Making a removable ribbon hat band – tutorial, Part 2

Hi, last week, I republished the post I wrote last summer for Britex Fabrics’ blog about making a removable ribbon hat band. That post showed my first design and discusses Petersham ribbon in detail. This is the second ribbon post I did for Britex. Though I added a couple of more photos and more words.

Here are the steps I took to make a second removable hat band for my old hat – combining a black-and-white striped Petersham ribbon and a solid black Petersham ribbon from Britex Fabrics. (Here’s a link to Petersham ribbons at Britex.)

 

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

I cut a 25-inch length of the striped and black ribbons for the crown of the hat and gently stretched and pressed them. (In my previous post, I had measured the circumference of the crown where the ribbon would go.) The striped ribbon wasn’t as pliable as the black ribbon so I required a little more tugging to get it to curve. (Please see my earlier post, which gets into pressing to make the Petersham ribbon curve. The ribbon won’t lay flat unless you slightly stretch the bottom edge.)

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon - pressing the ribbon

Next I pinned the solid black Petersham ribbon to the striped ribbon and used a ladder stitch to baste it in place.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

It’s called a ladder stitch because the other side looks like a ladder. The striped Petersham was a little slippery, which is why I used the ladder stitch rather than a running stitch to baste the ribbons together.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

Next I machine-stitched the ribbons together with two lines of stitching. I really like the look of the wide stripe in the middle!

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

Then I folded over each end of the ribbon twice, about 1/4 inch – just enough so that the length was a little less than the crown circumference of 23 inches. I’ll attach the ends to a piece of elastic to bridge the gap.

I machine-stitched the ends and then attached a 2-inch piece of wide elastic, securing it with a double row of stitches. One row of stitches follows the stitch line I made from sewing the ends of the ribbons. I used a longer piece than I needed because it makes it easier to sew. Then I just trimmed the excess after it was sewn.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

The elastic looks like this. The elastic is the key to making a removable ribbon hat band. It’s like a headband for your hat!

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

Now I needed to figure out how to hide the elastic. I liked the idea of a pleated rosette but the two ribbons together were rather thick so I opted to hand stitch and gather one side to make a flower – just like making a fabric yo-yo. I basted one side of the ribbon using small stitches, about 1/8 inch long.

IMG_4859How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

Then I pulled on the end of the thread with the needle, gathering the center. You can easily add more stitches to the ribbon if you want to made it even fuller.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

When you decide it’s enough, stitch the ribbon together at the center and secure it with a few extra stitches and knot it. Then cut the ribbon, leaving an extra 1/2 inch so you can sew the ends together and make it seem like it’s natural pleat in the flower. I made sure to match the stripes.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

Here’s the completed “flower.” You can barely tell where the two ribbon ends meet. It’s that fold on the bottom left.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

To secure the center gathering, I stitched through the gathers to make sure they would stay in place. Then I attached it to the hat band, just in front of the elastic. The back of the hatband looks like this. You can see that I trimmed the elastic down to an inch.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

And the completed hat band looks like this!

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

And here I am wearing the hat. I get a lot of compliments whenever I wear this hat. This ribbon completely changes the hat. The solid gray ribbon is a different look altogether. I need to make more ribbons for this hat!

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

You can play around with the placement of the embellishment and move it to the back or the front. Traditionally, the And that’s how you can easily make a removable ribbon hat band!

How to make a removeable ribbon hat band - Petersham ribbon, elastic

How to make a removable ribbon hat band – tutorial, Part 1

Hi, I wrote a three millinery tutorials as a guest blogger for Britex Fabrics over the summer. I’m going to repost them here over the next few days or so. I wrote two posts on how to make a removable ribbon hat band and a post on a lace hat. Here’s the first one, along with some additional information about Petersham ribbon and made a few minor changes.


I’ve had this hat for years and then the hat band began to show some unfortunate discoloration. It turns out the manufacturer used a double-sided adhesive to attach the hat band to the hat. The adhesive became greasy and leaked through the ribbon. A high quality hat would not use adhesive of any kind. I got it because I liked the shape and the small brim. It goes with a lot of my wardrobe. My solution was to remove the old hat band and the adhesive and make a removable replacement hat band. I decided to make two. This is the first one.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

My first step was to choose my Petersham ribbon. Petersham is a type of ribbon that has little notches or scallops on the edges that enable it to go around a curve (see photo below). You can manipulate Petersham so it goes around a curve and lays flat against the crown of the hat (the part that covers the head) as you’ll see in this tutorial. You could also be use Petersham along the edge of a hat brim to add a contrasting color.

Grosgrain ribbon looks similar to Petersham but the edges are straight and it isn’t as flexible as Petersham. However, if you find a 100 percent cotton grosgrain, you could get it to curve if you press it with a hot iron. But most grosgrain ribbon is polyester. It’s really best suited to straight edges.

A milliner I know refers to Petersham as grosgrain. Among hat makers, Petersham is sometimes called grosgrain but it’s millinery grosgrain.

