Learn about Life in the 1920s

Hat Ribbons and Draping


Hat Ribbons: Ribbon is, of course, the chief of all garnitures; it is used winter and summer, together with feathers, wings, or flowers, or by itself makes a handsome and useful trimming.

Since the large stores have taken to making up bows from the ribbons purchased at their counters, "free of charge," the home milliner has had her work greatly simplified, but many cannot avail themselves of this "get-there-quick" arrangement, and to these we will impart a few simple ideas in ribbon work.

Begin by tying a simple cravat bow (use cheap cambric to practice on, cutting it in strips like ribbon); pinch the ribbon between finger and thumb of right hand, leaving an end of two or three inches, or more if the ribbon is wide and the bow is to be large; now with the left hand lay a loop the other way, opposite to the end, then a loop the same way as the end; now tie the ribbon in a knot around the "waist" of the bow, bringing the end out on the side opposite the first end; pull tight and cut off in a slant.


If you do not turn and tie the knot in the right way, your bow will fall to pieces instead of being made firm by the tie (Fig. 34). Do this till you can do it well: then proceed to lay more loops to each side finishing with the tie-over, till you can make a bow of three or even five yards of ribbon without cutting.

In the larger bows, however, it is best to twist strong thread or fine wire round each two loops as the work proceeds, as it is a bit difficult to hold so much ribbon between finger and thumb, and a slip will let the entire work down. (See Fig. 35.)

Pretty rosettes are made in this way by omitting the tie-over, just twisting the waist tightly with thread or wire, and pulling the loops into a round form; sew this on the hat from underneath. (See Fig. 36.)

Fig. 37 shows a very useful bow made in just the same way by laying the loops back and forth, but they are laid long one side of the waist and short on the other; that is all, and a little practice will insure success. Wire loops are laid in long loops to support them, secured with a few tie stitches. (See Fig. 38.)


Narrow ribbons for children's hats, if made into rosettes, should be sewn on a foundation, a loop at a time. (See Fig. 39.) But ribbons from one to three inches wide are handled the same as described before.

Draping: To drape materials on a frame is really a work of art that only clever fingers can accomplish, and the only way to find out if you can "drape" is to try.

Take a frame and a piece of old velvet or silk (with the creases steamed out), or if you have not this, use Canton flannel or any soft stuff that will readily drop into folds.

Play with this in a half careless way, dropping it in folds on the frame, no hard lines or thin plaits; a few rich folds are best; try the crown of a hat or toque, try a scarf of soft silk around a felt or straw "walking" or sailor shape, with a big bow tied in with a rich, loose knot; if you can achieve this you will do very well. (See Fig. 40. Top of toque draped with velvet.)


Look at and study any good hats you can see being worn or in magazines, and then copy them in practice materials when you get home; that is the best way to learn. (Fig. 41.)

Go to How to Clean Millinery >>>>


Binding Hat | Braid Hats | Childrens Bonnet | Cleaning Millinery | Clean Millinery | Color and Millinery | Covering Hat Frame | Covering Hat Frames | Frames and Hats | Hat Feathers | Hat Ribbons | Hat Trimmings | Home Millinery | Lining Hat | Millinery Materials | Pliable Braid Hats | Shirred Facings | Shirred Hats | Simple Hat Frames | Stiff Braid Hats