May 12, 2015


If you've just found my blog, welcome! I hope you won't be disappointed. Spectacular structured and draped dresses are part of my repertoire but most of the time, I make more ordinary things. 
Today, I thought I'd show you some hats I finished just before I started to work on the party dress (but I didn't get a chance to take pictures straight away).

There's the cut-and-sew fedora for which I took the pattern from a RTW hat. I had plenty of criticism on it in my earlier post but it looks really good in the picture. Better than in real life, I think.
It's definitely worth trying to make an improved version of this one.

Of course, you have already seen the hat I made to go with my suit. I just didn't include a close-up in that post, nor a clear picture of the back, which has the decoration. So here it is.

And then there's a hat you haven't seen yet. When I went to the haberdashery store to get some supplies for the first hat, I also found rolls of thick felt. Synthetic stuff but it still seemed rather suitable for hats. I bought some of it in a lovely bright turquoise colour and decided to use it for a 1920's cloche.

I used this design from Gracieuse magazine

The pattern looks like this. You were supposed to use something like wool jersey which some kind of millinery net to support the hat shape. I just used the felt, which is pretty thick, and didn't add the scarf. 
Making the crown from one piece with five points is very different to anything I've seen in more modern cloche patterns but it seems to have been the standard method according to Gracieuse in the 1920's. I've found three other examples which were constructed in the same way. 
I had to enlarge the whole thing by about 2 cm to make it fit my head.

Because the felt was so thick, I decided to cut the pieces without seam allowance and sew them edge to edge by hand. I tried to smooth the shape a bit more by steaming the seams with my iron but that didn't work. This isn't wool which can be shaped by heat and steam but a synthetic fiber. Ironing only made the felt softer so I stopped quickly.

I kind of like the result. It's a fun hat and, like all cloches, practical in that it can't be blown of your head quite so easily. It doesn't really look like a design that's about 90 years old though... but it really is. 

And that also makes it another entry for this year's Vintage Sewing Pattern Pledge. The third one. Or maybe the fourth. I'm not sure whether or not the first hat counts as well. That one was made from a pattern which I bought new several years ago and although all the hats in it have an obvious retro flair, Vogue doesn't call it a vintage style pattern (although this pattern may have been printed before vintage was very popular, I think I've had it for about 7 years). 
Either way, my progress this year is a lot faster than it was last year. A (pre-New Look) 1940's dress or another go at a 1930's design should be next.


  1. Oh I LOVE that blue cloche!! Kimbersew

  2. I love the cloche best. It's very becoming and not blowing off in the wind is a definite plus in a hat.

  3. I love the cloche best. It's very becoming and not blowing off in the wind is a definite plus in a hat.