Part three of the red silk tricorn

Part three of my construction of the red silk ‘spiderweb’ mini tricorn

Basting the brim fabric to the top side of the brim (at the crown and edge)

  1. Read the first post for part one of this hat…..
  2. In my last post I had attached the fabric to the top of the crown and brim as above.
  3. Next, I pulled the grosgrain ribbon for the headband around the crown, pinned the centre back seam, and stitched the seam.
  4. I used a piece of corset boning to slip the headband over the crown, and stitched it into place.  Normally I wouldn’t need to stitch it down, but I made the headband a little too tight, and it had the need to pull up – since the band was needed to cover the stitching, I needed to stitch it down to keep from spilling my construction secrets!

    Adding the red grosgrain hat band which covers the stitching

  5. Next I laid the bottom brim lace fabric over the bottom of the hat, and pinned into place.
  6. adding the brim fabric to the bottom of the brim. To keep this smooth, I didn't cut the inner circle out until the brim circumference was basted.

  7. Then I basted along the outside edge securing the lace fabric to the brim, and then repeated on the crown edge.
  8. From there I could trim out the inside fabric, and then start attaching the sweatband.
  9. Attaching the sweatband (below) was also a difficult process – first shaping the grosgrain ribbon with steam and the iron (again this was rayon ribbon, so shaping it was relatively easy.
  10. From there I pinned it into place inside the crown as in the photo below.

    adding the sweatband to the hat

  11. I then prick-stitched the sweatband into the hat – this was very time-consuming, fussy and hard work as well, since there wasn’t a lot of fabric to work with, and the shape was so tight.  I imagine that a curved needle would be useful here, as I did when working on the Teal Tricorn hat earlier.

    trimming the brim with bias

  12. From there I applied bias binding to the outside edge of the hat.  I ended up using plain, store-bought double fold bias tape here, largely out of laziness, and a lack of willingness to interface (for support/structure) the red silk to make self-fabric binding.  To the left is a photo of the back centre of the bias binding, with the fold-over finishing.

    cutting lace strips for the brim trim

  13. Then I cut a long strip of black spiderweb lace to trim the brim edge as well.  Above is a photo of the hat with the red binding, and the strips ready for the next step.

    trimming off the excess trim

  14. I stitched one edge of the lace trim, folded it over the edge, and then stitched the other edge.  I then trimmed off the excess lace to make a clean edge.

    the wide lace braid on the top side of the brim

  15. Since the top of the brim would be folded up, and be seen through the inside of the hat, but would not be “obvious” on the hat, I wanted to trim it, but make it interesting too.  I found this gorgeous braid in my ‘stash’ and stitched it around the brim.

    The wide braid extends past the brim edge for a lacy-like finish

  16. I wanted the edge to be ‘lacy’ so extended the braid just past the brim edge so it would show up over the edge.  I think it’s a really neat effect.  The braid also covers up the seam on the binding.

    black rayon braid added to the bottom edge of the brim

  17. Then on the underside of the brim, I stitched a black rayon braid.

    Close up of the brim, showing how the braid covers the seams

  18. The braid on the underside of the brim coordinates with the other braid, but isn’t the same.  This braid is usually called ‘gimp’ and I’ve used it a few times before for millinery, but it’s also used in upholstery and home dec.
  19. From there I folded the tricorn brim into place!

    Finished hat!

  20. So.. three posts… is it worth it for the final version? I think so –  I love this hat!

Final thoughts

After making the teal tricorn hat, I had a few different things I wanted to try to solve problems I ran into with that hat… these included the crown finishing and the fabric pulling away from the buckram.

I kind of like the solution for the crown finishing, though it would better if I hadn’t made the hatband so tight.  For the brim, adding fusible to the buckram on both sides likely made the brim a bit too stiff.  Since I used a lighter weight wire on the brim edge (since a stiff brim didn’t need as much support) this means that the fold making the tricorn of the hat isn’t as crisp as with the Teal Tricorn.  Using fusible on the top side of the brim might just be enough, and a stronger wire would likely help as well.

