I’ve always wished I could peek right into the 1920s, an era whose style can be very captivating. Flappers and Prohibition and the music and dancing… Family photos and stories passed down from that time are filled with interesting nuggets too. The Roaring 20s saw very important progress for women. I suppose if I was handed a time machine and offered a visit back, I’d probably start there.
Hats were all the rage then, especially ones adorned with feathers and jewelry. So we decided, my Little One and I, to see if we could make a rather quick hat, topped with a few feathers and a lot of simple glamour. And so we did.
- some pretty blue cotton fabric
- a paper pattern
- thread, scissors
- some wool for light stuffing
- peacock feathers
- pipe cleaners (our favorites are the lead-free, stainless steel ones)
- a flexible, plastic, fabric-covered headband
First we made a paper pattern in an oblong, rounded shape, and used it to trace around on the wrong side of the fabric (fabric which had been folded over with both “good” sides facing each other so that when we cut we would be cutting out both pieces together).
It’s best to leave yourself plenty of seam allowance when you cut, and also not to cut all the way around, which will ensure that both pieces stay lined up together.
Then we sewed nearly all the way around the piece on the machine. We left one end open – as we would need that for turning it inside out, putting in the pipe cleaners and fashioning the hat.
Next we turned the blue sewn piece inside out, and got our pipe cleaners ready.
Then we twisted pipe cleaners together to create a pipe cleaner shape that matched the oustide edge of the sewn blue hat piece. You may need to cut a pipe cleaner in half to get the right size.
Then we slid the pipe cleaners inside the hat piece, through the open end. We made a sort of sandwich, with the pipe cleaner oval tucked right at the edge of the blue hat piece, inside.
Next we secured the pipe cleaners where we wanted them – right at the edge. Using a long needle and some matching thread, we sewed carefully around the inside so that the pipe cleaners would stay put. The pipe cleaner edge allows you to shape the hat piece.
Next we finished the open edge by shaping the pipe cleaners and then tucking in the raw edges of the fabric to make a clean seam we sewed by hand. But before we did, we added some carded wool to add depth and shape to the hat.
Once we shaped the hat piece the way we wanted it, we placed it off center on a plastic, fabric-covered head band, and sewed it on from underneath.
Next we took out our peacock feathers, and chose a few to sit on the hat.
We sewed those carefully onto the hat, focussing on the hard quill sections.
And there you have it, a fabulous, feathered, vintage-inspired hat. A wonderful dress-up prop for pretend play. And for a child like mine who has a keen interest in history and historical fashion? A very quick craft they can help in! Happy hat-ting.