Lace Hat – Vogue pattern V8891 by Patricia Underwood

I bought a few Vogue patterns earlier this year, including this Patricia Underwood pattern for a lace hat – V8891. If you’re new to my blog, you may not know that I have a big hat collection and I usually never leave home without wearing one. I’ve made a few hats on my sewing machine and I’ve taken a few millinery classes, learning about embellishing hats, covering buckram hat frames with fabric, and making a shaped buckram hat.

Patricia Underwood Vogue pattern 8891

I got this pattern because I really liked versions A and D. C is also cute. Not long after I got the pattern I was asked to do a guest post on Britex Fabrics blog. So I immediately thought, “I’ll make a lace hat and blog about it!” I ended up writing three millinery posts, with the first guest post was about making this lace hat and the other two were about making removable ribbon hat bands, which I reposted on my blog. (Here’s part 1  and part 2.)

Below is most of what appeared in my guest post for Britex, with a little more information about the millinery wire.

The materials

  • Millinery wire
  • Thread
  • Lace fabric
  • Tulle
  • Petersham Ribbon (not pictured)

Hat materials

The lace, tulle and millinery wire can all be purchased at Britex Fabrics. I chose a navy lace because it’s versatile and can go with a dress or jeans. But this lace has some stretch to it and the tulle has no stretch, which is not ideal but I didn’t really have any problems sewing them together. The tulle is a contrasting color so you can see the lace. If you get a matching color, the lace will just blend in and you won’t see the design of the lace.

I’ll be using a couple of hat terms: 1. The crown, the part of a hat that covers the head. 2. The brim, which attaches to the crown. Brims can be small like the version D or wide, such as version E of this pattern. The millinery wire is inserted in the edge of the brim and that’s what makes it stand out from the crown.

There are only three pattern pieces for this lace hat – two pieces make up the crown and then there’s the brim. The tulle is the lining and interfacing for this hat. Because tulle is semi-transparent and not very stiff, the pattern has you cut each two of each pattern piece. I traced size L rather than cutting out the pattern pieces. This means that if I want to make a hat for a friend with a smaller head, I can trace that size from the original pattern pieces.

You can use pins or pattern weights to hold the pattern pieces in place. This is a synthetic lace so I wasn’t worried about the pins damaging the lace. If you use a delicate lace, you probably want to use pattern weights.

I used scissors to cut this piece because I have more control on the curve.

Crown top of lace hat Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

And here’s the side of the crown – cut on the fold.

Crown pattern piece - lace hat Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

The lace hat brim is also cut on the fold. I used pattern weights on these two pieces and cut them with my rotary cutter. The curve of these pattern pieces is easier to handle with a rotary cutter. You can use scissors or a rotary cutter to cut lace; it all depends on your personal preference and what you need to cut.

Brim of lace hat Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

I cut two pieces of the three pattern pieces from the tulle. For the crown, one piece of tulle acts as the interfacing and the other is the lining. The brim uses both pieces of tulle on the inside.

Warning: There’s a LOT of pinning and basting for this pattern. You pin the tulle pattern piece to the lace piece for the crown (top and side) and baste them together before you sew. You pin and baste each pattern piece together. I used a safety pin to mark the center front of the crown. The seam is in the center back.

I used a universal Schmetz needle 70/10 and a stitch length of 2. I didn’t have any experience machine sewing lace – only hand sewing it – but this was easy to sew. I didn’t use a special needle and it was fine. 😉

Lace crown piece - marking center with safety pin - lace hat Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

I won’t go into every step because you can just follow the pattern instructions. But there was one part that was tricky to figure out, even with the instructions. After you’ve stitched the crown together and sewn the tulle lining (steps 1-8), you pin the lining of the crown to the lace crown wrong sides together. It looks like this.

Attaching tulle lining to lace hat - Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

The you turn it right side out and you’re ready to attach the brim of the lace hat.

You cut two pieces of the brim from the lace for the top and bottom of it, plus two pieces of tulle, which go on the inside. After you sew the lace pieces right sides together (tulle is basted to the inside) you turn it inside out. This donut shape is the brim, which will be stitched to the crown after you’ve carefully topstitched the edge of the brim 1/4″ from the edge. The space between the topstitching and edge of the brim becomes the channel to insert the millinery wire. The seam allowance gets trimmed to 1/8″.

Brim of lace hat - Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

Attaching brim to crown (washi tape is my seam guide). You can sort of see the topstitching on the brim (to left of foot).

Sewing brim to crown of lace hat Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

In this photo below, the brim is attached to the crown and I’m inserting the black millinery wire through the brim edge. I just poked it through the center back seam and shoved it through the small space between the outer seam edge and the topstitching Lace won’t unravel so it was fine to poke a hole through it. Other laces may have larger openings in the design so you won’t need to create a hole. In some spots my topstitching got a little too close to the edge, which made it hard to push the millinery wire through. So I just shoved it through.

Inserting millinery wire in brim of lace hat Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

The instructions don’t say anything about what you do with the ends of the wire. A milliner would overlap the ends and bind them together with wire or use a joiner to attach the ends. But you can’t do that unless you remove the topstitching. So I just cut the wire so the ends would overlap about a half-inch. I’m sure my millinery teachers would be appalled at the lack of binding/joining of the wire ends but it would have been difficult to remove the topstitching.

The wire makes the brim stand out from the crown. Lace isn’t very stiff so the hat has no shape to it when it’s not on. It’s just a floppy circle.

