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Monday, June 27, 2011

Patience and a sombrero makeover

I've been wanting to make an 18th century hat for a while but balked a bit at the price plus postage of those nice hat blanks I've seen online. I figured I could find an ordinary straw hat and have a play around with it. However in true form, while I was looking I couldn't find anything even remotely suitable. It was only when I stopped looking that one turned up! 
I found this large brimmed sombrero at the charity shop on Saturday for $4. 

First of all I unpicked some of the crown to see how good the straw was - I wasn't sure how well it would stand up to being unpicked and resewn. It turned out to be fine. So I cut off the tall crown and proceeded to sew a flat piece for the new low crown.
Fortunately I had some milliner's needles bought for just such a project. I took my time and sprayed the straw with water and put a weight on it to make it nice and flat.  I also turn the main part inside out because the brim was a bit floppy. Then once my little round flat piece was the size I needed I pinned it into place on the open crown.
Have I ever sewn a hat before - no. Was it hard? No. 
Sewing the new flat panel in was the most fiddly.  It just took a little time and I even reused the thread I unpicked from the hat. It was still strong so it went back into the hat. Ultimate recycling!  
Now instead of paying around $40, I have a 24 inch wide low crowned straw hat for $4 and it's ready for styling. 
I'm going through my stash for suitable trimmings and I'll post on that shortly!

2 comments:

  1. Brilliant!

    Mary
    http://anhistoricallady.blogspot.com

    ReplyDelete
  2. Why thankyou Ma'am! I'm happy with the result so far!

    ReplyDelete