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.
Neat! I love the thought of you making paper hats late at night. It’s certainly a step up from the old newspaper-pirate hats.
I was feeling low last night and your comment on my sewing bloggers post really lightened me up considerably. Thank you for that. 🙂 I’m working on a short solo trip to NZ, that is, stashing away funds.
Aww…I’m glad it made you happier! And I’m super excited about the idea of you coming to NZ. Please say you will come to Wellington!
I was planning on it. Hoping for a little tourist-guidance. I won’t have saved up enough for a while (especially since I plan to do some fabric buying…) but it’s in the works.
oooh, neat! i love the idea of using the paper as a pattern 🙂
I wish I could sew. I would make these same types of clothes if I could! I would invite all my friends over for tea and I would even have a dress and hat for them all to wear for the occasion! I really am serious! 😉