how to make a victorian hat

A Victorian hat, also known as a top hat or bowler hat, was a popular fashion accessory during the Victorian era (1837-1901). These hats were typically made of felt and had a wide brim, pinched crown, and a ribbon or band around the base. In this article, we will guide you through the process of making your own Victorian hat from scratch using simple materials and tools.

Before diving into the steps, let’s take a moment to understand why making a Victorian hat is such a great DIY project. Firstly, it allows you to immerse yourself in history and learn about the fashion trends of the time. Secondly, it gives you a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction when you successfully create something with your own hands. Lastly, it’s a fun way to add a personal touch to your wardrobe and stand out from the crowd.

Now that we have an understanding of why making a Victorian hat is a great project let’s get started!

Materials Needed:

To make a Victorian hat, you will need the following materials:

  • Fabric (such as silk or velvet): These fabrics were commonly used during the Victorian era and give your hat an authentic look. Opt for other materials like felt or tweed, but be aware of their texture and look.
  • Fabric scissors: These are necessary to cut out the fabric into the right shape and size.
  • Fabric glue or hot glue gun: You will need a glue that is specifically designed for fabrics to hold the fabric pieces together securely.

    * Hat form or cardboard ring:

    This is the base upon which you will shape your hat. It can be purchased online or made at home using cardboard.

  • Measuring tape: This is used to measure the fabric and ensure that it is cut to the right size.
  • Pencil or ruler: These are used to draw the circle around the hat form and mark the sewing line.
  • Sewing needle and thread: You will need a needle and thread to sew the fabric pieces together. If you don’t have a sewing machine, you can still make a Victorian hat by hand.

Steps to Make a Victorian Hat:

To make your own Victorian hat, follow these simple steps:

Step 1: Choose Your Fabric

Choose fabrics such as silk or velvet, which were commonly used during the Victorian era. Opt for other materials like felt or tweed but be aware of their texture and look. Consider the color of the fabric to complement your outfit.

Step 2: Cut Out the Fabric

Using a measuring tape and pencil, draw a circle around the hat form or cardboard ring, adding an extra inch or two for the seam allowance. Cut out the fabric carefully and make sure that the edges are straight and even.

Step 3: Fold the Fabric

Fold the fabric in half along the seam line to add thickness and durability to your hat. Create a funnel shape by cutting a small slit in the center of the fabric before folding it. This will allow air to circulate through the hat and keep you cool during hot weather.

Step 4: Glue the Fabric Together

Apply glue to the edges of the folded fabric and press them together firmly, smoothing out any wrinkles or bumps as you go along. Allow the glue to dry completely before moving on to the next step. Make sure that the edges are evenly spaced to prevent the hat from looking lopsided.

Step 5: Attach the Hat Form

Place the hat form on top of the folded fabric and trace a circle around it with a pencil or ruler. Sew around the circle, leaving an inch or two of space at the bottom for the seam allowance. Make sure that the stitches are evenly spaced to prevent the fabric from fraying.

Step 6: Finish Touches

Add finishing touches like a ribbon or bow to the brim, a feather or brooch to the top, or beads or other embellishments to add sparkle and personality. You can also add a band around the base of the hat using fabric glue for added security.

Tips for Success:

Here are some tips to ensure that your Victorian hat turns out perfect:

  • Use traditional fabrics such as silk and velvet for an authentic look.
  • Experiment with different shapes and designs for a unique piece that reflects your style.
  • Take your time and be patient with the process. Rushing through the steps can result in a poorly made hat that falls apart easily.
  • Consider using a sewing machine or hot glue gun with a nozzle for easier application.
  • Make sure that the edges of the fabric are evenly spaced to prevent the hat from looking lopsided.
  • Use fabric glue to attach any embellishments securely to the hat.

In Conclusion:

Making a Victorian hat is a fun and rewarding DIY project that requires fabric, tools, patience, and creativity. With these simple steps and tips, you can create a stunning piece of history that will be treasured for years to come. Whether you’re attending a formal event or just looking for a unique addition to your wardrobe, a Victorian hat is the perfect accessory to elevate your outfit.