Monday, March 23, 2015

HSM for March: stashbusting a Regency hat

For the few of you asking what happened to the blue challenge in February, I am still working on it but the handwork is taking forever.....I do intend to finish the dress one day but February was unfortunately very optimistic for me.

The HSM challenge for the month March was Stashbusting.  Like almost every costumer I know, I have a ton of accumulated stuff.....bits of fabric that was perfect or cheap or maybe a bit of trim that was too much to throw away but too little for most projects.  Stashbusting is a good thing and something I need to do far more often as my stash is embarrassingly large.  In searching through my stuff I found a lovely piece of dupioni silk in forest green. This piece has been in my stash for years and is too small for anything other than a hat or a purse.  I have been in need of a new Regency hat so I decided on a quick Regency hat for my stash project.  Going through the rest of my stash, I found buckram, millinery wire, flannel, gold buttons, gold and green trim, a small piece of gold ribbon, green glass bead trim and forest green thread.  This project came entirely from my stash at hand.

 My inspirations for the shape were the Quickie Capote by Jen Thompson of Festive Attyre and the fashion plates webbed by Ginger from Scene in the Past on her flickr page.  However, I did make most of my hat up rather than copy any thing exactly simply based on personal preference.

Basically, I played around with paper until I got a brim shape and size I liked the look of. Once I had the size, I cut the brim out of 2 layers of millinery buckram and then machine stitched wire around the entire brim. 

The wire was stitched down using zig zag stitch and the edges of the wire were just overlapped by several inches as you can see in the photo.  The stitching of the wire was the only machine sewing I did on this hat.  I just really hate to stitch wire down by hand.

Since the wire would easily show through the thin silk, I added a flannel layer (called mulling) to give the silk a smooth line and hide the millinery wire.  The flannel is just hand stitched down with big stitches.  
 At this point I held the brim up to my head and measured the distance around the back of my head not covered by the brim.  For me this was 7 inches.  I needed this measurement to cut a small piece of the silk that could be used to bind the edge of the gathered back of the hat that would not be hidden by the brim.  I cut an 8 inch (1/2 inch added to each side for seam allowance) strip 2 inches wide to bind the back of the hat.

Hat back
The back of the hat is simply a huge circle gathered to fit the brim and the 8 inch strip of silk.  In my case, I have very long hair and often need to make extra room in my hats to accommodate my hair. If you are making your own hat a smaller circle may suffice.  Mine is 26 inches across. Since the silk is so thin, I flat lined it with some cotton muslin I had laying around to give it a bit of body.  The gathered circle was handstitched into the brim and the small strip of silk.  Then the brim lining was handstitched  down to hide the raw edges. 
Hat side
Hat front

The hat is decorated with some stash buttons and stash trim. All the decorations are handstitched onto the hat.  Although I needed lots of room for my hair, I felt the back of the hat could use some structure.  I took inspiration from Jen Thompson's Quickie Capote and gathered the very center of my big circle of fabric to make pleats.  I covered this gather with a button from my stash. 

The Challenge: Stashbusting

Fabric: green silk dupioni, white cotton muslin and cotton flannel
Pattern: none

Year: early 19th century Regency
Notions: thread, buttons, antique glass beaded trim, gold ribbon, gold and green braided trim, millinery buckram, millinery wire
How historically accurate is it? Maybe 70%? I made up the pattern and it is more likely historically inspired rather than historically accurate. Also, I am not sure if this grade of silk would have been used in the Regency period. 
Hours to complete: 15
First worn:  not yet
Total cost:  None, all of this was from my stash.
Stashed for how long? The trim and fabric have been stashed for at least 8 years.  The buttons are part of of a button stash passed onto me by my mother-in-law 16 years ago, so I have no idea how old they are!

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