When looking over an old stockof hats, the home worker finds that brims change in shape more slowly than do crowns. Growns may often be remodeled, however, by the use of ribbon or silk. Trimming may sometimes be so placed that it changes the line of the crown and gives the effect of a different shape. Good materials should never be thrown away.
If straw braid on a hat is faded, the hat may be ripped apart and the braid dyed and sewed into a new shape. Several good color liquids that dye the straw instantly and finish it in one operation are now on the market. Sometimes an old hat that has faded and lost its stiffness may be freshened for another season with a coating of color liquid. Brushing with alcohol will often brighten a black straw hat.
A straw hat may be bleached by being exposed in a closed chamber to the fumes of burning sulfur. An old flour barrel is often used for this purpose by milliners. The sulfur is ignited on a fire shovel or a metal dish placed on the ground. The hat, which has been sponged well in water, is hung in the barrel, and the barrel is turned over the burning sulfur for a few hours.
To clean leghorns, panamas, milans, and other fine straws, a solution of oxalic acid may be used in the proportion of one teaspoon of oxalic acid to one pint of water. The straw should be brushed thoroughly and rinsed immediately in clear hot water. As much moisture as possible should be wiped off, and the hat hung to dry in the heat or fresh air. When it is nearly dry, it should be pressed in shape with a hot iron, muslin being placed between the iron and the hat. If a mushroom shape is desired, the hat should be held with the crown up during the pressing, and the brim should be stretched slightly while being pressed, bit by bit. If a flat brim is desired, the hat should be pressed flat on the edge of a table, the crown being allowed to come below the table top. Afterwards it should be laid flat on the table, weights should be placed on the brim, and it should be left until it is perfectly dry. Crowns should be pressed with a small iron on the inside. A sleeve-board is very convenient for this pressing. A white straw that has been sun-burned may be made yellow by being placed for a few moments in a strong solution of soda and water. The hat should then be shaken to remove the water and pressed under a thin cloth until it is dry.
Flowers may be trimmed along the edges and retouched with water color paints or oil paints mixed with gasoline. Flowers made of silk, muslin, sateen, or velvet can be freshened by being shaken gently over a steaming cloth.
Ribbons may be cleaned with gasoline or washed with soap and water. If they are to be washed, they should be stretched on a clean table, scrubbed with a soft brush dipped in neutral soapsuds and rinsed in clear water. In the rinsing, the ribbon should be kept smooth and straight, and the water should be pressed out by running the hand down the ribbon. The ribbon should then be stretched on the table again and allowed to dry. Ribbons washed in this way need only a slight pressing with a warm iron.
Velvet may be cleaned by being sprinkled thoroughly with magnesia or cornmeal and allowed to stand for twenty-four hours. It should then be brushed with a soft brush. A second application of the cleaning agent may be necessary.
Another way of cleaning velvet is to steam it. This also removes any folds. A hot iron is placed so that it rests on the handle, and the base is covered with a wet cloth. The velvet is then passed over the iron, the wrong side of it being held next the wet cloth. In this way the steam is forced up through the pile. As the steam is passing through, the velvet should be brushed gently with a soft brush.
Laces should be washed according to the directions given on page 272. Ecru lace may be washed in the same way as white lace, but it should be rinsed in a weak infusion of tea or coffee. Gold or silver lace may be freshened by brushing it with alcohol or gasoline.
Feathers may be washed satisfactorily in a good suds of white soap and water. The feather should be drawn through the hand from the stem to the tip with a regular stroke. It should then be dried by shaking it in the air. Before being curled, it should be steamed by being held with the back toward the steam from the spout of a teakettle. The feather should not be allowed to become wet. While it is damp, the stem may be shaped in any desired way. The feather should be held with the right side up. It is then curled by having three or four fibers at a time drawn over a dull knife, with a quick downward and inward curving stroke. Work should progress from the large end toward the tip.
Veils may be washed in warm soapsuds in the same way as laces are washed. Black veils should be rinsed finally in a strong infusion of black tea to which gum arabic has been added in the proportion of two teaspoons of powdered gum arabic to one pint of water. Veils should be stretched in shape, pinned, and dried.
Chiffon should be washed in a light suds in lukewarm water. It should not be rubbed, but shaken and squeezed lightly in the suds. It should be stretched to dry, and when nearly dry should be pressed with a warm iron on the wrong side.
Chiffon may also be washed in pure alcohol and stretched to dry.
A white felt hat can be cleaned satisfactorily with cornmeal or magnesia. The hat is covered with the substance, and left for two days. The meal or powder is then brushed off. It may be necessary to repeat this process.
Art gum removes spots that are not of long standing.
Effective buckles can be made by first cutting a shape in buckram and covering it with shirred ribbon, silk, or velvet. The buckles may be padded slightly with sheet wadding and wound with a lacquered braid. Two such buckles may be placed back to back, inclosing the edge of a plaited ribbon.
Lace straw may be plaited and sewed to the edge of a straight strip for trimming (Fig. 114). The edge of lace straw may be drawn up to make a series of loops (Fig. 114).
There is a wide range in the variety of ribbons. Vegetable silk ribbons are very satisfactory, because they hold their color better than do those made of real silk, and they keep their shape better. They are woven as a heavy grosgrain ribbon or with long, overshot threads.
Fig. 116. - Stitches for folds, for sewing down facings, and for decoration. A, catch stitch; B, lacing stitch C, saddler's stitch.
The whole crown may be covered with horizontal rows of ribbon, or vertical rows may extend from the tip of the crown to the brim (Fig. 115).
Folds made of velvet have many uses. They are more easily manipulated if made on the true bias than with the grain of the material. For the simple milliner's fold (Fig. 116), the velvet is cut twice the desired width of the finished fold. The raw edges are brought together and held with a saddler's stitch or a catch-stitch. The stitches should not be drawn so tight that they will show on the right side.
The French fold (Fig. 117) is slightly more decorative than the milliner's fold. A strip is cut three times as wide as the finished width. One-third of the strip is folded up to the wrong
Fig. 117. - French fold, used for decoration around crowns and brims side. The other edge is folded in and brought down to meet the first edge. The strip is then folded once more on the line where the two edges meet. It is sewed in place with a slip-stitch. Care must be taken not to pull the thread so close that a dent is made in the edge of the velvet.
The fold must be kept even. A stitch taken through the fold will cause it to twist. Measures for the length of folds are taken in the same way as for bindings, in order that the joining may be made first.
In general a bow is much more effective when tied than when cut and sewed. In making bows, one should always work from side to side, and should always bring the end of the ribbon through the knot in the direction in which the end was lying before the knot was made.
Hammond, Edith Cary. Industrial Drawing for Girls. 1912. Yusuf, Anna Ben. The Art of Millinery. 1909.