V250: Finished 1770s Parisian Chapeau

Sep 6, 2012 9 comments

Awhile ago I posted a little page of sketches for a late 1770s hat to go with my striped "Parisian Gown."  I went out and bought all the materials for it, but never got around to putting the thing together, until now.

I went with the design in the bottom left of my page of drawings, which came from 1778, Gallerie des Modes, found on the wonderful Dames a la Mode site.

Designs all taken from fashion plates and paintings
The hat in the bottom right served as inspiration
I got the straw hat at Michaels Crafts - the small brim with the large crown - and some ribbon and silk flowers for decoration.  The rest of it was put together with bits n' bobs of fabric, trims, and feathers I had in the stash.

Unlike the Gainsborough Hat from a few days ago, I didn't cover the straw hat, just decorated - infinitely less stressful!  The crown is covered in a large poof of dotted cotton batiste, and I used leftover strips of fabric from the Parisian Gown to add fluffles to the brim.

The puffed ribbon around the band isn't particularly great - it may come off at some point, to be replaced by something better.
Once the crown and brim materials were applied, I "basted" the brim into the shape I wanted - the sides curve down (a couple lines of strong thread across the inside), and the back flips up (an "X" holding that in place) - then sprayed the whole thing liberally with water.  When it was dry, I removed the stitches and the hat held the new shape.

A few more decorations - feathers, flowers stuck here and there, a bow - and it's done.  I can't wait to add this to a high hairstyle with lots of rolls out the back, a month from now in Colonial Williamsburg. :-)


  1. It's so beautiful! Everything matches perfectly and oh um I don't know what else to say because it's just plain gorgeous! :D

  2. It turned out perfectly !
    really really great.
    now i want to make my own hat too :P

    1. You should! Hat decorating is very creative and fun :-)

  3. OMG! It's a maximalist symphony of fabulousness!

  4. Wow, this is amazing! Another thing I will have to try making sometime when I have more time!

    1. Yes, add this sort of thing to your list of costume to-do. It's really fun, easy, and adds a nice accessory to your costume

  5. It's beautiful, I want to make a hat but I should make a dress for it to go with first!


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