I might still want to add in a feather or something – but I think I need to live with this hat the way it is first, so it doesn’t become over-embellished.

Red Spiderweb Tricorn Continued

The last post was getting really image-heavy, because I really wanted to document a lot of steps… sooo I’ve broken the post into two – here’s the second part of the tricorn as a work-in-progress!

  1. In my last post I had placed the crown on the brim, and from here I pinned (carefully) the crown to the brim using the tabs from the brim.

    Pinning the brim to the crown

  2. Next I used long stitches to attach the brim to the crown.  This was incredibly fussy, time-consuming, and hard work.  I can’t imagine doing this frequently.  My hands were so sore!

    Interior view with the brim stitched to the crown

  3. Next I wired my brim.  On one hand I thought I should wire it first, but I’m glad that I did it second.  I needed to roll the brim gently occasionally to attach the brim to the crown, and this would have been impossible if I had wired the brim before hand.

    Wiring the edge of the brim. The long basting stitches to mark the brim fold line are still visibile

  4. I used the same blanket/buttonhole stitch to attach the millinery wire to the very edge of the brim.

    Side view of the crown and brim stitched together (bad photo!)

  5. The above photo shows a profile view of the crown attached to the band, with the wired brim in the foreground.  I likely should have used red thread to wire the crown.

    Covering the crown with the spiderweb lace

  6. From there I covered the crown with the lace.  I simply cut out a large circle, pinned it in place, stitched it down with long stitches (going through the brim tabs at the same time when needed, since I couldn’t slip-stitch through the silk entirely.   From there I trimmed the lace.

    Shaping the rayon grosgrain ribbon with a steam iron

  7. Next it was time for the grosgrain ribbon for the hatband.  Since the crown is curved, I needed to curve the grosgrain as well.  I had picked up rayon grosgrain, so this was reasonably easy to shape with steam and heat.

    Using the pattern to cut the spiderweb lace. for the brim.

  8. Next, I used the brim pattern to cut out two brims from the lace.   The brim for the top of the had also had the centre cut out, including a seam allowance.  For the lower brim I didn’t cut out the internal circle.  For both brims I included the external seam allowance as well.
  9. In the next step I layered the lace over the top brim, and pinned the outside of the brim, basted the fabric next to the crown, and then basted the lace along the brim edge.
  10. So many steps.. and so many photos!  The next steps will be in the next post!

Red spiderweb tricorn hat

I have this glorious dress I made a while back with a red silk skirt with black lace overlay – the black… is spiders and spiderwebs!

Of course, I ended up buying just a little more of the fabric later on, and had some red silk left over, so I thought that I would try out a slightly different technique to make this tricorn from the other one I’m working on (the teal silk).

Creating the hat

  1. Draped the buckram over the small head block.  I wanted this to be another 3/4 sized hat rather than a full sized one.
  2. While the buckram was still wet, I draped a piece of fine red silk over it.  I was unhappy how much texture from the buckram came through the silk, though ultimately this will be fine since another layer of lace will be going over top.  However, this method did provide a very smooth finish with very few pleats.

    Red silk draped over the buckram.

  3. When dry, trimmed the buckram,  basted the fabric to the edge.
  4. Spritzed a little bit of water inside the hat to re-activate any remaining sizing, and put a piece of red silk on the head form, putting the hat over top.  This lightly secured the lining to the hat and made it fit extremely well.
  5. Basted the lining edge to the hat, arranging the pleats as needed.

    fully fitted lining of red hat in the same red silk fabric

  6. Wired the edge using the saddle/buttonhole stitch from previous hats.  I did NOT add any bias to this edge.

    Wired edge of the crown

  7. Fit the hat to my head.  In the above photo you can see the texture of the buckram through the silk.  I don’t love the texture, but luckily this will be covered up by the lace.
  8. Drafted the brim pattern from the wired hat edge, but out of buckram.  Removed the inner space where the crown will fit minus the seam allowance (fold allowance).

