A Summer Straw Cloche for Mom

I’ve been on a hatmaking binge, ever since I refashioned my black straw Gatsby hat. No hat in my house is safe now. Even the moth-eaten hat husks waiting to go out to the bin have been rescued, reverted, and blocked (and I will share those adventures shortly).

I’ve been wanting to make my mom a proper 1920s wide-brimmed straw hat for years. The twisted toyo (paper) capelines I recently acquired presented the perfect opportunity to get creative, even though I felt unsure of what I was doing. I had 5 ivory toyos to play with, so I could mess up, learn from it, and still be able to complete the project in time for Mom’s birthday.

The fun thing about going banzai on a hat form is that you learn that they can withstand just about anything. Each material has its own characteristics – the toyo reacts to steam and moisture by wilting, and it takes very little to make it pliable – but it’s *really* hard to actually ruin something unless you cut it up too much. (And even then…..those pieces are usable!)

Mom’s hat is a wide-brimmed cloche cut very short in the back, with the brim curving around the face and turning up at the top. It’s bound in ivory petersham, which was a little tricky to work on the flimsy, open-weave material, with a petersham band. I stiffened the whole thing lightly with gelatin.

I thought the hat looked quite blank, so I engaged my new ribbonwork concern, and made a big satin rose with some leaves. I’m very happy with how the whole thing turned out.

And Mom liked it too.

Watch out Mom, you might be getting a hat for Christmas, and Mother’s Day, and next year’s birthday too…. 🙂


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