Saturday, June 30, 2012

My Hat

I have been obsessed with this hat. Seriously.

 Ever since I watched North and South I've been trying to find this hat.

I mean, it's perfect for me! I have thick hair and I usually wear it up. I needed a hat that I could wear with my hair up. But no Margaret Hale hats were to be found...anywhere. And trust me, I really looked. I found other kinds of hats and bonnets that could be worn with hair up, but they weren't IT.
My opinion: What you can't find, you can create. 
I found this hat at Walmart for $8.00 and I figured it was perfect for experimenting on. (It didn't come with the white line. I did that. I forgot to take a 'before' shot.)

And it was the right color. I must say, I am ridiculously happy about how it turned out. I love my hat!

Here's what I did. 
I needed to get rid of the hat depth. So I measured roughly where I wanted the hat to sit, and I sewed around the hat on a very dense zig-zag stitch to make sure it wouldn't unravel when I, well, cut if off. :-)

 It was a triffle scary, chopping a perfectly respectable hat apart. I was thinking, "Well, here goes $8.00." LOL.

I then got rid of the extra.

 I took the brim and soked it, just for a minute, in some water with corn-starch in it, hoping to help it stiffen up. I then ironed it flat because the hat in "North and South" has a pretty stiff brim. 

Straw stays wet a long time though and I don't think wetting it helped with the stiffening up part. It made it easier to work with, if nothing else. The straw was bendy. Then I cleared out as much of the residual copped-off bit from between the brim and the ribbon part and pinned the shortened hat back in.

 (the ribbon started to come away from the brim. It had been hot-glued originally, so after I sewed the hat back on, I eased some hot glue back under the brim to make sure it was pretty secure.)
(It's funny how getting the brim whet made the hat look like it was two completely different colors.)
Sewing the hat back together was a little tricky. I broke a needle on the machine and had to search frantically through the sewing box for another...the last one.  My thread kept breaking. Every few inches it would just snap, and I don't know if the thread I was using was cheap or if the hat was just so rough that the thread just wore out. Anyway, sewing around the hat was hard. But lookie at the results! It worked! 

After it was done, I got heavy-duty starch and went to work. I ironed and starched and ironed and starched andironedandstarched! It stayed stiff for a while after that, but the starch doesn't last. My brim starts to go a tiny bit limp. but that's okay. 

Over all, this was a fairly easy project. It only took me about three hours to do it and on my first try, even. I think if I do this again, I'll be faster than that. I have a feeling that this wont be the only hat I over-haul. :-)
Well, I hope you enjoyed that. 
God Bless!


  1. Good job, Panda! Love the way it looks.

  2. Lovely Panda. It is remarkably like the original, and the photo shoot is lovely too.

  3. Pandaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!! I so want a hat like that! Like SOOOOO want one too.......(hint hint)! You did a tremendously good job, it looks so much like the original one from N and S, AND it looks adorable on you to boot! Give yourself a whopping good pat on the back girl! It is kinda funny, After you had done post on wanting a hat like that and having none to be found, I too went on a mission trying to find that perfect hat! You really should take a bow! :-)Gina