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Note: This workbook was made in 1984-85 as part of my my MA Project at California State University Fresno. It was intended as a text workbook for the Advanced Costume Construction class to use in the costume properties portion of the class. Certain portions of the text now border on the antique because of the date at which it was written, for example under "Materials" in 1985 a hot glue gun was an unusual craft supply, only obtainable at hardware stores. I hope you will bear with these small oddities and look to the basics of this work, intended as an introduction to several basic costume crafts processes. --TM
1910 LADY'S HAT OF BUCKRAM
Hats over the centuries have been made horsehair, leather, felt, and buckram. But it is the last material which offers the most flexibility for the milliner. As buckram is usually only used for the stable under-structure of cloth-covered hats, it can easily be covered with straw, leather, or felt in imitation of hats made out of those materials. Therefore, an ability to make buckram hats also allows you to "fake" leather, felt and straw hats for the stage. Project #8 teaches basic construction and covering of a buckram base which can be applied to any number of shapes of period headgear.
1910 LADY'S HAT OF BUCKRAM
P u r p o s e s:
To learn how to work with buckram and hat wire.
M a t e r i a l s :
8 yards heavy hat wire (floss covered wire aka 11millinery wire")
2/3 yard fabric to cover your hat (medium to lightweight fabric preferred)
1/2 yard hat lining fabric
1 yard felt (in a color that will not show-through the hat covering or lining)
1 yard heavy buckram
2 yards paper for patterns (fabric stores sell grid paper for this)
A. Copy pattern pieces onto pattern paper in full size. Cut out patterns. Use patterns to cut out buckram, felt, and fabric. Cut one each A, B and C out of buckram. Cut one piece each A, B, and C out of felt. Cut one each of D and E in covering fabric. Cut two of F in lining fabric.
Pattern Pieces 1 square = 1"B. Cut slash in buckram hat brim and overlap by 1 1/2". Zigzag by machine or whipstitch edges of overlap together by hand, as shown.
C. Reinforce buckram as shown by zigzagging hat wire to buckram pieces. On crown top and brim make sure the wire of the rings overlaps at least 2" at the joint. Put wires on the underside of brim.
D. Whipstitch the crown band to the crown top by hand. Overlap the excess and whipstitch edges of the overlap together, as shown.
E. Stitch two pieces of lining F. together as shown. Run a gathering stitch 1/2"from the straight edge of the piece as shown. Run a gathering stitch around crown cover E, 1/2" from the edge. A gathering stitch is a loose stitch, which, when one end stitch, which, when one end is pulled, gathers the fabric up into irregular folds.
F. PUT ON THE RESPIRATOR. MOVE TO A WELL VENTILATED AREA. Put a thin coat of "Barge" cement on one side of all the felt pieces. Put a thin coat of "Barge" on the outside of the buckram crown. When glue is tacky place felt crown top on crown, as shown. 2003 Note: I now recommend hot glue, or non-toxic contact cement instead of this glue, as a non-toxic substitute.
G. Coat crown sides with "Barge" cement on outside. Allow to get tacky. Wrap felt crown sides around buckram. Trim off excess, as shown. Attach felt side to buckram side with whip stitches, as shown.
H. Coat brim with "Barge" cement on the side wires are on. If wires are on top side, "pop" the brim inside out so that the wires are on the underside. Cut slit in felt padding. Smooth felt onto brim. Trim excess overlap. Make sure there are no lumps.
I. Put away "Barge" cement. Leave buckram frame in ventilated area to dry or speed dry with a hair dryer. Do not put lining onto hat until glue is no longer tacky or glue will bleed through. Remove respirator.
J. Gather crown over buckram crown. Stitch seam allowance to inside of crown with a whipstitch going through hat wire.
K. Sew un-gathered edges of brim lining to outside edge of brim underside. When you come around the circle there will be approximately 2" of extra fabric which should be folded under and stitched in place. Try to stitch as close to the edge as possible.
L. Pull gathering stitch on lining to fit hole in center of brim. Even out gathers and pin in place. From the top side of brim, fold seam allowance around, as shown. DO NOT PULL TOO TIGHT OR BRIM WILL BUCKLE. Whipstitch to topside of hole.
M. Lay brim top fabric over brim and adjust to lay flat with 6-8 pins stuck around the far edges of brim. This will require easing. DO NOT PULL TOO TIGHT OR BRIM WILL BUCKLE.
N. When top lays flat turn over brim and pin edges over underside edge in
0. Looking through the hole from the under side of brim, clip the seam allowance of the top fabric to edge, as shown. Flip the seam allowance between the brim cover and buckram. Whipstitch with thread matching the lining to the lining.
P. Center the crown onto the top of the brim as shown with a few pins. Position the oval of the crown going from front to back of the head, and the oval of the brim going from side to side.
Q. Whipstitch the crown to the fabric of the brim cover. Do not go through the buckram brim or the lining. Remove pins.
R. Trim with fabric, flowers, ribbons or feathers to your individual taste. Check This page for research images with period hat styles to adapt.
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