H1440 – Hat Sew-Along Tutorial # 1 – Prepping And Set Up

1920’s Hat – # H1440

This beautiful cloche hat is dated to the mid-1920’s and included an iron-on transfer pattern for the embroidery work.

The original instructions are a series of photographs, printed in blue ink on tissue paper. While the fabric layout guides are line diagrams and reproduced well for the pattern package – the photos did not. Many of the photos in the instruction set that comes with the pattern reproduced very poorly, because of the blue ink that they were originally printed in.  This tutorial has been written to clarify and help in construction of this hat.


Fabric: 1 yard (44 – 54″ wide), velvet, satin, silk, taffeta, light weight woolens

Lining: 1 yard (44″ – 54″ wide) , silk, rayon, bemberg

Interlining 1 yard (44″ – 54″ wide), muslin, silk organdy, light weight fleece – depending on weight of fabric used for hat.

Crinoline: 1 – 1/2 yard (27 – 36″ inches wide) light to medium weight depending on weight of fabric used for hat.

Optional Materials:

Embroidery Cotton or Silk – various colors as desired.

Ribbon for Trim – 1 inch wide (2-1/2 yards)

Choosing Fabric

The relative weights of the fabrics should be taken into consideration. A light weight silk will require more structure to support the hat, than a wool or felt fabric will need. The amount of stiffness the finished hat will have is also a matter of personal preference. A general rule of thumb is the lighter the weight of fashion fabric, the heavier the weight the crinoline and interlining should be.

Once you have chosen your fashion fabric – you may wish to layer it over different weights of interlining and crinoline together to judge how stiff the finished hat will be. Remember that the hat is also pleated – which will add bulk to the finished item. For this tutorial, I am using a medium weight textured rayon, muslin as interlining, and light weight crinoline for the structure.

Crinoline is a canvas-like fabric that is used in millinery to provide structure and stiffness for hats.  If you can not find it locally (and many fabric shops do not carry it) – you can order it on-line from several sources.  My favorite is Lacis and below is a link to where it can be found.

Lacis – Crinoline For Hats
To find the listing choose “Crafts” under “Specialty Fabrics”.  Scroll down a bit, and you will find it underneath the listing for Buckram.  If you are using a pastel or light colored fabric, you will want to order JT03, which is the white.  (And a bit less expensive than the black.)


Unfold the pattern sheet, and cut out the piece, leaving a 1/2 inch to 1/4 inch margin of white paper around each of the shapes.  You should have the following pieces when finished:

Lining Tip            Crinoline Headband          Lining Side          Brim Facing          Tip        Side Crown

Foundation Brim

Press out the pieces to remove the folds and wrinkles.  I have never had a problem with the ink coming off from the printing.  If you are concerned about that possibility, place a towel on your ironing board, and press the pieces with the printing against the towel.


The pattern is sized for a 23 inch head, but may be adjusted slightly smaller or larger. As shown in the illustration above this hat sits very low on the head, covering the eyebrows almost to the eyelids.

If you have a size 22 inch head, you may want to leave the pattern the size it is, in order to replicate the look of the original.  If you prefer to have the hat sit more traditionally at the forehead, then you will want to adjust the sizing on the pattern.

If you don’t know your hat size – here are some links that will show you how to measure correctly

Measuring For Hat Size # 1

This link includes a video:

Measuring For Hat Size With Video


If you decide that you want to adjust the pattern to a smaller or larger size it’s a fairly easy process.

First determine how much change you want to make.  For example going from 23 inches to 22 inches is a 1 inch difference.

The hat has only two places that will need adjustment.  Along the seam where the pieces are joined, and at the circumference of the Tip and the Lining Tip.

You will want to make your adjustments evenly over the pattern – so for the Crinoline Headband, Lining Side, Brim Facing, Side Crown and Foundation Brim you will want to shorten each end by 1/2 inch.   The Tip and Lining Tip are a bit trickier, as you have to reduce the over all area by 1/2 inch.  The best way is to draw a new cutting line following the shape of the pieces as best you can.

If you make adjustments to the size – I would strongly, strongly suggest sewing a test version out of muslin, to make sure that your adjustments accurately reflect the size you want.  Remember if you make the test muslin without the crinoline and interfacing – it will be a bit loose on you – but that’s what you want – as the crinoline and interfacing (and lining!) all add layers of bulk that will fill out the hat size a bit.


When all the pieces are ready you should have the following:


Brim Facing

Side Crown


Crinoline Headband

Foundation BrimFOR THE LINING:

Lining Side

Lining TipSet aside the lining pieces for now – those will be used last.

For the Tip and the Side Crown, the fashion fabric and the interlining will be cut together. Open up the interlining and the fashion fabric flat. Lay the interlining onto the cutting table. (If it has a pattern or color place the right side against the table.  This will help prevent any color or design from shadowing through your fashion fabric.)

On top of the interlining, lay the fashion fabric wrong side against  the interlining.The right side of the fashion fabric will be up.Lay the pieces for the Tip and the Side Crown — printed side up – on the fashion fabric/interlining layer and pin in place. Make sure the grain lines on the pattern pieces match up to the fabric correctly.

The Tip is cut on the straight of the fabric, the Side Crown is cut on the bias.

Cut the Brim Facing out of the fashion fabric alone – being sure to place on the bias.

Cut from the interlining material a bias strip that measures 1 inch wide by 25 inches long.

Cut the Crinoline Headband and Brim Foundation from the crinoline, both pieces being placed on the bias.


Remove the pattern from the Tip and the Side Crown, and repin the interlining and fashion fabric together.Turn the Tip and the Side Crown over so that the interlining side faces up. (The fashion fabric side will be underneath). Thread a needle with a length of thread in a pale but contrasting shade of color. Knot the end of a single thread, no need to use a double thread here. Hand baste close to the edge, the interlining and the fashion fabric of the Tip, so that the two pieces of fabric can be handled as a single unit.

(Above photo the basted Tip with interlining fabric on top.)

Do the same for the Side Crown, being very careful to handle the pieces gently so that the bias edges do not stretch.

(photo above shows the basted end of the Side Crown with the interlining on top.)

Mark the center line of the Tip onto the interlining (muslin) fabric, using chalk, dressmaker’s carbon or basting stitches. If you are using white or a light colored fabric for the hat, make sure that what ever method you chose – the markings do not show through to the right side. For light colored fabrics, basting is the recommended method of marking.

(photo above shows Tip marked on interlining side.)

Mark the Side Crown in the same manner as the Tip, on the interlining (muslin) side. Mark along the Center Front line, and the two Center Back lines – on at each end of the pattern piece.

(photos above show the Side Crown marked one of the Center Back lines, and along the Center Front line.)

Mark the Crinoline Headband in the same manner as previously. Mark along the Center Front line, and the two lines on the left. (Lap Line and Center Back) Mark also the Center Back line on the right end of the pattern piece.

(photos above show the Crinoline Headband marked at two lines on left end of pattern, Center Front and Center Back on right end of pattern.)

Congratulations!  You are all cut out, marked up and basted – and now ready to sew.  In our next tutorial we will begin to construct the hat.

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