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How to Make Shirred Hats and Children's Bonnets

Shirred Hats: Any woman who can sew nicely can make "shirred" hats and bonnets.

The principle of making tucks, be they plain and flat, or fulled up, is just the same as in plain sewing or dressmaking. You measure the place or space to be covered, decide on the number and size of the tucks, and add this to the actual measure, allowing for the edge turning, and one inch always to turn up against the crown inside and out, if the work is to reach to the head size. If the tucks when made are to be plain, i.e., not ruffled, we allow ten inches to every forty for ease; otherwise, when put on the frame the tucks will lie flat instead of standing out nicely.

If the tucks are to be full, ruffled, allow as much more in length as you wish fullness; of course, sheer materials should have more than thicker ones, but it is a matter of choice; and sometimes of necessity, when one has only so much to make a hat of. The correct allowance, however, for fullness is:

For velvet, half as much again.

For silk, from two thirds to twice as much according to the thickness of material.
Chiffon and mousseline de soie two to three times.

Tulle or maline four to six times, according to quality.

The same proportions apply to shirred hats without tucks.

When measuring and marking for either plain shirrings or tucks, pin the line, and, if possible, crease it; when too soft to hold a crease, pin or baste carefully, as the beauty of the work depends on its being accurately done, and finely run.

Take care not to make any backstitches, and avoid knots; some thread and silk knots more than others. The work must be kept flat until all the runners are put in, and if the piece is very long, or the material harsh, it is best to divide it into even halves, or quarters, and take each thread a little longer than these sections, beginning and ending all threads at the same place, or it will be difficult to get the fullness even when the work is drawn up.

Toques and bonnets are frequently made entirely of shirred silk, velvet, or sheer materials, also children's hats and caps; but in hats the shirring is more often confined to the under facing of the brim, and occasionally shirred trimmings band a plain crown.

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