Hat Class Part I: Black Bonnet

So, back in Winter semester I took a hat making class. It was pretty much as awesome as it sounds. I don't really have too much to say about the class itself, so we'll just get down to the pictures.

My first project was to basically resurrect an old hat. So here's my nasty black bonnet before I started to do anything to it.

Not the best picture taken by mankind, but once you ponder on how difficult it is to photograph black velveteen, you begin to understand. With or without flash, it still doesn't do it justice. Hopefully however, you can see how crumpled the hat is. There was also wire poking out all around the edge, there were some weird not-quote-holes in the fabric, and then that weird ribbon in the back giving it a funny shape. Not to mention the lining of the cap is shredding out.

So I went to the store and got some supplies with which to remake this poor little hat.

Three kinds of ribbon, thread, beads, a flower pin/brooch from my grandma, and of course, a feather. Because everyone should own a hat with a feather in it, right?

I washed it so the fabric wouldn't be so gross and some of the weird spots where I thought the fabric had melted went away. So I guess it hadn't melted after all.... Then I brushed and brushed and brushed the velveteen so it would look pretty instead of matted. That took pretty much the whole 3-hour class period just to brush it. 

Then I started to disassemble the hat. I knew there was too much wrong with the foundation of the hat and so I had to take it apart to re-create the foundation. Here are the brim and cap separated.

And here you can see the pieces that formed the foundation of the brim. On the left is the velveteen which I reused. On the right is the buckram which I replaced and on top of them is the wire which I also replaced. It was too much of a hassle to try and unpick all three rows of stitching holding the wire in place, so I just cut it off the brim.

Here's my new piece of buckram with the wire stitched around the edges. I could only find fairly thin buckram so I ended up adhering two pieces together to give it more body.

I covered the buckram with the velveteen and stitched a grosgrain ribbon around the outside edge of the brim. I relined the cap with a heavy satin and stitched it back to the brim. I also added a new sweat band, but you can't see that here.

And here's my hat, all back in one piece! Doesn't it look a thousand times better than before? Seriously. It was such a big transformation. I don't think this picture does it justice. Once the hat was all together it was time to add some trimmings! I was somewhat inspired by the bonnet Lizzy Bennet wears when she and her aunt and uncle tour Pemberley in the 1995 BBC Pride and Prejudice. I tried to find a picture and failed. So you'll just have to go watch the movie if you are curious.

I made a ribbon rosette with my sheer, wired ribbon, added a black yo-yo and pinned on the vintage silver pin my grandma had given me for Christmas. The pin is just pinned to the yo-yo so I can take it off and wear it or put it on a different hat if I need to.

Because of the shape of the cap, I coudn't get the ribbon to lay flat against it. so I decided to pleat it instead. I think it adds some fun personality to the hat. After I sewed that on, I sewed on some ribbons to hold it under the chin, finagled the feather on there somehow, and then placed my rosette and I was done!!

A job well done, if I may say so myself. 
(Sorry the picture quality isn't better!)


Mommy said...

You may definitely say it was great. WOW! WOW and WOW!

Biz said...

I think it would really help me to see the final product if you modeled it. With ringlets in your hair.

Nice work Steffy!

Harriet Toothfighter said...

It's so cute! I need a hat like that.