The first costume day of 2018 on Easter Monday is fast approaching. The new hats have worked out well and are now ready for the 2 April.
These are two of the several Elizabethan hats we’ve made since the New Year. We used the Elizabethan tall hat pattern in the Tudor Tailor for the one style, and resized the John Dunch hat pattern from the Tudor Child for the other. We were given some remnants of thick felt by our Conservation team which proved to be a very useful base material for the hats, and relatively easy to sew together by hand.. Some of the hats had extra wire attached to the edge of their brim.
The felt brim was then covered with top fabric before being attached to the felt crown, edge to edge. The top fabric crown was a large circle with three rows of gather stitches (which were later removed) which were pulled in and placed over the felt crown and pinned to the bottom of the crown to make sure it was tight over the top and the gathers evenly spread, before being sewn through the felt where it was pinned. The inside was covered with a lining. We found it a good idea to put a few stitches at the top of the lining in the crown to keep the lining in place and stop it falling down.
The join between brim and crown was covered by a decorative hat band of ribbon or braid. The hats were finished off with feathers, including ostrich feathers from a feather duster.
The John Dunch style hats consisted of 8 pieces of top fabric making up the crown. Instead of 8 pieces of felt for the base which is used in the original pattern we stretched the top fabric over the same sort of base used for the Elizabethan tall hat, which made it a bit easier to construct. The pink top fabric in the hat above was a right pain for fraying so the embroidered chain stitch over the top helps keep it in place as well as being decorative. The join of the panels was hidden by a covered button.
So on Monday we should find out who will be the first to wear them.