20th Century, What I wear

A little embellishment and some red lips

After fixing up my Little Bit of Red dress in September, of course I had to actually wear it at Art Deco Weekend this year, despite a few moments of wailing “but I’ve already worn it….”

Little bit of red dress

To doll it up a little, I added a quick, fun, embellished accessory, which is my ‘easy’ entry for the HSF Embellish challenge: a trimmed 1930s hat (I’m working on a more elaborate Embellish item too).

My hat started life as a woven fedora a bit like these.  I damped my hat, reshaped the crown and brim, and pinned up the back of the brim so the hat could fit down snuggly over my hair pinned up in a chignon.  Re-shaped, it looks like this:

The re-shaped hat

Even a minimalist like myself thought that was a bit plain, so embellishment time.  I found some midnight blue and red velvet ribbon at an op shop, and had a bag of buttons on me.  A bit of winding, pleating, and sewing later, I had a trimmed hat.

Trimmed hat

Just what the hat and dress needed!

Little bit of red dress & embellished hat

I like the trim, but I am in LOVE with the hat.  It went with all my dresses (you’ll see it re-trimmed for two more), was super comfortable, stayed in place in the briskest wind Napier could offer, and the shape is perfect for the early 1930s.  I’m now on the hunt for similar hats to reshape

Little bit of embellishment hat

I had such fun wearing it!  (Oh, and check out Rach’s dress, which she made in my Garden Party Frock class.)

Fountain girls

Fountain girls

Fountain girls

So yes, it’s super simple, it took me barely any time, but sometimes a little bit of embellishment does make all the difference.  I think I’m going to call this the Little Bit of Ribbon hat.

Little bit of ribbon hat

The Challenge:  #4  Embellish

Fabric:  None

Pattern:  None

Year:  ca.  1932

Notions: 30cm red velvet ribbon, 1m blue velvet ribbon, both rayon, one button

How historically accurate is it?  At the best, plausible.  The hat shape is correct, the materials aren’t, the trim materials are borderline.

Hours to complete:  1 hour (to reshape the hat), 5 minutes to trim.

First worn:  Sat 16 Feb at Napier’s Art Deco Weekend

Total cost:  $1.50 for the ribbons, hat was a gift, button was inherited.

Little bit of red and little bit of ribbon


  1. I love your hat, and I can’t believe you reshaped it!! That’s exciting news, because, potentially, I could make something similar!

    • Thank you! It’s really easy actually – I’ll be doing a tutorial in a couple of weeks as part of the HSF ‘Accessorise’ challenge

  2. Very pretty! I really like the shape of the red bow and the contrast with the blue.

  3. What a lovely outfit and the hat just sets it off. Really interesting to read about the reshaping, I probably wouldn’t have thought of that.

  4. I do love a bit of impromptu make and mend decorating, especially the cheap kind. I love the hat, thanks for the idea, I will keep an eye out for those little straw fedoras. I have a feeling I’ve seen some like that about

    • They are super common – I saw them all the time, until, of course, I figured out how fantastic they work and went looking for them.

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