Wednesday, 10 April 2013

Some Progress On The Silly Hat

I apologize for the delay. I'm a bit behind on sewing. There are only a couple of weeks of school left and I have things to study and assignments to hand in, which is slightly more important than sewing silly hats.
This is why the silly hat is only a silly brim at the moment.

I made a brim pattern based on the paper hat and cut it out twice in that mysterious mesh stuff from my Grandparents attic.

Both brim pieces cut out. They are quite large, this table is 36" long.
 The black lines were lined up on top of one another when I overlapped the ends. The overlapped area is twice as wide as the end bits that are marked off.

The two layers of brim skeleton joined together. It doesn't hold its shape at all.
To hold the two layers together I sewed a sort of grid all over them in a green cotton yarn.
This is probably way too messy to be considered a grid. I did try to keep the stitching an even distance apart.
 I sewed a big, round piece of cane around the edge.
The part with lots and lots of stitching is where the two ends of the reed overlap.
 Now it holds its shape.
It's finally circular!
I'm covering the top and the brim of this hat with an old cotton sheet. I had to cut out two brim pieces from the sheet and cover the structure with it so the mesh won't show through.
Lining the inside with sheet. The seam allowances from both pieces were whipstitched over the cane and did a great job of covering up the scruffy edge bits.
The inside and outside covered. Even in this picture you can sort of see the mesh through it.
Then I cut a 56" x 17" rectangle out of the sheet fabric. I started out by gathering it, but the gathers accidentally turned into box pleats.
The outside pleats sewed down and the inside pleats pinned.
I sewed the side up by hand to make sure that it fit smoothly around the widest part of the brim.

Its huge, wider than my ironing board.

I think it looks pretty similar to the one in the illustration.

Journal de Luxus, 1789 (source)
 Speaking of illustrations, I found one of a hat that has a purple ribbon like my design. Or maybe it's pink, it's difficult to tell.
Magasin Des Modes Nouvelles, 1786 (source)
I'm going to make the roses out of white silk using this tutorial.
Here are the leaves. They are made of silk scraps from the petticoat for the green ensemble.
The leaves are roughly the same size and shape as the end of a thumb.
I wrapped them around the ends of the wire stems with lots of thread.

Then I braided the stems together and wrapped them in more thread.
All done wrapping.
The threads were difficult to tie off and were in danger of unwrapping. I melted some beeswax on the stove and painted it onto the threads to make them stay.
The mussel tin I melted the wax in, a brush, and 3 leaves with recently waxed stems.
It was surprisingly difficult to get the wax to sink in.

And that's all I have done so far. Just the brim and one sprig of leaves. I keep underestimating the time that these things take. The Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge rules say that you can post about your project anytime in the fortnight after it's due, so I've still got a while to finish it and post about it.
Once school is over I will have a lot more time to spend on sewing, perhaps it will be easier to keep up with the challenge then.


  1. I like to follow your progress on this historical fortnightly challenge.
    I love the tutorial on the big hat. It looks like a lot of work but I'm sure that you'll be able to finish it successfully. Your sewing talent is nothing short of amazing. Such tedious work.

    1. Thank you. This hat isn't so much tedious as it is awkward. The brim is about 55 inches around so it's difficult to hold comfortably while I'm working on it.