A "Miss Fisher" 1920s Burgundy Cloche Hat

Feb 22, 2016 8 comments
It pales in comparison to the original, but I'm quite happy with my burgundy Miss Fisher hat, retro-cycled from a sad garage sale find.
I know it's February - practically Spring! - but I'm still working on my Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries wardrobe. I won't call it a "Fall Wardrobe" anymore...just an all-the-time wardrobe. :-)

So far I've made trousers, a blouse, a skirt, several cloche hats, and have bought some blouses too. I don't claim to have any hat-making expertise beyond the one enlightening class I took at Costume College a couple years ago, but I do enjoy the sculpty-organic craft with my limited skill and supplies.

Crusty garage sale hat for $1.00
I bought a crusty old burgundy wool hat at a garage sale some months ago, soaked it to revert it back to a basic hood, and only recently blocked it into shape. I knew it was destined to become my version of this epic Mandy Murphy hat:

Hat by Mandy Murphy, for Miss Fisher's Murder Mysteries
Of all the cloche hats I've made, this one was the most challenging because I wanted a nice arced brim, but needed to create it all-in-one with the crown.

Happily, it wasn't as tough as expected, just took some careful trimming and pressing. I was surprised that the quite-small hood was able to produce a large enough brim to mimic the inspiration hat rather well.

My version with the brim turned up
I bound the un-wired brim in a burgundy velvet and stitched felt circles onto the side, like the inspiration. Mine definitely has a home-made look (I should at some point upgrade my circles to nicer materials), but women often re-shaped and decorated their hats in the '20s, so I don't feel bad at all about it.

And the best part? It goes with all the other pieces, current and planned. I really love this mix-and-match aspect. It makes dressing so easy, but also interesting enough to not look like you're wearing the same thing every day!


  1. That looks great! will you be wearing an Miss Fisher ensemble to Costume College?

    1. I plan to for during the days. I've submitted a class around this wardrobe, so if they accept it, then definitely. :-)

    2. A call on this would be fun. I'm toying with the idea of a Mac costume during the day on Fri or Sat, I have pretty much all the pieces I'd need already in my wardrobe!

  2. I am bummed that I THREW OUT an old felt hat. If I'd seen what your soak could do, who knows what nice little cloche I might now own???
    Just brilliant, my friend!

  3. Stunning refashion, you are so good at reshaping hats! I need to buy a plain head-size block so I can have more fun with felt :) I just love the deco circles on this design <3

  4. I love it!!!! I need some help about how I put form at a 1930's hat. It is a little deforming, and I want to go back to it original style. Do you have a advice for me? Thanks

  5. Fantastic transformation. The colours here are so richly elegant and timelessly pretty. Awesome work, lovely Lauren!

    ♥ Jessica

  6. This is honestly so gorgeous, the colour is absolutely fabulous. There's a Miss Fisher costume exhibit near me and they're showcasing a whole bunch of the costumes from season 3 which have some of my favourite costumes :)


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