Thursday, November 7, 2013

Remaking A Well Loved Hat

My first hats was a straw hat made for my by my husband. He began my interest in costuming many years ago. He lovingly went out and purchased a straw hat and then shortened the crown as a gift for me. I have always loved and cherished this hat. In that process it has been worn a lot and in many different weathers and has for a while now been looking very sad.

In its first life it just had a simple black velvet ribbon to decorate it. Please excuse my dodgy outfit, it was my first.
Its second life 2009, decorated for a christmas parade... which funny enough we ended up not attending.
Then its third life 2010, no more silly flowers... but its very damaged from wear and rain.... the poor thing.

I did not think much of it till recently at the Barossa Goldfields when I saw how shocking it had begun to look. That was when I decided it was time for a fourth and far better life. 

 I began by whip stitching millinery wire to the brim. Leo was kind enough to test its strength and durability.
The crown also has lining which I removed to place buckram in and then refitted the lining to strengthen the crown. It really was very damaged from the rain. 

A friend of mine, Mandi, was wonderful enough to let me have some of her goreous black lace to decorate the hat. It is amazing how lucky I am in my friendship circles. They are always a source of help, advice and resources. Mandi was also amazingly helpful in helping me to decide on my trim and decoration. It is wonderful to have people that you can bounce ideas and photos off for honest opinions. If left on my own I was also going to put a curtain on it using the lace... but as pointed out it was bit too lampshade looking.
 As I had the gathers on the crown, I then covered this with some thinner lace.
I decided that I did not want to go floral and I had chosen my lining as a green shot with yellow taffeta (which was also given to me by a lady that I met at a tea dance) so I wanted to avoid flowers. Instead I found some dark red cherry clusters in my stash of trimmings. These are amazing little cherries as they are wax dipped. I also found to my amazement that I had some synthetic moire ribbon that matched the lining taffeta almost perfectly. I was very lucky in retrimming this hat.

To line the hat I bias taped the edges using tape I had made with the fabric. I then cut out a rectangle of fabric and pleated it and pinned it into place. It was then tacked on using cotton thread.

To finish the crown I put a bias tape over the edges of the pleats.

I am very happy with how the hat looks now and I hope that I will be able to enjoy it in its new life for many more years to come. 

 Me proudly wearing the hat at Urbrae House. 

... and just in case anyone was wondering my manequines have a wonderful feature where I can place removable hat stands into their necks. I dont often use the one on my female form, but they do come in handy when setting out an outfit the night before or putting full outfits on display.

1 comment:

  1. Dear Danielle,
    Aww, how sweet, I am so happy you were able to refashion your first hat! Wow, look at those perfectly done pleats - what a beautiful, balanced design! I love the black lace and contrasting red berries, lovely job.
    Best wishes,
    Anneliese :)
    P.S. Thank you for all of the sewing advice!