Remaking a Hat

Last summer my SIL and I were standing in the checkout line at Price Choppers, our local grocery. It was a very hot day. Hanging next to the registers, along with all the other beckoning treats was a rack holding straw hats. We looked at each other and both decided we needed one of these 2.99 beauties. We each bought one. The rest of last summer and this summer I have made big use of my cheap hat. I garden a lot, often out in our fields, and it does what it is supposed to do for my freckled skin. A few years ago I was in a garden center gift shop in NH and saw a garden hat that I fell in love with. It was simple straw, had a black band, and a black tie under the neck. It was VERY pricey and I walked away. I have regretted it every since. Man, did I covet that garden hat. Of course I never saw one like it again.

So a couple of nights ago, while cleaning my sewing room, creativity hit! I could remake my cheapo supermarket hat into the black beribboned straw beauty that I never bought. Here is how I did it.

First you will need Steam a Seam, the heavier version. I have the sheets, so I cut them with the rotary cutter into 1/4 inch strips. The next supply needed was single fold WIDE Wright's bias tape. Sure, you could make your own, but this made it so easy. Last supply needed is a roll of inch and a quarter grosgrain ribbon.

Cut the leading edge of the bias tape on the diagonal. Place the Steam A Seam, further referred to as SAS, on the edge of the brim, doing about 5 inches at a time. Place the edge of the bias tape on top. Press. Go around the hat, placing the SAS and then pressing down the bias tape. When the entire brim is done finish by cutting the bias on the diagonal again. Overlap the end over the beginning. All should be pressed down and secure. Now turn the hat over, wrong side of brim up. Place the SAS again along the edge. Wrap the bias around the edge of the hat, very snug, and press. This should make it very secure. Edge of brim done!

Next take another long piece of the bias tape and put it thru the eyelets in the hat. Part of the tape will be on the outer brim on the BACK of the hat, and then dropping thru the eyelets. The tape on the topside of the hat will be full width. The tape on the underside of the brim, which will become the ties, is now folded and doubled. Press this underside tape. I used a "knit picker" to pull the folded bias tape thru the bead. A needle, threaded, could do the same. I pulled the tape thru the bead, knotted the ends of the tape and now had a functioning tie. On to the band!

This was the simple part. I simply wrapped the grosgrain around the brim, tieing a bow in the back. I made sure to cover what was left of the previous cheapo trim. I was unable to get it all off. Once I had a nice bow and the length ribbon I wanted hanging down my back, I got out the glue gun. The only thing I glued was under the bow. That seemed to be enough to secure the band and hide all the previous trim.

The bias edge technique could be used for any hat. I thought it was a great idea. I love hats. I wear them whenever I can and not look like the local nutso. That is usually weddings and the garden! If you are so inclined, I hope you give this a try. After Fourth of July these straw hats can be found everywhere. Do your own conversion!.....Bunny


  1. Very nice! I love hats, too, but like you would look like the freak show in my community unless the hat is a beat up, dirty baseball cap. That's one reason why I like vintage - the hats!

  2. Nice job, Bunny! Aren't you glad you didn't buy the other hat???

  3. Ya know, necessity is the mother of invention! Summerset, I am old enough to be your Mom, and because of that have fond memories of wearing hats to church. It was such great fun to sit in church and look at all the hats in front of me. Roots of my fashion pasion? I loved the net ones and the ones with the feathers. I think if I wanted to start a collection it would be vintage hats. They don't come cheaply I have noticed.

    I could shoot my DH. After he took the picture he pointed out all the mud on my arms. I let the pic fly anyway. It is gardening, after all....Bunny

  4. Very nice. I love it and you can tell you do to. I didn't even notice the mud, and would you be a real gardner without it?

  5. Oooooh, I covet your new hat. Very creative idea. I do believe I have a straw hat lurking in my closet somewhere.........


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