April 26, 2008

Felt Pattern Hat (with faux astrakhan instead) and new shoes!

Filed under: Felt Pattern hat (shell shape) — Cristina de Prada @ 9:24 am

New hat for my new gorgeous Muxart shoesYou might ask yourself why I’m calling this hat a Felt Pattern Hat when it’s not made out of felt but of faux astrakhan fur. The reason is that the pattern comes from Ruby Carnahan’s book How to Make Hats (the 1952 edition with the red cover -hence not the same book from which the Hat for Ship and Shore pattern comes from, that’s the one with the yellow cover).

One is supposed to make this hat out of a felt hood cut open on one side and ironed flat, the pattern pieces being cut from that open felt.

I was ready to sacrifice this felt hood (well that’s a cone not a hood…), when common sense or perhaps a lack of adventurous spirit made me give up the idea, and switch to the faux fur.

The hat pattern is great, flat on the back where it stays close to the head and wonderfully three dimensional on the front. It kind of looks like a crab shell! You can find the pattern and explanations (which are scarce) on Vintage Sewing’s website, which by the way is a wonderful resource for many other books.

Here are a couple of pictures of the hat in the making:

Inserting ribbon - click to enlarge Working on the ribbon - click to enlargeworking on the ribbon - click to enlarge

Check out the cute little bow on top!I didn’t know how to finish the hat until these beautiful shoes crossed my path. My mom decided to get them for me as an advanced birthday present. They are Muxart shoes, a well known cult brand from Barcelona. They are wonderfully retro, comfortable (although the ball of my feet hurts terribly when I stand up for a while but that is lack of practice) and they are just the right shoe to wear with a hat.

When I got my new shoes I knew it would be fun to put a flat white grosgrain bow on the hat to match the shoes, and I actually had to do that in record time because that very afternoon I got the shoes I went with my friend Nina to a a presentation about fashion tendencies (regarding color, materials, textile and accessories) for winter 2009-2010. The presentation was done by fashion guru Angelo Uslenghi and was very interesting. It was my first time in one of these things and I want to say thanks to Helena who got us in (she belonged to the organizing team).

So I bought the grosgrain and rushed to make and sew the bow in place. I will have to re-do it because it didn’t come out 100% right, and perhaps I will completely change the way it’s laid out on the hat. If I do I will take pictures and show you!

For now these are some close up pictures of the hat as it is, but the flash has burned the detail from the bow, sorry about that!:

Front view of hat - click to enlarge Side view of hat - click to enlarge Back view of hat - click to enlarge

Anyone wants to try and make one of these?


  1. Fetching. Fetching was the first word to describe the hat that popped into my head. And then saw the shoes, the entire ensemble. Oh Cristina, definitely flirty, fetching, fashionable. Great look. Swell hat.

    The good news here is that I’m working on a commission for a hat, as well as finishing one for a nephew, so won’t be making one of these soon. You sure stir up the “wants” in me however. 😉

    Comment by Glorious Hats — April 26, 2008 @ 11:16 am

  2. Verrrryyyy interesting. Gads I wish I could hang out with you. Fearless fashionista, and you pull it all off with aplomb.

    I love fashion lectures/presentation. Lucky you.

    Comment by jill — April 26, 2008 @ 8:44 pm

  3. Cute shoes! And I love Persian lamb. I have a couple of vintage hats in the real stuff, one black, one gray.

    Comment by Min — April 28, 2008 @ 1:59 pm

  4. Thank you girls for the good words! I fixed the bow today, but left it the same shape, it isn’t that bad.
    I didn’t know that kind of fur was called Persian Lamb, the Spanish word for it is “astracán”, so I looked for a literal translation, but probably astrakhan sounds really posh! sorry about that!
    I think it’s now time to make some summer hats, the weather here is getting too warm for winter hats!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — April 30, 2008 @ 10:47 pm

  5. The Carnahan book? I have a copy! I bought it 20 years ago in a box of other stuff, wasn’t much into vintage at the time so I never did anything with it…I still have it in my sewing room.

    Comment by Shay — May 13, 2008 @ 5:26 am

  6. […] other one I made was with faux astrakhan (persian lamb) and a white grosgrain ribbon, which is quite winterish, so […]

    Pingback by The rantings of a MAD HATTER wannabe… » Summer hat with bow, from “Felt Pattern Hat” pattern by Ruby Carnahan — June 18, 2008 @ 9:48 pm

  7. Every effort you make is fabulous! Thanks for being so generous with sources. I’m just a dabbler, but would like to try to make a hat too. Carnahan’s book is the way I want to go, but I’m not positive about how to transfer the pattern. When enlarged, (dumb question?:) are they to scale – should I just print out, trace and cut?? Thanks again – you are a great inspiration!

    Comment by sunyata — December 8, 2008 @ 2:58 am

  8. Hi Jan,

    Thank you for enjoying my blog and letting me know. This hat in particular is a little bit tricky to start off, because it’s not so clear what you must do on the back, where the ribbon must be folded and sewn in place otherwise the whole thing doesn’t stay flat.

    I recommend the Hat for Ship and Shore (you will find it under Millinery Projects, to the right of the blog under Categories).

    The pattern is on this link http://www.flickr.com/photos/63536356@N00/sets/72157603928151597

    I don’t know it if will print out the right size, but as a reference here are some measurements taken from the original (and remember you have to add the seam allowance, which is not included):

    Page 94:
    Line paralel to book spiral binding measures 10 3/8 inches.
    Where it says “lay on fold” measures 7 7/8 inches (just that straight line whithout the bit that has to be added on).
    That is not including the notch bits.

    It is theoretically reversible, but I’m not a strong believer in that, unless it’s for a hat that you don’t mind being wrinkly. It’s a matter of logic that the inside bit should be slightly smaller that the outside, otherwise it will not sit flat.

    I made the simplest option, one piece of fabric for the outside and one for the inside (Carnahan offers the possibility of making stripes with different colours)

    If you’re not sure, make a mock up with newspaper, stapling the seams.

    Let me know how it turns out!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — December 8, 2008 @ 10:39 am

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