May 11, 2015

How to Make a Basic Pillbox Hat: Part 2

Alright everyone, onto part 2 of the basic pillbox tutorial! When we left off yesterday, we had the hat's inner structure completed, now it is time to cover it with fabric!

Take the circle of fabric you cut out earlier and center it on the top of your hat to begin. Start across from the seam in the wire and hat stand band (now the center back) and position the fabric so it is on the bias from center back the center front. Pin from the top through the tip of the hat to the stand smoothing the fabric as you go.

Like so!

Stitch the fabric to the hat stand just beneath the curve of the tip, I just used a running stitch. Once you have sewn all the way around, cut off some of the excess fabric below the seam.

Take the strip of fabric you cut earlier and iron a 1/2 inch hem along the top to create a finished edge.

Pin the strip of fabric around the hat using the same pin position you just used to pin the top circle on. Slip stitch around the entire top edge to cover the sides of the hat. Once you reach the beginning again, cut off the excess fabric leaving a 1/2"-1" portion to fold over and stitch down creating a center back seam.

Fold the excess width of the strip inside around the bottom edge of the hat. You can either use a light glue to secure this inside, or subtly stitch the excess in place, Since I used such a thick fabric, my stitches were easily hidden and I was able to sew the the excess inside invisibly.

To secure the overlap while I went around stitching it down, I pined through the edge down into the interior of the hat.

At this point it is time to decorate the hat! I decided on black veiling and a silk rose on top. To attach the veiling, I first pinned it on and held the hat up onto my head, arranging and re-arranging the veiling until I had an arrangement that worked. I tacked the veiling to the inside edge of the hat with small stitches once I found an arrangement I was happy with. I stitched the rose on with a few stitched through the bottom petals.

Nearing the end now! I cut a length of thin elastic to hold the hat onto my head and stitched each end to the sides of the hat inside.

Here you can see the stitching holding on the flower from the inside. Now, yes, this is the time where you would sew in a lining (and possibly a head ribbon, petersham) around the inside edge. Decorating the hat before putting in a lining means your stitches, like mine above, will be hidden inside the lining. I have yet to put a lining in this hat but when I do later this week I will amend this post with how to add the lining!

I really like how this little hat came out! I can't wait to add a lining and call this hat finished! I'll show you what it looks like with the matching dress tomorrow...


  1. Such skill, but it was really with it because it suits you exquisitely! Kx

  2. Hip-hip hooray!
    This looks easy (when done by someone else)
    You have done an amazing job, my dear.


  3. Spectacular! This is such a chic hat! I love that you partnered black and gold with peach. I want to wear a whole outfit in that palette right this very moment after seeing your fabulous pillbox hat.

    ♥ Jessica

    1. Thanks Jessica! I almost went for the red flower, but I decided for the peachy ivory one instead as it seemed like it would make for a more versatile hat in the end.

  4. Your hat has turned out fantastically well. Choosing the decorations must be fun, I like the ones you have gone with.

    1. Thank you Kate! Choosing the decorations is definitely the best part!


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