Miniature Millinery: The Straw Hat

Hi Everyone! Welcome to another installment of the Miniature Millinery series. In this course we will be looking at how to make straw hats in miniature. Shari Fuller is joining us again and has several ingenious tutorials to share with us, simplifying the process by using up-cycled materials to create your pieces!

As a reminder, you can find the July coupon codes posted in the SWC Bonuses Section.

The topic will be divided into four parts. 

For this topic you will need a few supplies ahead of time if you want to follow along with the tutorials, the main ones being a straw placemat and a human size straw hat. Visit the full "supplies overview" post here to read more.

  • For Week 1, Shari will show us how to turn a (paper straw) Braided Circle  Placemat into a darling set of girl and doll matching hats!
  • For Weeks 2, 3, and 4;  We will be experimenting with reshaping full-size raffia straw hats to make doll-size hats. In the demonstrations, we will be
    using one ladies sun hat to make three different doll-size hats. There will also be a new pattern released to go along with these tutorials.

Are you ready for the first project? Let's get started!

How To Make 18th Century Straw Hats For Girls and Dolls

Supplies Needed

  • One Braided Circle Placemat
  • Thread
  • Pins and Needle
  • Scissors
  • Girl-Size Hat
    • 10” - 12” Diameter Fabric Circle
    • 3 yards 1 1/2” Wide Ribbon (three 18”
    • lengths and one 54” length)
  • Doll-Size Hat
    • 5” – 6” Diameter Fabric Circle
    • 2 yards 1” Wide Ribbon (three 12”
    • lengths and one 36” length)


Step 1: Remove the stitching from the row of braid 3” from the center of the placemat Most mats are sewn together with a looped stitch which can be undone by pulling the thread.


Step 2: Cut the braid to separate the center circle from the larger outside circle.


Step 3: Remove the stitching from the row of braid 1 1/4” from the center circle.


Step 4: Cut the braid to separate the center circle from the larger outside circle.


Step 5: The large circle will be the brim for the girl's hat and the small circle will be the brim for the doll's.


Step 6: Tack the loose ends of the braid in place on each circle. Be sure to catch the thread loop on the braid in the stitching to keep it from unraveling.


Step 7: For both hats, turn the edge of the matching fabric circle under ¼ inch and whipstitch over the folded edge. These stitches should be between 1/4” and 1/2” wide as they will be drawn to gather the fabric.


Step 8: Draw up the stitching on the fabric circle to fit inside the matching brim, arranging the fullness evenly.



Step 9: Working from the bottom of the hat, whipstitch the edge of the fabric circle to the inside edge of the matching brim.


Step 10: Turn an end of two of the shorter lengths of ribbon under and pin on opposite sides at the base of the crown. Angle the ribbons slightly toward the back of the hat. Stitch to secure.


Step 11: Baste a wide zigzag along the length of the longer piece of ribbon. Be sure to cut your thread long enough to stitch the entire length.


Step 12: Draw up the basting stitch on the ribbon to create a scalloped ruffle long enough to wrap around the base of the hat crown.


Step 13: Tack the scalloped ribbon to the base of the crown, turning the raw ends under to hide.


Step 14: Turn the back of the hat brim up and tack to secure.


Step 15: Make a bow with the remaining piece of ribbon and tack to the back of the brim.

And your 18th Century hat is finished! Follow these same instructions and the measurements for the Girls' size hat to make the matching look in a larger size too!

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