Britex has a huge selection of Petersham in solid colors and even striped Petersham, which isn’t as common as the solids. Most of the Petersham they carry is 100 percent rayon.

I just saw on the website of Judith M Millinery Supply House that the U.S. factory that makes 50 percent cotton / 50 percent rayon has closed. So Judith M will gradually be running out. Bummer. You can see their current stock here. The company is letting people buy up to one 50-yard roll per customer but some ribbons are only available by the yard.

Judith M has found a European company that makes a 56 percent cotton / 44 percent rayon Petersham but says there “will be a significant price increase.” 🙁 I have to admit when I read that, I thought, I must buy some Petersham now! But I don’t make that many hats so it doesn’t really make sense to stockpile 50 yards of Petersham.) But I digress – back to the tutorial…

Here’s the ribbon I selected for the first hat band: A solid gray, 1.5 inch width of Petersham. (Note the scalloped edge.)

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

First I measured the crown of the hat at the widest part – about 23 inches there. Make sure your tape measure is at the same level around the widest part of the crown, where the ribbon will go. I moved it slightly up so you could see the measurement. Cut a length of ribbon the circumference of the crown plus two inches. You won’t need more than an inch or so extra but you can always trim the excess. I like to have a little extra for safety.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - measuring the crown - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

When you put the ribbon around the crown, it won’t lay flat because the crown is wider at the bottom. You will have a slight gap at the top of the ribbon, like this photo.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

To make your ribbon lie flat, you gently stretch the bottom edge of the ribbon as you press it with your steam iron. Start at the center and pull it to one side and then repeat on the other side in the opposite direction. You just want it to be slightly wider at the bottom, about 1/8 inch on each side of the ribbon. Don’t forget to use a press cloth to protect the ribbon. If you don’t it could get shiny. I used a scrap of organza as my press cloth.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - pressing the Petersham ribbon - tutorial, millinery

Now the ribbon will lay flat against the crown because of the slight stretch you gave it. Look, no gap!

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

I had two yards of the ribbon. The extra yard was for the embellishment that would cover where the hat band pieces join.

I usually hand stitch the hat band in place where the ribbon ends join and tack it to the hat. The next time you see a ribbon on a hat, check out how it’s attached. It’s usually tacked in place with a few stitches – or in the case of a cheap hat, some adhesive is used. To make a removable ribbon hat band, I decided to use elastic to join the ribbon ends. My initial idea was to attach a small piece of wide elastic to one end of the ribbon and use a hook and eye to attach the ends. To hide the hook and eye, I’d create an embellishment from the rest of the ribbon.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

I knew the ribbon ends needed to be sturdy to handle the stress of the hook and eye and elastic. With this in mind, I folded over each ribbon end twice so, about 5/8″ with each fold, sewing the folds in place. I attached the elastic to one side and hand sewed the hook to the elastic. In the photo above, I marked the ribbon for where the eye would go. But I discovered that the ribbon didn’t lie flat where the hook and eye attached. So I scrapped that idea and decided to just sew the ribbon ends to the wide elastic (a little over an inch wide) – like a headband.

I removed the hook and eye. Then I put the ribbon around the crown and used a marking pencil to mark where the other side of the ribbon ended on the elastic, and sewed it down. You can see the pencil mark below. I used dark thread so I could show the stitch lines in this tutorial. Normally I would use thread that matches the ribbon.

Tutorial- how to make a removable ribbon hat band - Petersham, millinery

The gap between the two ribbon ends is a little wider than I would like but that’s because I started out with the hook and eye idea. Note: The exposed elastic is slightly wider at the bottom to accommodate the curve.

Next up: The embellishment to hide the elastic and the stitch lines. It’s fun to play around with ribbon pleating to come up with a design. I didn’t want to do a traditional bow.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

I made some folds, held it in place with pins, and put it against the hat to see how it would look. You want something that is in proportion to the hat. I think this is a little too big and busy given the size of the hat. If the hat had a wider brim, this might work but it’s too much for this hat.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

So I removed one pleat on the left and made the pleats smaller so it looked like this. The center of the ribbon is about six inches of the ribbon tightly rolled. I used my finger to push up the ribbon so it sticks out at the top, which makes it stand out a little more.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

I hand stitched that center roll in place, sewing through all the pleats. Then I sewed the embellishment to the ribbon band, just in front of the elastic.

Tutorial: How to make a removable ribbon hat band - Petersham ribbon, millinery

And here’s the completed removable ribbon hat band on the hat.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

And here I am wearing the hat.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, millinery, Petersham ribbon

I really like this ribbon and I get compliments whenever I wear it. I love that I can switch ribbons on this hat. The other ribbon is a black-and-white striped one, which is a completely different look from this one. I’ll post that tutorial soon.

