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In the last installment we began making a top hat using buckram for the base and millinery wire along some of the edges. Now let’s finish the hat!

Covering your bases:

Now that we have all of our buckram pattern pieces cut out and partially assembled, it’s time to give all of the edges a nice, smooth finish before applying the fashion fabric.

First, join the tip to the crown matching up the center front and center back markings. It can be a little awkward to hand sew these pieces together but don’t worry, no one will see your stitches!

Apply single fold bias tape to the edge where the tip meets the crown and along the outside brim edge of your brim piece. You can use a light coat of fabric glue or hand sew it onto your buckram. The bias tape gives these hard edges a smoother finish by covering the millinery wire and the hard edges of the buckram.

Next, we are going to apply a layer of “mull.” Mull is available through millinery suppliers but most costumers I know use flannel. The flannel will cover all of the buckram pieces and, much like the bias tape, give your hat a nice finish by softening the hard edges.

Moving on to the fashion fabric:

Let’s begin by covering the tip piece. Take your tip piece and lay it over the top of the hat, matching all markings. You should have enough of a seam allowance so that the piece curls down onto the crown. Hand sew the tip onto the crown, making sure that the top is smooth. Your stitches will be hidden in the seam allowance of the crown. Next, sew your crown piece together along the seam line and fit it onto the crown, smoothing to fit. You will need to turn the top edge inward along the seam line and sew it where the tip meets the crown. Next, fold the bottom edge of the crown fabric inside and hand sew it along the edge so that the raw edges are inside the crown.

For the brim, line up your fashion fabric pieces with the buckram brim pieces and sew them to brim along the inside seam line and the outer brim line. Next, enclose the outside edges of the brim with petersham ribbon or a strip of bias that coordinates with your hat fabric. Sew the ribbon or bias down with small stitches along the inside edges of the ribbon or bias. Clip the inside edges of the brim to the seamline, fold them up, and apply a piece of petersham along the seamline of the inside of the brim, covering the pieces you just folded up. This will be your sweatband.

Final Steps:

Join the crown to the brim, matching the center front and center back markings and sew them together right along the bottom of the crown.

Sew your lining pieces together and sew the bottom edge of the lining crown piece to the bottom edge of the crown. Finally, take a piece of petersham and place it along the seam line where the crown meets the brim, covering the seamline. You can make a little bow like the one pictured. Hand tack in place.

Enjoy your new hat!


  • Missing

    Apr 1, 2014, 04.38 PMby Holly Thomas-Wrightson

    Good tutorial, but at times I found it a bit confusing as I am a very visual person, so from my perspective i’d say a picture or two for each step would be a helpful improvement. Sometimes i got a little mixed up which part of the hat was referred to as what etc, so this would have been useful for this, but otherwise a useful little tutorial :D

  • Missing

    Sep 17, 2011, 09.52 AMby Kat Hazelton

    Great tutorial!

    • This is a question
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