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How to Make Vintage Hats

Updated July 20, 2017

Vintage hats for costumes, plays or just to wear can be found in thrift stores or flea markets but the odds of finding just the one you want are slim. You can make vintage hats from scratch but you would need a lot of expensive equipment. Or you can alter a modern hat into the vintage hat you've always wanted. With inexpensive hats from a discount store and a little imagination, you can create almost any vintage hat you desire.

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  1. Undo the brims from two of your hats into the braids.

  2. Sew the braids onto the brim of your third and base hat to enlarge the brim. Overlap braids 1/3 of an inch until your brim is the size you want.

  3. Sew three or four rows of millinery wire around the brim in an "X" pattern from the base of the hat to the edge of the brim.

  4. Shape the hat by turning up one side of brim.

  5. Decorate with flowers and ribbons on the inside front of your hat.

  6. Make a cut on the inside edge of the brim of the slouch hat, centre front to center back, halfway around the hat.

  7. Draw a shallow bell-shape scoop on your hat with the chalk from one end of the brim cut to the other end of the brim cut.

  8. Cut the bell shape out of the hat.

  9. Add a wide hat band around the crown and over the open scoop area and hand sew it on.

  10. Pull the cut brim on top of the hat band and hand sew it to the new edge of the hat. You may want to add a little extra decoration on the hat band below the new brim.

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Things You'll Need

  • Three straw or nylon hats with braided rolled brims
  • Millinery wire
  • Sewing machine
  • Fabric flowers and ribbons
  • Wide decorative hat band or ribbon
  • Small-brimmed felt slouch hat
  • Scissors
  • Piece of chalk

About the Author

Kathy Bellamy was a writer/producer for the Eternal Word Television Network for 17 years. She developed and scripted many of the short interstitials on the lives of the saints, educational segments for children’s programming and on-air promos.

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