Disclaimer: I*have only vague ideas about how a hat may have been made so don’t take this tutorial as the gospel on millinery techniques. *
I wanted the general shape of this hat.
I know many hats were made with a wire frame for a foundation. I could not find my floral wire anywhere (which is what I’ve used on other hats) so I used the next best thing I could find-wire hangers. I cut, bent and taped (with electrical tape-sue me-I have an electrician in the house) until I ended up with this frame. The bottom was formed to my head. The top was the same shape but a bit smaller. The sides were just cut bars of similar lengths. If I were to do it again, I’d make the bottom wider and I’d make the side bars shorter.
Yeah, I know that tape is ugly but it is only temporary.
Guess what? Wire cutters and fingers don’t mix well.
Nice little blood blister there. It reminds me of the tall tale my dad used to tell me. He told me that blood blisters came from mosquitoes who bite you after biting a moose. The mosquitoes inject the moose blood into you. Thanks for that visual Dad!
Once I had the frame built, I traced the top and two sides onto the buckram and I cut two for each section. If I were to do it again, I’d cut of piece of each pair about a 1/4 inch smaller on all of the seam edges. You will see why later on.
Then I traced the buckram pieces on some flannel…one for each buckram piece.
That is a bit hard to see with the white on white. Also, because my frame is not perfectly symmetrical, I labelled the front, right, left, inside and outside on all the pieces I cut out. I feared that if I’d mix them up, they wouldn’t end up fitting each other or the frame.
The next step was cutting out a single lining piece for the top, left and right sides.
I made it much bigger than the buckram so I could wrap it. Then I cut one piece of the fashion fabric for the top, right and left sides (also made bigger for over lapping.)
The grey underneath is the fashion fabric. As you can see, it doesn’t need to be pretty or exact.
The next step was to glue a piece of flannel on each buckram piece. The flannel goes on the side that the fabric (either the lining or the fashion fabric) will be on.
It is impossible to tell but this is buckram and flannel glued together. I used hot glue…and no, that is not authentic.
The pieces that were going inside of the hat were my next goal. I hot glued the lining down to the buckram, with the flannel sandwiched in-between. Again, not pretty. It doesn’t really need to be.
Once that was done I switched my attention to the outside of the hat. I dismantled my hat frame-bye bye electrical tape. I hot glued the frame pieces to the corresponding buckram pieces and then wrapped and glued the fashion fabric down.
To hide all the down and dirty seams I was creating, I glued in some cord piping.
Further damage was done to the hands-ie first degree burns from the hot glue.
The side pieces were a bit trickier to manage. I had to glue them to the bottom of the frame.
You can see one of the support bars there in the middle.
I ran cording along the bottom edge and then stuck a tab on for sliding a hat pin in. That turned out to be a waste of time. It was totally in the wrong spot. But, the pin does slide pretty easily into the cording….
Next step was attaching the top to the sides and then gluing in the lining.
I missed the obvious fact that the inside of the hat is smaller than the outside (duh) and that is why I should have cut the seam edges smaller. As it was, I had to do some folding, wrinkling and jamming to get it in. I couldn’t be bothered to redo that properly. I was too anxious to get to the fun bit…DECORATING!
So I glued lace, ribbon and cording using this as the inspiration.
Fabulously gaudy isn’t it!
Unfortunately, the mess with the too big innards made a nasty gap in the front of the hat that I couldn’t hide.
I wasn’t too pleased with the seam in the lace either. What to do? What to do? Ah ha! I had three tassels left over. (I had used four of them to cover the cut ends of the cording that was hanging at the side of the hat). I also have a small stash of buttons.
The hat has taken on a decidedly Scottish flare, has it not? Perfect with a plaid dress. Inspired! Sometimes my screw ups are very serendipitous.
There are some of the cord and tassel details I mentioned before laying on my shoulder. The tassels came on a strip that I bought from the curtain section of my fabric store. I cut the strip apart and applied glue to the strip and wrapped that around the cut ends of the cording. Those puppies wont be unraveling any time soon!
And that is my down and dirty tutorial on how to make a hat in just about any shape you want!