A looooooong time ago, when I first made Aline’s By the Seashore ensemble, I really fretted about the hat.
I tried to figure out what kind of hat it was, and how I was going to make it. And then I put it in the too-hard basket.
And then I saw this adorable little bonnet thingee at the Met:
And I said to myself “Hey, that’s really cute!”
And then I checked out the other views of the bonnet, and I said “Hey, that looks a lot like Aline’s hat”
And since it’s three years later, and I’ve acquired a lot more experience, or at least a lot more hubris, I thought, “Hey, I’ll give it a try.”
I had this brilliant idea (which, for once, did turn out to be brilliant) to make a mock-up in brown paper. Simpler than sewing one, and paper is already stiff.
It worked surprisingly well, and while my first mock-up wasn’t great, it really showed what I needed to tweak:
I cut down the crown a lot, and spread out the brim into a wider, deeper curve.
My next version was a little less Tyrolean peasant:
It didn’t look too bad on me either:
It looked good, or a least it looked good as far as I could tell with imperfect sideways glances late at night, so I cut it apart for pattern pieces.
After the buckram was cut out, I used it as the pattern to cut out pieces from the leftover scraps of linen-cotton that I used to make Aline’s jacket out of. I know, kinda matchy-matchy, but matchy-matchy is better than totally-looks-wrong-with-this. And besides, it finally got the last of that linen out of my massive scrap pile!
For the lining, I found a bit of darkest indigo-purple china silk ripped from some kimono lining. Mmmm…delicious!
The silk was so light and slippery that I actually pinned the buckram and linen to it, cut it out, and then sewed it, all without ever taking out the pins:
I used zig-zag stitches around all the edges instead of basting. They were easier and more forgiving than straight stitches.
With all my pieces cut and based, I sewed the top of the crown to the crown, finished the inside of the crown seam, and pinned the brim on:
More sculptural brim shots:
Once the brim was sewn on, I realised it was way too big and ‘Little House on the Prairie’ bonnet-y. So I cut off a huge piece of it:
And that’s that for now.
Tomorrow’s ‘Rate the Dress’, but I’ll be back to hatmaking on Wed with a post on finishing the hat, and trimming it.