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Other Types of Braid Hats


Plateaux or Flats: These are mats of braid sewn without a frame and without a crown; they may be made small to just cover a toque or make a Tam-o'-Shanter, or large enough to form the entire hat.

These flats are sewn from the center out, beginning with a close twist or little flat rosette of the braid, then one sews round and round, lapping the finished row over the one being sewn; this is a little more difficult, as the row that is being sewn must be a little crowded or fulled at the lower edge, in order that the outer edge of the work may be perfectly flat, neither full nor contracted, or you will have either a mat with frills or a bag-shaped affair (Fig. 30).


Such plateaux are mounted in many ways; they can be squeezed and draped over all kinds of frames, the edges coming over the brim of a toque and plaited around the head size; or they can be set on a low crown made of wire, buckram, or stiff muslin, and covered with velvet or silk (see Figs. 11 and 33), in which case the plateau has to be " braced " with wires. If the edge is wanted soft and rather floppy, only two, three, or four loops of wire are sewn on flat, extending from the head size to about three inches from the edge; these are sewn on with half-inch-long buttonhole stitches on the wire, and tiny stitches on the braid. (See Fig. 31.)

If the flat is desired extended or turned up flat, then buttonhole a wire around one quarter of an inch from the edge, and also sew six or eight wire braces in even lines and spaces from within the head line to the edge, where the wire is cut, pushed under the edge wire, and turned back tightly over it; an extra row of braid or a fold of velvet is then slip-stitched over the edge wire (Fig. 32).


Leghorn hats and soft felts and beavers are supported in the same way when necessary. When sewing wires on felt, the needle must be passed back at a slant through the same hole where it was pushed through; thus no stitch will show, the thickness of the felt holding the stitch.

If wire is needed in the crown, use the flat ribbon wire.

A word as to the crown bandeau, which is really a hat crown without a top or brim, the shape being easily made from any old plain hat crown, and cut down where the hat is to droop, the side that is to be high being from two and one half to four inches deep.

These under crowns, or bandeaux, are made of buckram, stiff net, or stiff crinoline muslin, wired around both edges, and covered with silk or velvet cut to shape, both sides neatly slip-stitched together along the edges. (See Figs. 11 and 33.)


Quantities of Braid Required: Twelve yards of one-inch braid will make a good-sized hat, covering the entire top and under brim. A toque will take from six to nine yards, according to size, and a bonnet from three to six, according to whether it is put on plain or full.

Very sheer, light braid, fulled up on a draw thread (which is usually woven into the inner edge, the same as in lace) and sewn on like lace ruffles, but only slightly full, on a previously covered frame, makes one of the prettiest of hats, toques, or bonnets; of course, it takes more braid, but if not done too full and lapped not more than just enough to hide the frame, half as much again will be sufficient.

When sewing braids more than one inch wide, each row should be cut off and neatly finished, but the joins are best scattered over the back or least conspicuous part of the hat, which is determined by the shape and trimming.

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