In part one of this tutorial, you learned the
basic constructions for a flat crowned, wide brimmed hat. Now
comes the fun part. Your decorations and trimmings can be elaborate
or simple, colorful or monochromatic, modern or Victorian. You can
do a very tailored look using bunka and minimal trims, or a fussy
Victorian look with flowers, feathers, lace, ribbons or just about
anything else your imagination can come up with!
Here are a few basic techniques to get you started.
Pleated Ribbon Trim
||My bowmaking tool is simply a needle placed into a wooden
handle. The length of the needle determines the size of the
bow. The loops of the bow will be 1/2 as long as the length
of the ribbon, and I have made these tools in a variety of sizes
so that I can make my bows any size I need.
||Put 7mm piece of silk ribbon over the needle, leaving a tail if
desired. Put a tiny drop of glue on the ribbon next to the
||Hold the ribbon down on the tool, and pull the long end of the
ribbon up the full length of the needle tool, then insert the
needle into the ribbon and push down into the glue, forming a loop.
||Turn your tool slightly, and repeat, making another loop.
||Continue in this manner till your bow is full and fluffy.
On the last loop, measure the ribbon against the needle, and cut
ribbon just beyond this. Turn under the end of the ribbon
before pushing the needle thru to hide the end of the ribbon
inside this last loop.
||Add ribbon tails to your bow if desired. Be sure to cut
the ends of the tail at an angle, or fishtail them so that they
||Pleat very wide silk ribbon and cover the entire underside of
||Fill in areas between silk ribbon roses with lots of ribbon
loops. Just apply glue to the area, and use your needle tool
to make loops and push into glue. Remember to turn the
ribbon to different angles as you work, so that your loops won't
all be facing the same direction. Stop occasionally and add
a rose or two, and a leaf, and keep looping. This is easy,
and oh so elegant.
Tulle, netting, bridal illusion.... no matter what you
call it, it is a favorite fabric for trimming a hat. Look for the
finest tulle you can find, usually in the bridal section of your fabric
store. Make sure that it is soft and pliable. And since it
usually comes 108" wide, an eighth of a yard will last you a long,
||Make fluffy tulle bows, using a length of tulle 1" x
12". Fold long raw edges to inside, form loops and tack
center of bow with needle and thread. Spread netting in
loops out till full and fluffy.
You can also gather up tulle and wrap it around the crown of
your hat for a fluffy hatband.
||Use bunka or tiny braid to accent the edges of your
brim, or to outline the top of a crown.
||Use bunka to cover the area between the brim and
Ladies hats have been decorated with everything
imaginable at one time or another. Silk flowers of every type,
velvet blossoms, and fruits, even elaborate feathered birds were all
used to embellish hats. Remember, in Victorian times, a ladies hat
made more than just a "fashion" statement. A woman's hat
reflected her good taste and breeding, her fashion savvy, her age,
social position, and even her husband's wealth. The more elegant
and elaborate, the better. All within good taste, of course.
Ribbon roses are a traditional embellishment for
miniature costumes and hats. They are lovely and easy to
make. For those of you who haven't made miniature ribbon roses,
you will need a rose tool, 4 mm wide silk ribbon, and glue in a syringe
Roses can be made with solid colored ribbon, or a
varigated or ombre (shaded) ribbon can be used for a multi-color effect
||Insert the end of your ribbon thru the eye in the tool, leaving
a 1/4" length extending beyond the eye. Apply a dot of
glue to the end of the ribbon and fold over, encasing the tool in
the ribbon loop.
||Twist the tool clockwise 3-4 times, wrapping the ribbon around
the tool. Place a small dot of glue at the base of the wound
ribbon, and twist, anchoring the long end of your ribbon into the
||Twist your ribbon 1 turn, making a fold, and bring the ribbon
around, creating a petal. Anchor this petal with a small dot
of glue. Be sure to place the glue at the base of your rose,
so that the petals will remain soft and loose.
||Twist and glue ribbon again, forming another petal.
||Continue in this manner until you are satisfied with your rose.
||Anchor the end of the ribbon with a dot of glue, and trim.
Gently slide your lovely rose off the tool, and allow to
||When your rose is dry, you can trim off the pointed bottom
portion, being careful not to trim away too much, or your rose
will fall apart
||Always a traditional hat adornment. In victorian times,
feathers were dyed, cleaned, and even recycled into plume
||To curl a feather, use sharp scissors, and a light touch.
You can curl the entire feather by running the spine of the
feather against the scissor blade in the same way you curl ribbon
Feathers can also be curled by wraping around a round object and
holding over steam.
||To get an ostrich plume look, separate sections of the feather,
and curl them under, using the scissors in the same manner as when
curling spine of feather. Use gentle pressure, or you will
remove all of the fluff!
||Find tiny colorful feathers to cover an entire brim. Make
sure that the feathers you choose are small, and well matched in
size and color.
Use only a small bit of glue on the underside spine of the
feather, and position onto the hat crown. DO NOT coat the
entire undersurface of the feather. They stop looking like
feathers when they are all stuck together with glue!
||Tiny handmade enamel look wire edge flowers
||These daisies were made using a paper punch, and white paper.
The edges of the petals of are colored with water colors.
Center is from a glass head pin, painted to match. Entire
flower is then coated with modpodge.
||These tiny violets were made using sculpy and a small flower
punch. Punch out flower, shape into a cupped form, and
bake. Then paint centers with bright yellow, and seal with
No Hole Beads
||Red no-hole beads on fine wire make these tiny berries.
Just dip the end of the wire into glue, then dip into beads, and
gently coax the beads into shape. Allow to dry, then coat
||Pretty sprays of pearl no hole beads on wire look like baby's
breath among the ribbon roses.
Fruits and Veggies Anyone?
| Model tiny fruits
from sculpey or fimo and bake. Then, use flocking to
replicate those gorgeous Victorian velvet fruit and vegetable hat
|Birds were a very popular hat ornament in Victorian times.
Some were real, preserved birds, others used real plumage on paper
mache forms. Use a tiny plastic dove, found in the wedding
area of your craft store, and cover with feathers.
Next Lesson... Molded Crowns and Wired Brims.
See You Then!
Copyright: Cynthia Howe, 2002
Thank you for visiting my site,
and taking an interest in my class.
Just as a gentle reminder,
This class has been designed
to help you learn the basics of hat making.
Please visit this site as often as you like,
to help you with your hat making skills.
This class, photos, & instructions are
copy-writed & are not to be used
as a tutorial of your own.