    Tracing the crown to draw the brim pattern

  9. Roughly cut out red silk in two circles larger than the buckram plus the external seam allowance.  Cut out the same of Heat N’ Bond Light, and fused the Heat N Bond to the silk.

    Ironing the Heat n Bond Light to the red silk for the brim

  10. Peeled the paper backing from the Heat N Bond and fused the silk to one side of the buckram.  I had to move this around a bit as I was ironing so that I wouldn’t get the glue on my iron or ironing board.

    Laying the buckram on top of the glue side (shiny) ready to press

  11. Followed the pencil marks with thread, basting the line where I will need to clip to and fold so I could attach the brim to the crown.

    Marking the fold line on the brim with basting stitches, and the centre back with a tailor's tack

  12. Repeated the process for the silk on the other side of the buckram (without the thread tracing).

    The red silk really fuses to the buckram!

  13. Trimmed the exterior silk, and the interior silk where the crown will go.
  14. I clipped the seam/fold allowance to the thread tracing, and folded up the tabs to place the crown on top.

    Clipping the inside of the brim and folding the edge

  15. From here I placed the crown on the brim.  The other ‘mistake’ here, was that I didn’t erase the pencil marks on the buckram before fusing the silk.  I didn’t realize that this would show through – but as you can see in the photo below – it did!

    placing the crown on top of the brim to check fit

  16. …. to be continued!!!  (this post was just getting too picture-heavy!)

Teal mini-tricorn hat

While watching Sofia Copola’s Marie Antoinette, I got the urge to make another mini-tricorn hat, but this time larger than the two I’ve made before… and this time in candy-colours like the colour story of the movie.  Don’t even ask me why, since I own very little clothing that is in the candy-colour family… but still – who cares! Like confection, millinery doesn’t need to be practical!


I had read somewhere that if the mini-hats didn’t suit, that a 3/4 sized hat might be more attractive.  Thus, I was on the lookout for a 18″ hat block to start this off.  I couldn’t find one, but in our instructor’s collection I did find a 20″ hat block, which would have to suffice.  Since I was only going to use the very tip – I figured that the slightly larger size would be fine.

Buckram base

I draped the buckram on the block and then once it was dry, trimmed off the excess and wired the edge.  Then I covered the wire with bias tape.  I slightly pulled the bias as I was applying it, with the vague hope of tightening up the edge just slightly.  The whole frame is nice and sturdy once the wire is on there.

I shaped the wire by putting the hat on my head (at a variety of jaunty angles!) and then traced the finished edge to create the pattern for the brim.

Covering the base

I chose a blue/green shot with gold silk taffeta for the fabric (yummy!) . I don’t actually remember where I got it.  I probably should have interfaced the fabric first before adding it to the buckram base, because you can see the texture of the buckram through the fabric.  Live and let learn!

I very carefully pinned the fabric to the bias tape, keeping all of the pleats very tiny and as even as possible, and then stitched them down close to the wire.

Stitching down all of the pleats in the fabric to the buckram before trimming

The fitted self-lining

I then was thinking about how to do the lining, and took a chance… I sprayed the inside of the hat with temporary basting spray glue (you can find it at quilt shops), draped the fabric over the block, and then popped the hat on top of the fabric.  This worked out almost perfectly.  There were a few tiny spots where the pleating wasn’t as even as I would have liked, but since the glue is temporary, it was short work to gently peel it back and re-pleat, and stitch down the lining along the inside edge where the bias tape is as well.  The only part that I DIDN’T like- was that some of the glue came through the (very fine) fabric – it’s kind of splotchy.  Ok.. it’s just the lining, but again, I think that I’d need to interface the lining if I were do use this method again.

