I’ve had trouble finding the mini variation.) and then a cockade made from black grosgrain ribbon.  I attached the ribbon to a pin back so that the decoration would be removable, and to the pin also attached three copper-toned gears.  (These are from the scrapbooking section of my nearest craft store, and are the Tim Holtz sprocket gears you’ll see alllll over the place in steampunk crafts/accessories/jewellery.)  I then made a little decoration out of peacock feather strands and curled the edges with my thumbnail and tucked them into the pin as well.

Mini Tricorn

Here is my stuffed bear, wearing the green hat. The fishnet shirt he’s wearing is mine. Gotta love fishnet!

Pair of mini tricorns

Here’s a photo of the green hat, along with the second one I made, a silver hat. The drinking glasses should give you an idea of the size/proportion of these hats.

The silver one is made from white shot with black taffeta – so the result is a silver tone, that again changes colour (from very light grey to almost black) depending on the light.  (The fabric was leftover from my Victorian gown.) This one is slightly smaller, but is made in almost exactly the same way.  This hat is lined in beautiful black rayon bemberg lining (again, another project leftover), and the eecoration is a black grosgrain cockade with a silver cockade layered over it.  The silver is the same fabric, and I singed the edges to make it work as a “ribbon”.  The cockade is also pined on with a broach pin, and is embellished with a nickle-finish Tim Holtz keyhole, with matching brads.  Hanging from the keyhole are little tiny keys charms on incredibly fine chains.  (You could get similar charms from Suzie Q Beads, which I profiled earlier.)

Mini tricorn

Teddy gets to wear this one too….

Both of these hats have hand-sewn loops to attach a comb as well, though thus far I’ve found that the location of the comb isn’t working as well as I would have hoped, so I might need to revisit this at some point.

The Art of Making Miniature Millinery - click for the Amazon listing

Mum has this book – the Art of Making Miniature Millinery, by Timothy Alberts, M Dalton King, and Pat Henry, and I think that the next hat I’ll make will be from in here – a bonnet they have a pattern for.  Other than that, I think I’d like to try to make a full-sized tricorn, not unlike some of the gorgeously embellished tricorn hats by Topsy Turvey Design, or the elegant variations at the Ruby Raven.  How awesome would it be to find a miniature ship for that matter too? 🙂

Miniature millinery

Mini top hat

A number of years ago i picked up an adorable little mini-top hat from Torrid, down in the USA.  (Las Vegas if I remember correctly).  It came in black and white, and I only bought the black (but then later wished I’d bought the white as well.. it was white sinamay instead of ‘felt’, and would have been so summer-cute…).  Since at that time I didn’t find any mini-hats locally, I got thinking about how to make one of my own.  (Truthfully, I’d been thinking of making one of my own for ages, but getting one to use as an example only pushed me further to do my own.)

This one was the first one that I made.  It started with a pre-made fake felt base, and then I added on a tulle veil, and applied random black sequins and seed beads to that veil. (Yep, each one had to be stitched on and tied off individually to avoid the floating threads.)  I also did a little grouping of black silk flowers, and some black feathers.  I attached a comb using black elastic button loops.  (You can find that in the bridal section of good sewing stores.)  The comb helps the hat stay on – I don’t care for ones set on hair bands, since the hard ones always seem to pinch my head, and both the hard and soft ones limit how I can wear my hair.

Mini Wellington

The next one I made was a mini-wellington top hat.  Wellingtons are larger at the top of the hat (crown) than they are where the hat meets the brim – think of the Mad Hatter’s top hat.  This is actually a legitimate style, not just something out of costume & fantasy… 😉

This one I made 100% from scratch – the hat base itself is heavy black cotton twill, the lining is recycled dress fabric from a bright red polyester jacquard dress, and I pleated the diamond-weave red ribbon and covered it with black sequins for the hat band.  The stiffening inside the hat is interfacing along with the base from rug-making supplies!

The brim is trimmed with black grosgrain ribbon, and the red diamond-weave ribbon creates the streamers at the back as well.  I added a few black silk flowers and leaves, and made a ribbon rosette from the same red diamond-weave ribbon and black grosgrain ribbon to decorate the back.  The centre of the rosette is a hand-made black velvet button, and a red velvet button along with some black jet (or faux jet) buttons (from my button stash) decorate the brim as well.  The final touch is a peacock feather, which references the whole Mad Hatter idea… and adds some additional colour from my ever-repeated black and red colour scheme.

This one is also worn with a comb, though it’s a bit heavier, so it has to be in the right spot or it will go off-kilter…

After this one, I also made a smaller mini-top hat… which I’m keeping to give someone as a gift – so no photos for now!

More miniature millinery to come!