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How to make a maid hat

Updated February 21, 2017

Complete your maid costume with a no-sew maid hat. A lace doily and some thin black velvet ribbon are all you need to create maid hats from many eras. Uniforms have always followed fashion, so in the '20s maids wore hats that went around their foreheads like the head bands of the era. In the late 1800s women and maids wore hats that sat back on their heads and were held on with a ribbon. Later 20th century maid hats were small and sat on top of the head. All these styles were made in practical white that could be bleached, starched and ironed.

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Late 1800s hat

  1. Tie a 15 cm (6 inch) piece of 6 mm (1/4 inch) wide black velvet ribbon Into a small bow.

  2. Pin the bow to the centre of a 15 cm (6 inch) diameter crochet lace doily. Crochet lace doilies are available at craft shops. Pinning the bow allows it to be removed when you launder the hat. The bow will be on the top of the hat.

  3. Run a 60 cm (2 foot) length of the same black velvet ribbon through the lace on one side of the doily about an inch in from the edge. Bring the ribbon under the bottom of the hat, and back through a hole in the lace on the opposite side. Crochet lace has many large holes you can easily thread the ribbon through. Pull the ribbon through until the ends of the ribbon on each side are the same length. Keep the hat flat as you adjust the ribbon.

  4. Wear your hat by piling your hair up in a bun on top of your head toward the back. Place the hat on your head in front of the bun and tie the ribbons in a bow near the nape of you neck. Use hair clips to hold the ribbons in place.

1920s hat

  1. Fold a 20 cm (8 inch) doily in half. Fold it so that the pattern of the lace matches on each side of the fold.

  2. Run a 90 cm (3 foot) length of 6 mm (1/4 inch) black velvet ribbon in and out of the lace 1.3 cm (1/2 inch) above the folded edge. The ribbon should go through both layers of lace. You may have the lace go in and out every 2.5 cm (1 inch) or so or it can go into the lace on the right side of the hat one side and out on the left side. Do what suits the pattern of the lace.

  3. Pull the ribbon through until the ends of the ribbon are even on each side.

  4. Wear the hat by placing the folded edge across your forehead and tying the ribbons at the back of your head in a small bow. The round edge of the hat will stick up. This hat will have long streamers.

1930s hat

  1. Make a small bow from an 20 cm (8 inch) piece of 6 mm (1/4 inch) wide black velvet ribbon.

  2. Pin the bow to the top of a 15 cm (6 inch) crochet lace doily.

  3. Wear the hat by pinning it to the top of your head with hair clips.

  4. Tip

    You can use fabric doilies trimmed with crochet lace. You may have to heavily starch the hats to help them hold their shape.

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Things You'll Need

  • 6 mm (1/4 inch) wide black velvet ribbon
  • Crochet lace doily
  • Small safety pin
  • Hair clips

About the Author

Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.

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