For Christmas my husband gave me a gift certificate for four for tea at a local tea shop. I immediately began organizing my tea for February. I secured the date with my girlfriends and then sent hand written invitations. Immediately these women, most who have met each other, but don't know each other well, began discussing the dress code. Should we wear dresses? Hats? Gloves? Full Victorian gear? It got a little out of hand! I wound up telling everyone that they could get as dressed up or not as they wished and that no one should think hats or gloves were necessary.
Now I love hats. I've got a closet full that I hardly wear because if you wear a hat indoors nowadays, people laugh at you. They do--it has happened to me! But in looking at my wardrobe, I discovered I only had one hat that was appropriate for a tea party, and it was from the 50s and not very flattering on me--especially since I cut my hair short this fall.
After a few hours of searching online for an appropriate hat, I stumbled on a hat pattern on Craftsy that I thought would work. I downloaded the pattern, and voila, a new hat!
My adorable new hat was designed by Wendy Talene of Elsewhen Millinery. You can buy the pattern on either Craftsy or at her Etsy shop. If you aren't a sewer, you can buy her ready made creations from Etsy as well.
The pattern was remarkably easy to follow and I am thrilled with the result. The only thing I changed was that for the interior hat band, I used twill tape rather than preparing my own fabric strip. Attaching the tape was the only difficult part of the project. Mine is a bit wonky, so it is good that it is inside the hat. When I make another, and I will, I will top stitch the body around the brim and then attach the hat band by hand. I may also shorten the body panels slightly by taking out the seam allowance. I am only doing this because I don't have a lot of hair now. If I still had longer hair, it would fit perfectly as designed.I was especially proud of my top stitching on this hat. It came out perfectly. Unfortunately, the brim is a little off kilter. Not much, but enough for me to notice. Even so, I've gotten a lot of complements. When I try another, I am thinking of using the fake fur craft felt. It looks a little like the curly wool used in the 20s and 30s and has the consistency to hold up nicely. I hope it looks good! I'd use that wool if I knew what it was called and where to find it, but I'm not sure that my sewing machine can get through that many layers.
Yesterday was our tea party. Here we all are at Fancy That in Walpole, MA enjoying ourselves while it snows outside. The piece of resistance was not the antique china or the fantastic food, but the bell that we were given to call our host--the owner's husband--whenever we needed anything. My girlfriends LOVED that!
In all, a perfect afternoon and a very good excuse for a new hat!