Knitting

I Made a … 1940s Crochet Hat

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I am very fortunate in that I suit every type of hat I have ever tried on. However, I am also incredibly unfortunate in that I have an enormous head and lots of hair meaning I can never find hats that fit. So I thought I would give making my own crochet vintage hat a go.

As part of my Costume Production degree, I was lucky enough to undertake a week of basic millinery. We looked at 19th century hats and bonnets and I ended up making a 1880s style riding hat. Here it is in all its feathery glory:

1880s Riding Hat - Retro Claude

Perhaps it is because I have a head for hats, but I also really enjoyed the process of making hats. I have a very sculptural, 3D mind and something about the construction of hats just clicked with my inner engineer. I have always wanted to do more hat making but with one thing and another I have always been too busy.

Thanks to my extended summer holiday I now have the free time to pursue all these things I really enjoy put previously haven’t had time for. And I’ve decided that hat making should be one of them. I have started out with a crochet hat as I already have wool in abundance and I get to practice my crochet (which is much inferior to my knitting).

I’ll be honest, making hats from wool does limit the sculptural options, and also makes things seem quite wintery. But I thought I ought to stick to what I know to build my confidence before I take the plunge. Thanks to Ravelry, I found a selection of free, vintage hat patterns and have now completed my first vintage hat!

The Finished 1940s Crochet Vintage Hat

1940s Crochet Vintage Hat - Retro Claude

I must admit, it took me more than one attempt.

I didn’t have the right kind of yarn as the yarn suggested in the pattern is now discontinued. Also, I missed vital instructions about using 4 threads throughout and got my US hook sizes confused with my UK hook sizes. This meant that my first hat was much too small, even for someone without a giant head like me.

1940s Crochet Vintage Hat - Retro Claude

The hat is worked in the round and then in a kind of pyramid. I had to do some creative interpretation for the trims at the front as there was no front view of the hat provided and only very brief instructions.

But I got there in the end and I’m really pleased with the finished result. So much so in fact that I am thinking of adding some hats like this to my Etsy shop.

1940s Crochet Vintage Hat - Retro Claude

What’s that? You didn’t know I have an Etsy shop? Well now you do! Check it out here. I currently only have some of my vintage paper patterns for sale but I am hoping to expand my stock over my extended summer holiday. Is there anything you’d love to get your hands on that you would like me to make? Get in touch and let me know!

In the mean time I’ll be experimenting with a few more hat styles.

*Update* I made another hat! Check it out here.

You can find the pattern for this hat here.

Claude xx

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