Before you assemble your pieces it is a good idea to check that they will all
fit together properly. Yes, the pattern is correct, but in this small
scale, the thickness of the fabric you have chosen can make a big difference in
how well some of these parts will fit together. Always test fit before gluing.
||Glue the ends of your brim pieces together. Place a small amount of glue on the tab
extension on your brim piece, then overlap the finished end, and glue into
place. You will be able to feel when the cardstock base edges meet.
Your brim now has a nice curved shape. Repeat this step for the remaining
brim, but remember that this one will be a lining, so it needs to be concave
instead of convex, so that you will have a pair! (Now you know what that
little tab was for, right?)
||Hold your crown piece together at the ends, forming a circle, overlapping the
tab in the same way you did when gluing the crown. Slip this piece into
the center of the brim and check to see that it will fit. If you have used
a heavy fabric, the ends may overlap beyond the tab area. You don't
want this extra bulk. If this is the case, make a note of how much the
cardstock is overlapping. Peel a small portion of your fabric off
the cardstock, and trim the length of the cardstock as necessary, and reglue the
fabric. You should never have to trim more than 1/8" or so, unless
you are using fabric that is really heavy.
||When you are satisfied that your crown fits your brim nicely, glue the ends
of the crown together, overlapping the finished end of the brim over the tab.
||Now test fit your crown lining in the same manner, holding the ends
together with tab overlapped, and fitting it inside the crown. Since
this is the lining, the fabric needs to be facing the inside of the circle this
time. If everything fits nicely, remove lining, coat the inside of the crown
with a thin layer of glue, and glue lining into place, matching the
seams of both pieces.
||Now it is time to attach your lined crown to your brim
piece. Run a Very small bead of glue around the bottom outer edge of the
crown. Slide your brim down over the top of the crown till the bottom of
the crown and the underside of the brim are even. Be sure to match up the
seams of your crown and brim. There is no way to avoid seams, but they are
much less obvious if they are lined up neatly.
||Seat your crown piece so that the bottom edge extends just
slightly to allow for the thickness of the brim lining.
At this point, you will need to make some decisions about how
you want your finished hat to look.
If you are making a very tailored style, you can now glue your
brim lining into place, and then run a length of bunka around the brim edge to
cover the joint.
I prefer to use a gathered ruffle of either silk ribbon or
lace around the brim, and the best way to apply it is to place it between the
brim and the brim lining. This way it conceals the joint, is well
anchored, and the glued edges of the trim are concealed between the
layers. The steps below will show how I apply the gathered ribbon
trim. You can substitute fine cotton laces, and apply in the same manner,
by drawing up the header thread in the lace, then gluing around the outer edge
of the crown.
||Working in small sections, apply a line of glue to the
outer edge of the brim. Using your needle tool, anchor the end of
the ribbon into the glue, with the end of the ribbon facing the center
of the hat.
Move your needle tool down the length of your ribbon 1/8" or so,
and push the bulk of the ribbon into the glue. Reposition your
needle tool again, and push, making gathers in the ribbon and anchoring
into the glue simultaneously.
You can always pull a thread in the ribbon to gather, but I find this
method works better for me. Be sure to keep just the edge of
the ribbon in the glue so that your ruffle will be the same width all
the way around the brim.
||Working small sections at a time, apply ribbon around the
entire brim, bringing the end of the ribbon again toward the center of
the hat and gluing to anchor. Trim.
||Apply a thin coat of glue over the entire surface of the
brim lining. Glue lining into place, matching the seams of both
the brim and lining.
||Test fit your tip piece to see if any adjustments need to
be made. It should fit snugly into the top of the crown, and rest
on top of the crown lining. If it is too large, carefully trim,
keeping the circle nice and round.
||Run a tiny bead of glue inside the crown, on the top of
the crown lining. Place the tip piece in place.
That's it! Now the fun begins! Your basic hat can
be decorated in unlimited ways. The Part 2 of this tutorial will be
all about trimmings and embellishments.
Here are some pictures of this basic hat decorated in
With the construction techniques you have just learned, you
can make any style hat you desire. The slightest alteration in the shape
of any of the pieces will dramatically change the style of your hat. Even
the styles below are just a brim, crown and tip, with the shapes of each piece
changed to create the appropriate style.
Part 3, you will learn to wire a brim, and how to make a molded crown. The
black hat above uses a wired brim, and the hats below all have molded crowns.
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