How to Trim Victorian Straw Hats

Written by camela bryan
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How to Trim Victorian Straw Hats
Both men and women wore straw boaters for sporting activities in the 1880s. ( Images)

Straw hats were popular during several periods of the Victorian era. The size and shape of the hat and the style of the trimming varied with the decade. Wide-brimmed hats were worn in the 1860s, as were small hats that sat high on the back of the head. In the 1880s large, tall hats with strong vertical lines became popular. These large hats had elaborate trimmings, but simple hats trimmed with only a band of ribbon were worn for sport and casual events during this decade,

Skill level:

Things you need

  • Wide-brimmed straw hat
  • 2-inch-wide ribbon, 4 feet
  • Scissors
  • Needle
  • Thread
  • Silk flowers
  • Hot glue
  • Small straw hat
  • Netting
  • Tall straw hat
  • 3 feathers
  • Ribbon
  • Sporty straw hat

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  1. 1

    Sew two 2-foot lengths of 2-inch-wide ribbon inside the crown of a wide-brimmed straw hat, one on each side. Sew the ends of the ribbon 1/2 inch above the line where the brim joins the crown. It is important to sew these ties to the inside of the hat so that they do not pull the brim down when they are tied. Cut the ends of the ribbon ties at an angle so they will not fray.

  2. 2

    Cut the stems of silk flowers 1/4-inch long. Glue the flowers around the base of the crown where it attaches to the brim with a hot glue gun. You may go all the way around the hat or place a cluster of flowers at the front or back.

  3. 3

    Gather one edge of a 4-by-36-inch rectangle of netting, by sewing 1-inch running stitches 1/4 inch from the edge. Pull the thread to gather the net into an 8-inch veil. Glue or sew the veil to the front of a tiny hat so that it drapes over the brim in front. Attach the gathers along the line where the brim joins the crown. Hot glue a large flower over the gathers on one side of the veil.

  4. 4

    Trim a tall hat with three tall feathers sticking straight up on one side of the crown of the hat. Trim the feathers so that they are 3 inches taller than the crown of the hat as measured from the point at the bottom of the feather to the top of the curl in the other end of the feather. Sew or glue the bottom 4 inches of the feather to the side of the hat. Make a large loopy bow and glue it over the pointed end of the feather.

  5. 5

    Trim a sporty hat with bands of striped ribbon around the crown. Tie the ends of the ribbon in a bow and let the streamers of the bow hang several inches below the brim. Pin the bow to the hat with a safety pin to hold it in place.

  6. 6

    Make a flat bow for a boater by folding a 12-inch length of ribbon into thirds to create the loops of the bow. Fold a 5-inch length of ribbon in half lengthwise and glue it around the centre of the bow, with the ends overlapping in the back. Wrap ribbon around the hat so that the ends overlap on one side of the crown. Glue the flat bow over the end of the ribbon.

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