Tuesday, 25 February 2014

Another Straw Hat Makeover

This time I didn't visit an op-shop for a hat in need of a refashion, but my grandmother Wendy's house. Wendy has a wall covered with old straw hats, many of which she was given by a friend who was trying to get rid of them. They are all very dusty, and a lot of them are pretty battered.

Like the target of today's makeover.

To be fair, the main problems with this hat were dust and being crumpled, both of which would be quick fixes. But under that band lurked secret issues.

This string has been threaded through the straw and left some pretty daunting holes and marks.

So I knew what I wanted: to get rid of the bottom section of the sideband, but keep the nice open woven section just above. Checking what Wendy wanted gave us a vision: something to wear to the shops and out for lunch.

We cut and washed and re-shaped and edged and wired and experimented and tried on until we had something new and fun.

I admit it has some similarities to my last straw hat refashion, and a somewhat 1940s feel again. I must I have some neural paths in my brain that point straight from straw hat to 1940s.

I picked out a range of petals from my boxes of taken-apart-and-washed flowers, keeping to a pink-red-peach-orange sort of colour scheme and tucked the reassembled flowers into all the folds. Somewhat like this one I'd seen floating around Pinterest a few times.

I love knowing I've turned a dust-catching and space-wasting item into something new, exciting and wearable for Wendy.

In other news, it's almost March, which means it is almost sixties time! In case you missed it, I'm talking about the first month in my new blog series "Hats of the Past: a Milliner Explores History".

I am a bit overwhelmed by all the exciting ideas and hats-in-progress, but I have a big week ahead working on finishing everything up as much as possible before the series begins. There is an unusual amount of orange in my craft room!

Also, March will mean the end of the current 25% discount offer for the grand opening of my online shop. Don't forget to use the code TRDopen to get that discount.

I've been slower than I planned in adding new items to the shop, but here are some that have gone up since I opened it.


This is one of my older hats, a Tudor style French hood inspired by Red Riding Hood. It's still one of my favourites.


These others have appeared on the blog much more recently. The floral garland and the pink dragonfly hat are both refashions from op-shop purchases.


Even though I would love to have photos of all my hats on real models, I'm so happy to have my gorgeous display heads for the rest of the time. They are the most instantly-elegant, and the quietest, models I've used and they let me push them around to get the angles I want.

I've discussed the possibility of a new display head design with my talented artist friend, so I'm searching for inspiration images. Do you have any favourite looks for vintage display heads?


  1. Smashing hat revamping! I could so totally picture someone like Marlene Dietrich sporing it on a sun-kissed beach or boardwalk during the summer in the 1930s.

    ♥ Jessica

    *PS* Thank you, sweet dear, very much for your marvelously lovely comment on this week's vintage outfit post.

  2. Love the refashion, what a (relatively) simple idea to update an old straw hat.
    I see these all the time in op shops for barely any cost but would never think to refashion them like this, thanks for the inspiration! x

    1. You're very welcome Taygan! I hope you pick up one of those op shop hats and give it a try. So far I've found that as long as it is real straw, you can get away with a lot. I'm playing with some paper-straw and synthetic ones too but they are requiring a different angle of attack.


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