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How to Measure and Make Simple Hat Frames

Simple Hat Frames: For those who are unable to obtain frames we will give an easy, simple method of making, which any woman with average intelligence will be able to use as the foundation for a number of variations.

Take the measure of the head to be fitted above the forehead and around the back of the head, not too low. Heads, with their various arrangements of hair, vary much, and a child's head will be found larger in proportion than that of an adult.


Fig 1 and 2 - Making Perfect Round From Square

Decide by the shape of the face and features how wide the brim must be; for a child it is best the same width all round, and this is the easiest frame to make first. Draft and cut it in stiff paper first. Let us say the brim is to be 5 inches wide, and the head measures 16 1/2 inches round, the diameter of 16 1/2 inches is 5 1/2 inches, which is the measure across the head size; add to this twice 5 inches for back and front brim, and you have the entire diameter of the hat. Cut a square of paper measuring 15 1/2 inches along each side; fold it over in half, and in half again, making a quarter size square (see Fig. 1); fold this over in a three-cornered wedge and over once more and slope off in a curve all that is above the shortest fold. (See Fig. 2 A.) Measure from the wide end toward the point of the wedge 5 inches, mark in the middle and at each side, and cut out in a curve from edge to edge (see Fig. 2 B); when the paper is unfolded you should have the correct pattern of the brim; if there are any little corners, trim them carefully off so as to get a perfectly even line, as also at the head line (Fig. 3).


Fig 3 - Paper Pattern of Hat Brim, Unfolded

To get the pattern for top of crown, use the piece cut from the middle, flatten it out, and by it cut another perfect pattern. The piece for side of crown cut 17 1/2 inches long and 2 to 3 inches wide, a perfectly straight strip; this is the simplest form of crown.

If the brim is wanted narrower at the back, fold the pattern lengthwise from front to back; mark the back the width desired and with a pencil trace a curve forward, gradually running nearer to the edge till it meets at the side, or nearer the front if the brim is to be narrower at the sides. - (See Fig. 4.) If one side is wanted wider than the other trace the two sides separately, or add on a piece, curving it to the desired shape and size; this must, of course, be done in the pattern.


Fig 4 - Shortening the Back of the Brim

Buckram and wire are needed to make frames; these can be got at any good dry-goods store; buckram is sixteen to twenty cents the yard, which will make two frames; the wire-a medium size- is twenty-five cents for a ring of thirty-six yards, but small rings, enough for one buckram frame, are sold for five cents. You will also need wire cutters and small pliers, obtainable at a hardware store.


Fig 5 - Pattern Laid on Buckram

Lay the pattern to the best advantage on the buckram. (See Fig. 5.) Pin with strong pins and trace around with pencil or chalk, and remove pattern. (See Fig. 5.) Draw a second circle three quarters of an inch inside the head line and cut round there; then snip, at one-inch spaces, all round from this cut line to the head line; this is to turn up into the crown. (See Fig. 6.) The outer edge is cut along the line without any margin. Cut the top of crown without any turnings, taking care to have a perfect round without any little angles; cut the strip for side of crown eighteen and a half inches, which allows for a one-inch lap, as the circumference always takes up a little.


Fig 6 and 7 - Saucer and Mushroom Shapes made from Flat Brim

To make a saucer brim from this simple frame, draw a circle two inches within the edge and slit from the edge to this line at one and a half-inch spaces, and lap each snipped section a very little, sewing firmly (Fig. 6). A mushroom or turned-down shape is the saucer brim reversed, and the crown put on with the brim drooping from it instead of rising around it (see Fig. 7). If a turban is wanted, lap the pieces till they stand upright, or cut off at the two-inch line and, after wiring, sew on a straight strip two inches wide. (See Fig. 8.)


Fig 8 - Turban Shape made from Flat Brim, Fig 9 - Sewing Wire round edge of Hat Frame

To wire and put frame together, sew the wire around the edge of brim with buttonhole or "blanket" stitches three quarters of an inch long, lap the ends two inches and secure firmly. (See Fig. 9.) Buttonhole sew a wire flat on the brim at the head line. (See Fig. 7.) Buttonhole sew a wire round the crown top (see Fig. 7), lap the wire ends two inches and secure firmly. Now sew the side of crown to the top by another line of buttonhole stitches, holding the two edge to edge; thus the one wire does for both; backstitch down where the side piece laps; set it on the brim and buttonhole the lower edge to the wire which you have set around the head line, turning the snipped part up inside the crown and securing this with long stitches inside and short backstitches outside.

In the saucer and mushroom brims sew a wire along the inner circle two inches from the edge; and for the turban, wire the cut edge, sew the two-inch strip (with buttonhole stitch) to this wire, holding it upright, and then wire the upper edge.

Save the paper patterns, as you will need them for covering the frames.

Bandeaux, which are set under hats to lift them becomingly, are made of buckram cut to the required shape and wired round in the same way as the frames (Figs. 10 and 11).


Fig 10 - Sede Bandeau; Sewing on Wire with Buttonhole Stitch, Fig 11 - All-Round, or Crown Bandeau

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