An 18th Century Hat

Silk hats were popular during the 18th century and I decided I had to have one to go with my green/gold polonaise. Straw or chip hats were covered with silk and then decorated. This is a surprisingly easy process. I started with a straw hat from The Silly Sisters and covered it with China silk and decorated it with ruchings of my dress fabric and green ribbons.

First, I took a piece of silk large enough to fit over the crown and doubled it. Then I pinned around the crown until the silk was held tight. Using linen thread, I then sewed the silk down.

Once the silk was sewn down, I trimmed it.

Next, I took a piece of silk wide enough to cover the brim, both top and bottom, and the full length of the fabric. I then pleated it to the hat. I started with the crown, pinned the pleat there, and angled the pleat out a little and pinned it to the edge of the brim. When I ran out of fabric I stiched another length of fabric with a running stitch and continued pleating.

Here's what the hat looked like when everything was pinned into place.

Then, I sewed the silk down, catching the fabric both above and below the brim. This helps the next step, pleating the underside. This picture is what the hat looks like after it's been sewn.

Now, pleat the silk on the inside. The pleats on the edge should already be set, so just fit them to the crown. Pin.

Everything pinned. I had a lot of extra fabric :)

Everything pinned again. This time, I put the extra fabric in the crown.

Next, sew the pleats down around the crown. You can sew both the top and bottom pleats, saving a step.

The inside once the fabric has been sewn.

Since there was too much fabric, I trimmed it.

Once the fabric was fitted, I sewed it down inside the crown. I just sewed the fabric to itself until it held nicely. The only thing left was to trim the hat!

The 1770 Dress
1770 Dress Construction
The Masquerade

My Costumes
Eighteenth Century Home
Time to go home!