I’m holding the lace hat inside out here. You can see the tulle lining and the crown of the lace hat is only held up by my hand. Otherwise, it would just collapse. Be careful when you handle the millinery wire or you will have an uneven brim. You can bend it back in shape.

Lace hat - wrong side out - Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

In this photo, you can see that the seam allowances are on the outside where the crown and brim meet. But it gets covered by a ribbon. The seam allowance is trimmed to 1/8″.

Petersham ribbon for lace hat Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

Before I attached the Petersham ribbon, I steamed and stretched it slightly so it would lay flat on the crown. This step is not in the pattern instructions. Petersham ribbon has little notches on both edges, which lets you stretch it around a curve – unlike grosgrain ribbon, which has straight edges and won’t stretch – unless you have 100 percent cotton grosgrain. I’ve also heard hat makers refer to Petersham ribbon as grosgrain – but it’s millinery grosgrain (Petersham). Britex carries a wide range of Petersham ribbons.

On most hats the crown is widest around the forehead and gets more narrow as you go up. This means that a ribbon won’t lay flat against the crown. If you have a pattern piece as we do here, you can use it as your guide to stretch the ribbon. Line up the ribbon with the bottom of the pattern piece – add an extra inch so you can overlap the ribbon at the center back –  and pin the top of the ribbon in place, making sure it lies flat.

Making Petersham ribbon go around a curve

Then put your iron on a steam setting – not too hot because most Petersham ribbon is rayon, then gently pull on the bottom edge of the ribbon and press. Use  press cloth to protect the ribbon. I used a scrap of silk organza as my press cloth. (See Part 2 of this post for instructions on steaming a curve in Petersham without a pattern piece.)

Pressing Petersham ribbon using organza as press cloth

Then I pinned the ribbon to the crown of the hat to hold it in place before I stitched the back. Use Fray Check or Fray Block on the ends. Fray check dries a bit stiff and hard. It fine on ribbon that isn’t going to touch your skin. Fray block isn’t as thick so I prefer that when I’m using it on a garment.

Using Fray Check for raw edge of ribbon

These quilting pins are a bit large so don’t leave them in for long because they can damage the ribbon. Or use slender pins but again, don’t leave them in for a long period of time or you may end up with visible holes in the ribbon.

Pin Petersham ribbon to brim

I lined up the ribbon with the center back fold. The place where the ribbon meets will be covered by another piece of ribbon. The pattern instructs you to fold the ribbon at the top so it forms a point, like so…

Pressing Petersham ribbon

… and sew it to the center back of the ribbon band.

Ribbon in back of hat

And here I am wearing the lace hat. As you can see the ribbon lies flat against the crown – and it goes well with my Pilvi Coat, which I blogged about here. (The pattern is from the book Lotta Jansdotter Everyday Style, affiliate link).

Finished lace hat - Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

And the back view…

Back view of finished lace hat - Vogue 8891 - V8891 sewing pattern

Have you made any hats on your sewing machine?

Making a lace hat with Vogue sewing pattern V8891 - by Patricia Underwood

Sewing a Patricia Underwood Vogue Hat

Patricia Underwood design

The first hat I made was for cold winters in upstate New York where I grew up. Using some fake sheepskin fabric, I made a hat with ear flaps. I think I was inspired by some Russian hats I’d seen. I didn’t have a pattern. I just cut and sewed. I’m not sure what happened to that hat, which I made it when I was in high school (oh so long ago).

The second hat I ever made was after I graduated from college. I was inspired by a picture in a magazine. You can read about that experience in this post, “The Red Velvet Hat.”

I took a long hiatus from making hats – until I began sewing again and I wanted to tackle making a hat from a pattern. I flipped through many pattern books at Joann Fabric and Craft before deciding on V8440, which has some great hats by Patricia Underwood.

To make the Patricia Underwood hat, I used an upholstery sample I found for a couple of dollars at the East Bay Depot for Creative Reuse. I wanted to use a fabric that I liked and that would be good practice for making the hat with more expensive fabric. (See my post “Fabric at the East Bay Depot.”)

The sample wasn’t very big, less than the yardage of the pattern. But I thought I could make it work by cutting it on the bias, which would make this rather heavy fabric a little less stiff.

Sewing the Hat

Back detail

The pattern is simple – four pie-shaped pieces of fabric with four darts. You use the same pattern pieces for the main fabric and the lining. The trickiest part for me was the topstitching because there’s a lot of it and you have to go slow if you want your stitches to be equidistant and even. This pattern has topstitching along both sides of the seams of each “pie” piece and five parallel lines of topstitching along the brim (see photos below for details). I had to be really patient when I did that part.

After I finished the top stitching, I tried on the hat and realized much to my dismay that the hat was too big! I was aghast. I had just done all that beautiful topstitching! How could this be?

Well, I didn’t take into account that I was using a heavy fabric and when you make a hat, every 1/8 of an inch really counts. When I cut the fabric, I likely made each pattern piece slightly larger than it should have been. Plus the fabric had a tendency to fray so when I sewed it, I should have compensated for the fray and stitched a slightly wider seam and trimmed the seam after I was done.

After setting it aside for a day, I decided I couldn’t let all that sewing go to waste so I decided I to add two additional darts in the back, taking in about a half-inch each. I held my breath, took my scissors and sliced through the finished edge (five rows of topstitching!). Then I sewed two 3/8-inch darts and put the hat on again. It worked! Now the hat could fit on my head instead of falling over my eyebrows. (Click on the images below for larger views.)

5 (!) rows of topstitching
Topstitching detail
One of the extra darts