How to sew a sweat band into a straw dress hat

Updated February 21, 2017

Straw dress hats for both men and women are true classics, perfect for summer wear. A straw dress hat can provide a sharp finish to any outfit, as well as protecting your head and skin from the sun. Sewing a sweat band into your straw dress hat will make it more comfortable and practical to wear. Even if your straw hat already has a band, you may find that replacing it regularly helps keep your hat in good condition or makes a vintage dress hat wearable.

Complete the blocking and shaping of the straw dress hat if you are making your own straw dress hat. Steam block an older hat before you work on the sweat band to make sure the shape is correct and ready for further care. Remove the hat band from the outside of the straw dress hat.

Remove the original sweat band from the hat. Carefully snip away the chain stitching holding the sweat band into place.

Fit the sweat band to the wearer's head, aiming for a snug, but not overly tight fit. Sew the back seam of the leather sweat band by hand or machine.

Cut a narrow rectangle of fabric and sew into a long tube. Fold the ends together, then wrap with a second small fabric rectangle to form a small, flat fabric bow to add the traditional accent to your hat's sweat band. Stitch into place at the top of the seam.

Sew the sweat band into the straw dress hat. Sew by hand or machine depending upon your preferences, supplies and the quality of the hat. Use a fine cotton and needle to create a less visible stitching line. Test your sewing machine on the leather and straw before attempting to use it for your straw dress hat. Experiment with various stitches on a similar item for the best result.

Replace the band on your straw dress hat to cover the stitching from the sweat band. Choose a classic grosgrain ribbon or a more elaborate hat band for your straw hat. Sew the band into place, avoid getting glue on your dress hat.

Things You'll Need

  • Off the shelf sweatband, typically leather
  • Lightweight fabric scrap
  • Needle
  • Small, sharp scissors
  • Cotton to match the straw hat
  • Sewing machine
  • Heavyweight leather sewing needle
  • Grosgrain ribbon
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About the Author

With a master's degree in art history from the University of Missouri-Columbia, Michelle Powell-Smith has been writing professionally for more than a decade. An avid knitter and mother of four, she has written extensively on a wide variety of subjects, including education, test preparation, parenting, crafts and fashion.