One of my recent projects lined up with an HSF challenge! I’m excited! My new hat qualifies for the HSF #15: The Great Outdoors. I enjoy making hats, partially because it is always nice to keep my hat making skills in use so I don’t forget them and also because I like putting those skills I’m practicing and remembering to use. The more you do things, the better you do them and the easier it is to remember how to do them!
The crown of this hat was pulled over a wooden form and then liberally brushed with sizing multiple times before being removed. The brim is a circle, wired on the outside edge, covers with French elastic to keep the poky edge bits from being poky and then bound in bias cut sinamay. The brim is also well sized. There is an inner millinery grosgrain hat band which covers the join between the crown and brim. The exterior hat band is made from bias cut cotton scraps from my stash. The flowers are some of those I purchased awhile ago for super cheap.
Fabric: ½ yd or so of sinamay* yardage.
Year: c. 1920.
Notions: Millinery wire, French elastic (½” wide bias cut tricot), millinery grosgrain, cotton scraps, faux flowers, and thread.
How historically accurate?: Let’s go with 90%. Sinamay has been produced for hundreds of years and was certainly known and used in America by the early 20th century. I don’t know for certain that it was used for hats at that point, but I have encountered images and extant examples of hats which certainly look like they could have been made from sinamay or some other similar looking material. The style of the brim and trimmings are consistent with the variety I’ve found in 1920s hats.
Hours to complete: 5ish, spread over about 3 months.
First worn: To the Crane Estate Lawn Party in Ipswich, MA at the beginning of August.
Total cost: Entirely a stash project, which makes it free! I probably paid about $5 for the amount of sinamay I used about six years ago when I bought it, but I used such small bits of all of the other materials that it is pretty hard to estimate how much they cost.
* Sinamay is a natural fiber woven from the processed stalks of the abaca tree, a banana palm native to the Philippines. It is woven in a variety of weights which produce a variety of qualities from rough to very fine, but regardless of the weight and quality it is always very strong. Historically, it was used to make twine, rope, and cordage because of its strength and resistance to salt water. More recently, it has been used for specialty items such as the production of tea bags, floor mats, and furniture, as well as for clothing, and hats!
You can see some inspiration here, in this post about making my long handled parasol. And here are some more examples: c. 1920, c. 1925, and 1927. I’ve got more pictures of my whole ensemble, including my new long handled parasol, which will be coming soon!
15 thoughts on “HSF #15: 1920s Wide Brim Hat”
How cool! I’ve never heard of Sinamay before, but it looks like an awesome fiber for hats, and I love how yours turned out.
Thanks! I’m glad I could share new information with you. 🙂
That hat is gorgeous! Just lovely!!
Your hat is lovely! And it was nice to see you and Lauren at the lawn party. By the way, where can you purchase Sinamay? I’ve never heard of it before.
It was great to hear your voice and meet you in person. Now I can read your blog with your voice in mind! Glad I could share new information. 🙂 Here are two sources for sinamay. I ordered mine from the first source, which is where I usually order my hat making supplies.
Lovely! I can’t wait to see the whole outfit. 🙂
Oh, and what do you use for sizing in your hats? We haven’t done much with millinery, but the warnings of toxicity in most supplies have been a bit of a damper on delving into the hobby… 😛
I use the sizing that can be ordered here: http://www.hatsupply.com/sizingstiffeners.htm. Toxic problems are certainly a thing in millinery (Mad Hatter’s Disease got its name for a reason!), but if one takes adequate precautions and only makes hats on a limited basis rather than as full time employment, my feeling is that the risks are limited, and certainly no worse than they are when I use modern chemical dyes, which is also a thing that I do on a limited basis. I make sure to have adequate ventilation (or at least be in a big room rather than a small one) and make sure not to get the sizing on my skin. I usually apply it with a brush, which keeps it from being airborne (so I don’t wear a mask), but if I was to use it in spray form I would probably wear a mask so I wouldn’t be inhaling the particles. You can also buy shellac at hardware stores and use that mixed with denatured alcohol for sizing. Of course, sizing is flammable, so storing it in an appropriate location is important, too. But it works wonders for hat stiffening!
I love learning things from your blog about the items I see (and shoot 🙂 )in person! This hat is super fab.
How lovely and so neat that you made it from scratch!
Gorgeous hat! That downward curve of the brim makes it just period perfect!
SQUEEEE!!! I adore your new hat!! It is so light and airy and beautiful!! Yo uhave done a most fabulous job on it…and I love the sweet pink flowers! The shape of the brim is so 1920s perfect!!
Your hat is simply stunning! You look like you stepped out of a 1920s fashion magazine!
Thanks for all the lovely comments, everyone! 🙂