Spontaneous Eighteenth-Century Shenanigans

After the thesis is through, I am finally motivated to sew again. Only somehow, this does not mean following my Regency sewing agenda. But at least, I managed to spontaneously complete an 18th-century project I have been wanting to do for quite some time: A bergére hat.

For it, I followed The Dreamstress’s awesome 18th-century sun hat tutorial. The hat I used as a basis was a simple straw hat from the 1-Euro-Store. After cutting apart and molding the two pieces with hot water they looked liked this: And yes, the books in the plastic bags I used to press the brim were actually some of my psychology text books, because they were the heaviest ones on hand. ;)

The molded hat pieces before assembly.

Since I made a little mess with the glue, I decided to try an alternative method to put it all together: Using a few strands of straw bast and a thick crewel embroidery needle, I assembled the pieces with small hand stitches. I used this technique both to attach the bias binding to the inner brim and to put on the crown piece. After that, I  tacked a length of cotton selvage tape to the inner edge, serving as a tie to keep the hat in place on my head. The finished inside turned out much neater than I had thought. (Phew.) Here it is:

The finished inside.

When the assembly was all done, I decorated the bergére with 2 3/4 yards of baby pink satin ribbon. I gathered half of it around the crown after sewing a long basting stitch down the ribbon’s center. From the other half I made a simple ribbon bow. Since I had never sewn one before, I followed Jennifer’s Victorian ribbon bow tutorial. Like so often, I was glad to find some advice on her page. It has pretty much helped me out, ever since I got into historical costuming. If you do not know it yet, having a look around will be well worth it.

After I glued the bow to the, somewhat hideous, join in the trim, the hat was already finished, in less than eight hours. Yay! It has been my very first historical millinery project and, despite some cussing here and there, it has turned out rather well. It made the rainy weekend a little brighter and the sun can definitely come back out now. :)

The finished bergére.


Wishing you all a happy Sunday,



2 thoughts on “Spontaneous Eighteenth-Century Shenanigans

    • Nessa says:

      Thank you Aimee. :) And some of the thanks should go to Leimomi/The Dreamstress, too, for posting the tutorial. It really inspired me to make the bergére in the first place.


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