This hat was created in the millinery class I took in my last year of university in the Spring of 2020 during the COVID-19 lockdown. It is by far one of my favorite hats I've built thus far. 

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The Process 

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I used Denise Dreher's patterns from her book "From the Neck Up," and used 11 x 14 artist's drawing paper to create the paper patterns. 

Once I had the paper patterns, I then grabbed my heavyweight interfacing and traced the patterns and cut each piece out. 

Buckram is typically the standard for creating hats; however, as this was created at the height of COVID-19, I did not have access to the buckram supply we had at university. I opted for an alternative to experiment with -- heavyweight interfacing. 

Construction and Wire

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These next images shows the wire sewn along the edge of the interfacing, as well as the beginning stages of constructing the hat. 

After cutting the pieces out, the next step is to grab millinery wire and sew it along the edge of your interfacing. 19 gauge cotton covered wire is standard for millinery; however I could not find 19 gauge cotton covered millinery wire, so I opted for 18 gauge copper wire. In retrospect, I think a 16 gauge or 14 gauge would have been a better option as the 18 gauge was a bit flimsy.

Left Image -- shows tip and crown pinned in preparation to sew them together with a blanket stitch. See bottom left image for finished step.

Bottom Right Image -- shows brim with wire sewn along the edge 

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Mulling

Mulling your edges is important when building a hat. If you don't want the wire to easily be seen through your fabric you will eventually add to the hat, you will want to mull your edges. 

I purchased about two yards of baby flannel from my local Walmart and fabric glue to achieve this. I started off by cutting 1 inch strips of fabric along the bias until I had enough to cover both sides of the crown and the entire outer area of the brim. After this, I applied the strips with fabric glue and waited for the glue to dry. 

Covering the Inner Brim 

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For this, I took my brim paper pattern and utilized the slash and spread technique since I knew I would need to gather the fabric to create the ruching.  

Covering the Outer Brim and Crown 

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Left Image -- For the crown, I took my tip and sideband pieces and hand-stitched them onto the crown interfacing base. For the brim, I took my same brim pattern and utilized the same slash and spread technique to create the pleating along the outer brim. After this, I cut a strip on the bias about 1 ½” and proceeded to fold it over the edge of the brim to hide stitching and to give a crisp, clean look. After, I stabstitched the crown and brim together. 

Right Image -- shows the bias strip folded over the edge and pinned in preparation for sewing. 

Trimming and Ruffles 

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Left Image -- To hide the raw edge of the gathered fabric, I cut a piece double the length of where the brim and crown meet and cut it 1 ½” wide. I then gathered the strip and attached it, creating the ruffle shown above.

Right Image -- Once the pleats were sewn on, I folded the edge over to the inside brim about 1 inch. I then added a trim to the folded edge. 

The Lining

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I used the sideband and tip patterns to create the lining. I added 5/8” seam allowance around the tip and on all sides of the sideband. I then threadmarked the CB seam together so I could easily attach the tip. Once the tip was pinned I sewed it together to the sideband. I then placed the lining into the inside of the hat, and carefully pinned  it into place, folding the fabric in since I did not have grosgrain in a suitable color for a sweat band. I then removed the threadmarking in the CB seam. I then slipstitched the lining into place.

Final Touches 

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I hand-sewed the bow, assembled it, and sewed it onto the CB of the hat. I then created two strips of fabric out of the same lining and rushing fabric to hide the stitches from when I attached the crown and brim together. Lastly, I added the ruffle at the bottom of the bonnet by using the ruffle pattern and added a strip of ruffles to add extra detail.  

Final Product 

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