The brim

I started off by making the brim pattern with a 4″ brim, but then after holding the paper pattern up to the covered buckram form, I wasn’t so pleased, so I trimmed off another inch from the outside edge.  I then cut the brim out of buckram, and two circles out of the silk (with seam allowance) and knit fusible interfacing (without seam allowance).  I wired and bias-trimmed the buckram brim outside edge, and then used a glue stick to attach the fabric to the buckram on one side and gently basted the fabric to the buckram on the inside edge seam line to mark the fabric.

Stitching the brim pieces together around the buckram

Then I used a glue stick to attach the other side, and trimmed off the outside edge excess fabric.   I made matching bias trim, and attached the bias by hand. (SO time consuming!)

Curving the bias for the brim

After the hat was done, I realized that I should have applied a more even coating of glue.  The glue doesn’t show through the fabric, but where the curve of the tricorn is convex (curling in on itself) there are bubbles and spots where the silk was not glued to the buckram.  A more even coating would have fixed this problem.  I address this differently on the next tricorn I made.. the red silk tricorn (post coming soon!).

I cut out the inside circles of the fabric along the edge of the inside of the buckram, and clipped into the curve, then folded the tabs, and set the crown onto the brim.

It might seem kind of redundant to make a paper pattern for a brim that is only going to be used for THIS hat (because I wire and shape the crown edge, it’s possible that another hat from the same block wouldn’t have the same shape) but I think that it’s a good step for those ‘just in case’ or ‘I want to change my mind’ moments.

self bias for the brim trim

Attaching crown to brim

Crown trimmed with bias and attached to the brim

At this point I realized that getting the brim onto the crown was more complicated than I thought, and that with this way both the inside and the outside would be messy…. so I used the remainder of the self-bias-binding to trim the crown as well.  I removed any of the visible basting stitches from the outside and lining fabric around the base of the crown after adding on the binding.

I didn’t do the greatest job of this, and wasn’t entirely happy with the result.  On  one hand I knew that I could cover the seam with trim, but on the other hand I would have been happier if this were neater.

This was ridiculously hard to pin down into place, but eventually I did, and began to sew the crown to the brim through the ‘band’ of the crown and the little tabs tucked up inside the crown.  I tried to hide most of the stitches on the outside in the ditch of the bias binding on the band, but I’m not 100% happy with the result.

With all of my comments about my errors, perhaps I should have posted a stunning photo of the finished product to start off this post!

Brim tabs stitched to the crown, and trimmed down

Next, since my stitches were about 1/4 of an inch into the brim tabs, and the tabs were an inch long, I trimmed them down to about 1/2 an inch.  This will be covered by the sweatband, and this way they will be fully covered by the sweatband.  (Which is only about an inch wide itself.)


Curving the grosgrain for the sweatband

I started to stitch in the sweatband, did two different attempts, and then realized that because the crown is domed, that the straight grosgrain wasn’t going to go in properly.  Luckily the instructor had mentioned that getting rayon grosgrain would be shapeable with the iron/steam, and luckily, the grosgrain I picked up was the rayon kind… so I shaped it on the ironing board and it went in much better.  Still though, it was agonizingly challenging – nothing like how simple it had been putting the sweatband into the red pillbox hat I just finished.

I’m guessing that having a brim is what makes this more challenging – the needle just doesn’t go in the same direction.  I have the sneaking feeling that a curved needle would be very useful here, but if I have one (I think I do… but with the renovations, looking for something that I don’t know EXACTLY where it is… is even more challenging that sewing on the sweatband!) it’s a very large needle, and would create holes too big in this fine silk.  So, instead, I just suffered through it…


From there I removed the basting stitches on the interior of the brim, and then ended up folding up the sides of the tricorn.  I really probably should have waited, but after the agonizing work of the sweatband, I needed a little instant gratification!

The overall shape of the hat is good – I’m very happy that I took the extra inch off the exterior edge of the brim.  I don’t love the place where the crown meets the brim, and with such a short crown I think it will be challenging to trim.


So this is where I am leaving the hat for the time being.  I need to decide on the trim, and figure that all out…. once I do, I’ll post a finished photo!

Have any ideas for me?  Leave a comment below!

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…