This month’s HSF/M challenge is “Accessorize.” In preparation for the first wearing of a new 1885 outfit next month, I made up a hat to match.
I chose to make a flowerpot shaped hat, a style that is quite common in the mid-1880s. You can see other examples of this style and others on my 1880s headwear Pinterest board.
The straw base of this hat has seen multiple previous shapes that failed in creating a look I was happy with. (You can see one of the old iterations in this previous post from 2012. And as a side note, I really need to wear the other clothes in that post again–it’s been awhile and they’re cute!) So I was happy to reblock the straw into a new shape (that I am very happy with!).
I made my hat block out of packing foam stuff that I masking taped around a lysol wipe container–make do with what you have, right? To begin, I wet the straw, then used a paintbrush to cover the straw with a layer of my sizing (a bit of elmer’s glue dissolved in water–no formula, I just winged it). In order to keep the straw in place while the hat was drying overnight I used yarn tied and pinned in strategic locations to keep everything in place. I wanted to use twine, but we’d run out, so I made do again. As you can see, there is a random seam in the middle of the hat crown, because in the past it had made sense to have a crown separate from a brim, but for this hat I needed some of the old brim to become the crown. (The seam was later covered by the tulle trimming.)
My inspiration for the trimming of this flowerpot hat is this fashion plate. The lady on the left happens to be wearing an outfit in the same colors as my outfit and the fashion plate is dated only one year later. I used materials I had on hand, but was inspired in general by her trim placement and scale.
Just the facts:
Fabric: A bit of blue silk shantung for binding and a length of 6″ wide tulle.
Year: c. 1885.
Notions: French crinoline for binding the straw edges, thread, millinery grosgrain for the inner hat band, elmer’s glue for sizing, and vintage millinery flowers.
How historically accurate is it?: As accurate as I can be using the research I’ve done and the materials that are available in 2015. It definitely passes Leimomi’s test of being recognizable in its own time.
Hours to complete: All hand sewn, so a few mostly on the brim binding. Then a whole lot of days debating over the placement of the flowers–actually sewing them on didn’t take very long.
First worn: Has not been worn yet, but I have plans to wear it in August.
Total cost: Free! All from the stash!