Monday, August 1, 2011

Reinventing Vintage Hats

This funky straw hat that you are seeing from underneath, had already had some sort of reinvention by the time it came into my hands.  The brim had  been cut and hemmed so the it was very narrow on the back, wider on the sides and front so that it was shaped like the Edwardian bonnet I wanted it to be.  This is what the outside of the hat looked like.  I wanted to use antique lace, so I dug into my stash and found an antique lace collar that was almost the same wides as the brim on the three sides.  By gathering the 'inside' edge of the collar, I was able to shape it and sew in along the outside brim on the underneath side of the hat. I then sewed on antique lace streamers to the sides with a few bit of greenery under the brim, as is typical of a regency bonnet.  I really like how it turned out.

 This bonnet may not look like much, but it was perfect for my friend Robin who has a larger than the norm for women, head size.  This hat, from the 50's is a sort of 'perch on the top and hold it in place with wire clips on each side. (sorry they don't show.)
 I actually dyed the hat but only the trim turned a pale green, which was fine.  I added some antique milliner's netting across the top to soften the look of the hat, and folded in back around the front brim, pulling it tight on the sides, underneath and then used a hot glue gun to attach it inside.  Next I arranged a spray of cream colored, vintage looking, flowers on the hat gluing them over imperfections on the hat itself.

 Next I took some gold shimmery ribbon, to pick up the gold in her dress, and tied the streamers onto the wire side clips that would hold it to her head.  This was mainly so that if she didn't like the streamers she could just take them off.  The gold ribbon, however was perfect and made the confection match the dress very well. 

Before taking this last picture I had her tip the hat to the side.  I know that was not customary in the Regency period, but I thought it looked cute, perhaps a bit Scarlet O'Hara-ish.

The Jane Austen, Summer in the Garden event that we attended was great.  We were both glad that we had worn hats, as it really finished off our outfits very well.  Thanks for your interest in Hat Reinvention!!


  1. I was looking for a photo and searched "women sewing Regency" on Google. Your Face came up on row 4, you're famous! :-) Aspen