The Difficult Art of Making Hat-frames - The Head Band and the Early Stages of the Brim - How to Shape the Brim - The Crown Must be Made Separately

The difficulty of constructing the frame-work of headgear without long training and experience cannot be denied, but, like everything else, it can be overcome if we really make up our minds to begin at the beginning and to learn the scientific principles on which this art depends.

No millinery is easy, and to make shapes in wire or spartra requires mathematical precision and accuracy to ensure success.

Spartra is the better material, and can be purchased from any draper at Is. the sheet. To begin the undertaking, buy one sheet of spartra, Is.; one ring of silk wire, 3d.; and a pair of millinery nippers, which cost Is. 4 1/2d.

Directions

To form the head band. Cut off 22 inches of wire, and make an accurate circle 20 inches in circumference - that is to say, allow 2 inches for overlapping. Give the silk on wire one stitch through, then bind the thread round until the wire is firm.

Directions 10088Place this ring flat on the centre of a sheet of spartra, pin it down f rmly, then pencil mark round to obtain head mark.

Place this ring flat on the centre of a sheet of spartra, pin it down f rmly, then pencil-mark round to obtain head mark.

Remove wire, and cut out circle three quarters of an inch within the head mark.

Remove wire, and cut out circle three-quarters of an inch within the head mark.

Snip round and turn back to head mark, thus forming a castellated ridge.

Snip round and turn back to head mark, thus forming a castellated ridge.

Replace head wire on head mark, and firmly buttonhole stitch all round to prevent stretching of crown.

Replace head wire on head mark, and firmly buttonhole-stitch all round to prevent stretching of crown.

Cut a strip of spartra 1 inch wide by 22 inches long (the two extra inches are allowed for turning).

Cut a strip of spartra 1 inch wide by 22 inches long (the two extra inches are allowed for turning).

Sew this band firmly to snips. This forms the head band.

Sew this band firmly to snips. This forms the head band.

Band sewn on to snips.

Band sewn on to snips.

To form the brim, one angle of the sheet of spartra must be selected as the front of the hat, and then pencilled into eight equal parts, as shown in sketch.

To form the brim, one angle of the sheet of spartra must be selected as the front of the hat, and then pencilled into eight equal parts, as shown in sketch.

To cut the brim, take the tape measure and measure off 6 inches along the back line, and 5 1/4 along the front line, 7 1/2 along the side lines, and 6 1/4 along front side lines, and 7 inches along back side lines. Cut round these marks so as to form an even oval.

Be very careful to get your edge perfectly straight all around. This is by no means an easy task. The edge of brims in amateur millinery   and, indeed, often among experts   leaves much to be desired in this respect, and may frequently be described as   bumpy.

Be very careful to get your edge perfectly straight all around. This is by no means an easy task. The edge of brims in amateur millinery - and, indeed, often among experts - leaves much to be desired in this respect, and may frequently be described as " bumpy."

Diagram showing double wire round edge of brim buttonholed together, then stitched on to edge of brim with a long stitch on the top and a short stitch through.

Diagram showing double wire round edge of brim buttonholed together, then stitched on to edge of brim with a long stitch on the top and a short stitch through.

Directions 10099

The brim has now to be supported by-wires to prevent drooping. In the shape given a wire support is required at front, back, and sides, as illustrated; some shapes require more, others fewer, supports. In the case of small hats, or tiny mushroom shapes, supports are seldom required, and in all cases they must be used with discretion, as they add to the weight of a hat. On the other hand, an extra support must be used when a tilt or a droop on one side is desired. It is advisable to carry these supports right up the head. They are stitched on in the same way as the wire round the brim.

Get a piece of muslin, cut on the cross, 3/4 inch wide, and bind over edge of wires and supports to prevent the wire from cutting through. For binding supports, lay the muslin on flatly and stitch through.

We now start the all important crown; this has to be made quite separately.

We now start the all-important crown; this has to be made quite separately.

Cut band of spartra 26 inches long by 3 1/2 inches high, join into a round - the circumference being, when finished, 24 inches.

Directions 100101For top piece of crown, cut a round of spartra and fit it on the top. The measurements for crown to fit on to the band would be 7 5/8 by 7 5/8.

For top piece of crown, cut a round of spartra and fit it on the top. The measurements for crown to fit on to the band would be 7 5/8 by 7 5/8.

Wire round firmly, and sew on to band as illustrated, then cover the stitches with a binding of muslin. The bottom of the band is also wired.

Wire round firmly, and sew on to band as illustrated, then cover the stitches with a binding of muslin. The bottom of the band is also wired.

This hat - in the two separate pieces, namely, the crown and the brim - is not joined together until both are covered separately with the chosen material.

Sketch of hat as it should look when covered with the material.

Sketch of hat as it should look when covered with the material.

The next article, in Part 2 of Every Woman's Encyclopaedia, will deal with the covering of shapes, and the cutting and stretching of fabrics. The shape is illustrated covered, but, as explained, the crown and brim should not be joined together until they are carefully finished separately.