And While We’re On the Subject…

As long as I’m making hats, why not another one? I’ve had a yard or more of the yellow and white striped seersucker left in my stash since I finished my pelisse in Déjà Vu in Yellow. I made my new white bonnet to go with that pelisse, but hey, the fashion plate has a soft hat a bit like a tam in it, why not make one of those too?

ma-31910405-webIMG_0908IMG_0909This in an incredibly simple hat to make–it’s just a circle gathered into a band that fits not-too-snugly around your head (with the proper hairstyle of course). To get the size hat I wanted, my circle was 20 inches in diameter. In order to make a decent circle, I used the top of my laundry hamper–don’t be afraid to search your house for appropriately-sized circular objects! The hamper lid was about 16 inches, so I just had to extend it a bit all the way around. I did have to experiment a bit with circle sizes, and ended up gathering a lot of circles into that band, but now at least you will know that 20″ is a good place to start!

Once the band is folded around the seam and finished off, all that’s left is the trimmings! Of course there’s a world of options open to trimming one of these hats–feathers, flowers, rosettes, bows, ruffles, anything.

Check out the size of Mrs. Bennet’s hat in the opening scene of the 1995 Pride and Prejudice! One of my earlier attempts ended up like this. That one might have been more like 30″! Obviously it’s fabulous on her.

I decided to stick pretty close to the fashion plate in my trimming. After all, I also had lots of yellow ribbon left over, plus a bit of lace from my grey dress, and a bit of white Swiss from my 1822 wedding dress. Plenty to work with!

I started with a strip of the white Swiss rolled up in to a tube so that it had a bit of volume to it. I tacked it along the seam between the band and the rest of the hat and gathered it up at regular intervals to form a row of poofs.

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Then I took the yellow ribbon and tacked it along the the edges of the white and over the gathers in a figure-eight pattern. I gathered 2″ pieces of lace along one edge to make a little shell shape and tucked these into the top of each gathered area.

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After that it was just feathers with another little fluff of lace at the base, and it was finished! The feathers came from Matti’s Millinery and Costumes, who I met at the AGM. I used a scissor blade to give them a little bit of curl at the ends.

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And here it is! It’ll be a great hat for those hot summer days when a silk bonnet just seems stifling. Plus it’s always fun to shake up the wardrobe with a bit of something new! I would definitely recommend this as a very quick project to do when you have a yard or less of pretty fabric leftover from something else!

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Now I’m off to work on Christmas presents until my fingers bleed!


5 thoughts on “And While We’re On the Subject…

    1. I always wear a hand tied custom wig when I’m interpreting so that my head has the right shape under whatever else I’m wearing on my head, and so I have the option of taking my hat or bonnet off if I want. When I don’t feel like a wig, though, I like combining hairpieces with a turban wrap that covers all the short hair!
      And thank you! It’s fun to shake up the bonnet game with some other shapes of hat sometimes!


  1. Please post photos of this with the yellow pelisse – I’m sure I’m not the only one who’d love to see both pieces together.


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