How to make a removable ribbon hat band - tutorial, Petersham ribbon, millinery, hats

My millinery tutorials for Britex Fabrics

Millinery tutorials for Britex Fabrics: How to make a lace hat + making a removable ribbon hatband - CSews.com

Hi, I wrote my first tutorials for Britex Fabrics blog this month! I decided to focus on millinery because I wanted to make a lace hat from a Patricia Underwood Vogue pattern (V8891), plus I wanted to replace a ribbon on an old hat. It was initially going to be one post but it got really long so Britex decided to break it up into three separate posts. Here are the links to those posts:

  1. Making a lace hat – I used a navy lace from Britex to make version D of Vogue pattern. (I made another Vogue pattern of hers, a while ago, which you can see here.)
  2. How to make a removable ribbon hat band – I show how to make Petersham ribbon go around a curve and  how to make a ribbon hat band that you can remove. Typically, ribbon hat bands are sewn to the hat. I designed one that uses a small piece of elastic so you can remove it.
  3. How to make a decorative removable ribbon hat band – This tutorial is nearly the same as the other one but it uses a striped ribbon and a solid black Petersham ribbon and a different design to hide the elastic.

If you follow my blog or my Instagram feed (@csews), you’ll know how much I love hats, which is why it was fun to write these tutorials. But it took a lot longer than I thought it would to put it all together so I hope take a moment to visit Britex Fabrics blog and read one of them. 🙂

Millinery tutorial: Making a lace hat with V8891 - C Sews for Britex Fabrics blog

Millinery tutorials: how to make a removable ribbon hat band - C Sews for Britex Fabrics blog
Millinery tutorial: How to make a removable hat band - C Sews for Britex Fabrics blog

Books on Making Hats

Sewn Hats, Design & Make Fashion Hats

I’ve made a few hats on my sewing machine using Vogue patterns or just experimenting without a pattern (see “Sewing a Patricia Underwood Hat“). But I want to get a better understanding of construction. So I bought a few books on making hats. They each offer different levels of hat-making skills. Here’s my brief run-down.

Liesl cloche by Mary Abreu (Confessions of a Craft Addict)
Liesl Cloche by Mary Abreu

Sewn Hats by Carla Hegeman Crim of The Scientific Seamstress, is just that – a book focused on hats you can sew on your machine. You’ll find nearly three dozen hat designs — everything from adorable baby bonnets and cloches to driving caps and fun party hats. The author includes nine of her own designs and the other are by a variety of contributors, including Kaari Meng of French General, Jennifer Paginelli of Sis Boom, Bari J. Ackerman of Bari J., and Kathy Mack of Pink Chalk Studio.

All the patterns are PDFs that you download from the publisher’s website (the URL is in the book). What’s cool about many of these hats is that most come in a wide range of sizes – from XXS (baby) to XL (adult) – and some are unisex. Plus there are plenty of great photos so you can see what the finished version looks like.

Delmar Driving Cap by Carla Crim (Scientific Seamstress)
Delmar Driving Cap by Carla Crim

I’ve picked out a least three hats I want to make, the Liesl Cloche by Mary Abreu of Confessions of the Craft Addict and the Raindrop Hat by Alexia Marcelle Abegg of Green Bee Patterns, for myself, and for my hubby, the Delmar Driving Cap by Carla Crim.

Fashion Hats (Design & Make) by British milliner and hat designer Karen Henriksen, covers techniques on making hats from felt, sinamay (a type of straw from a banana plant), straw, and fabric. Making these hats (except for the fabric ones) requires specific equipment such as specially formed wood blocks to shape your hat material. Just think of a wool hat with those indentations in the crown, sort of like a fedora – you get that shape from dampening the wool felt and shaping it over a dome crown block and then steaming and making the indentations with your fingers, holding them in place until they’re dry. hat instructions in Deisgn & Make Fashion HatsThere’s also lots of pinning involved with the brim. But I’m not ready to invest in any wood blocks just yet but I will try making some of the fabric hats.

Though patterns are not included, Chapter 8 has instructions on how to draft patterns for a wide-brimmed hat, a brimless hat, a cap with a peak, and a beret. It’ll be fun to draft hat patterns and understand how the pieces work together to form a hat. And you can sew those hats on your sewing machine!

Hats by Sarah Cant

Last but not least is Hats: Make Classic Hats and Headpieces in Fabric, Felt, and Straw by British couture milliner Sarah Cant. This book is full of step-by-step instructions on how to make shaped hats with hat blocks. Some of the designs are quite fancy, with ribbons, feathers, and flowers. This book is for people who want to block hats, a meticulous and time-intensive endeavor involving plenty of hand stitching, steaming, pinning, and ironing.

Velvet Coolie HatOne hat that took me aback was the so-called “Velvet Coolie.” Yikes – the term “coolie” is rather offensive. It had been used back in the 19th century to refer to Asian slaves or manual laborers but today it’s considered a racial slur (see the Wikipedia entry for Coolie). The book says: “The term coolie originally referred to the conical hats worn in East and Southeast Asia. In the west, the shape became popular with Dior’s iconic New Look movement in the late 1940s and into the 1950s.” Uh, OK but do we still need to use that term to refer to this hat shape?

I’ll be working on drafting my own hat patterns and will post about that experience (hopefully) next month. I promised my hubby that I’d make a hat for him.