Category Archives: 1912 Hat Challenge

In My Easter Bonnet

Well, not exactly a bonnet and a little late for Easter, but I like it just the same.  I purchased the following pattern ‘Late Edwardian Early Teens Small Hats and Toques for Time Period 1909-1916’ by Lynn McMasters.   Check out her website for an outstanding collection of period hats.

March Challenge – Protection (okay, so it’s pretty, too).  I went with a hat – specifically View A as I had lovely white linen for the base and lots of vintage black soutache trim.  There’s something about the dark trim against the light brim that sold me.

Pattern:  Lynn McMasters Late Edwardian/Early Teens Small Hats & Toques


Year: 1909 – 1916

Notions:  Made of white linen exterior, black linen and silk for lining, and embellished with vintage soutache braid.  Other notions include hat wire, crinoline (lots), a jewelry pin and a dyed egret feather.

Historically Accurate:  Not sure how accurate this is.  Research shows hats of this style were certainly worn, however, using the recommendation for fusible facings would not have been.  I instead opted for layers of crinoline basted together, which may have been more historically accurate, but may have detracted from the overall stiff look.

I discovered interesting history while researching this hat, especially when making the Aigrette for the embellishment.  The term aigrette (pronounced: [ɛɡrɛt]; from the French for egret, or lesser white heron) refers to the tufted crest or head-plumes of the egret, used for adorning a headdress. The word may also identify any similar ornament, in gems (thank you Wikipedia).

Extravagant feather plumes were all the rage from the late 1800s through the teens, so much so that many beautiful birds were slaughtered for the sake of beauty, and the Egret was almost driven to extinction.  It’s nice to know our ancestors knew to be outraged and the practice did eventually stop.

Hours to Complete:  Too many to calculate.  I’m sure it would have been easier if I just followed the directions and certainly faster had I used a lace panel applique rather than hand applied soutache – ah, such is art.

LynnMcMasters Hat

I enjoyed working with the soutache.  It’s like a puzzle to get it all matching from start to finish but I love the process.  I’ve worked with soutache before so if you’d like to learn my technique, click here:



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Ribbonwork Flowers

I don’t know if it’s a costuming thing, but I’ve always been fascinated with embellishments.  Last year’s fad had flowers on all sorts of accessories.  Jacket lapels, purses, t-shirts, shoes, nothing seemed quite finished without a flower on it.  And I jumped right in and started making crafty little flowers.  They were cute and easy to make, but of course I had to take it a step further.

In my search, I came across the book ‘Ribbonwork – The Complete Guide’ by Helen Gibb, and I was hooked.  This was better than chocolate… well maybe not quite.


Ribbonwork is not to be confused with ribbon embroidery.  While both are surface embellishments made with ribbon, ribbon embroidery involves actually designing directly on a surface with ribbons.  Ribbonwork uses  a variety of ribbons to make flowers and leaves and then each is arranged and attached on whatever surface you choose.  Following Helen’s easy to understand guidelines I was able to work through many lovely creations.

Then, at one of my ASG meetings, a gal showed up with a gorgeous bloom that she made at a shop called ‘The Ribbonry’ in Ohio.  Well, I had to have one of these.  There was much discussion about the kits and how a few thought them pricey, but I felt they were reasonable considering silk ribbons are not cheap.  I took the plunge and purchased The Bohemian Poppy Kit in Vermilion for skill level (1) beginner, a plus for me.


I LOVE my flower!  It measures approximately 6 x 6, a fairly nice size.  There’s a pin on the back so it can go wherever, but I think I’m saving it for my 1912 hat.  We’ll see…..


Filed under 1912 Hat Challenge, Crafts, The 1912 Project