Selfie with Blue Brimmed Sun Hat

A gentle Hat Attack, studio time

It’s studio time and also time to celebrate Hat Attack!

This sun hat was inspired by my childhood bedspread which had a blue, green and purple floral pattern of impressionist inspiration. Didn’t end up using purple and the floral motif wasn’t included. Instead, the hat has a different mood and reminds me of the waves of the sea, undulating up and down.  Evolution develops as one works on a project in the studio.

The hat is quite lightweight as it’s made with only one or two layers of wool and then a layer of hand dyed silk fabric. The brim is wired so that the hat has a sort of cloche shape…but not exactly.It functions fairly well as a sunhat giving shade to the neck.


Here is the basic layout where one can see the Merino wool and the silk fabric.


layout of felt sun hat in studio time


The felt on this hat was intentionally made quite thin so the hat would be comfortable to wear in warmer weather.  It is so thin that the light goes through it.

light shining through thin nunofelt hat


After much rubbing and rolling the fibers felted together to make a cone shaped hat.  Here is  picture of me trying to figure out which brim best suited the hat. I couldn’t decide whether it should be a Sou’wester brim (like Paddington the Bear), a Fedora or an organic shape….or maybe a cloche.  The hat is not yet wired but I need to shape it while the felt is damp to ‘set’ the brim.


Various brim turn ups for sun hat


After the felt dries, I hand sewed millinery wire to the brim. Then the wire is covered with a strip of bias cut, silk Dupioni fabric. The top side is sewn first and then flipped over and carefully hand sewn on the bottom of the brim. For a super, wonderful tutorial on how to do this please see Jan Wutkowski’s blog.


Millinery details. a closeup photo of sewing bias binding during studio time.


And here is the final hat! I’m still not sure if it needs a bit of ‘trim’ to better ‘move the eye’ and tie things together. Some milliners love to decorate their hats. They refer to it as icing the cake! During my studio time, I prefer the texture and pattern of the felt, along with the shape of the hat, to be the ornamentation.

Interestingly, I take a similar approach when baking cakes.  Chocolate ganache would be a yummy exception.


Selfie with Blue Brimmed Sun Hat


How do you like your hats and cakes? Are you a Less is More Person or Ice to you Die?

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Many thanks to Judith of Style Crone for encouraging the wearing of hats in her Hat Attack blogposts!

Please do check out her gorgeous turquoise blue hat. It is quite inspiring how the feathers are trimmed