Sewing · Victorian

Cherry Blossom Dress: The Hat

Usually, accessories are the things we leave until the end of creating our dresses, an afterthought on occasion that we scrabble to get made on the edge of our project deadline.

Oddly, however, the hat for my Cherry Blossom Dress is the first item that I have completed for this project. Probably because I got a little distracted by the arrival of the Victorian Dressmaker hat making book, and partly because I didn’t feel like I had the energy to tackle the bigger elements of the dress.

And, so, here is my rather rustic, first ‘made from scratch’ 1870s straw hat. She wasn’t pretty to look at before I went crazy with the trims, and didn’t turn out anything like my original plan (the design evolved as the straw took on a mind of its own while sewing)

As I’ve named my project the Cherry Blossom Dress (named after the name given to the fabric), I knew that I wanted to use blossom flowers on my hat and, after some online sleuthing of New Zealand businesses, stumbled across the perfect sprigs of fabric and wax flowers. I cut the flowers and buds off the stems and arranged them one by one on the hat.

The feathers were arranged on the other side after great deliberation, and embellished with a self fabric flower (that was supposed to look like cherry blossoms but just look like nondescript flowers but that’s okay. I found a couple of larger feathers in my stash to curve over the back like some that I’ve seen in pictures (I like the hats of the period that have flowers, ribbons, etc trailing off the back).

I haven’t quite figured out where I’ll be sticking my hat pins to secure it, but I’m sure that I’ll figure it out and won’t be chasing a wayward hat down the street on a windy day.

Now, that I’m riding that wee buzz that comes with completing a project, I’m hoping that can give me the boost I need to finish my underskirt and the two overskirts that I have begun. Watch this space, I guess… 😊

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