For a three day project at college I was tasked with creating a Nineteenth Century hat. I decided I wanted to make a recreation of a ladies’ riding topper. This is a kind of sloping top hat, taken from men’s styles but made more feminine and used primarily for riding. You still see examples of top hats being worn whilst riding in equestrian shows and important events today.

 

 

I really liked the blend of the masculine and feminine that was an aspect of this hat. I liked it because although it is not incredibly decorative, the style and beauty is seen in the cut and line of the topper. Because of this it was especially important to get the shape of the hat correct. I made the hat from stiff buckram and thick covered millinery wire which I then covered in a decorative cream patterned fabric and finally decorated with ribbon, feather and a jewel on the rear of the hat.

The original line drawing of the hat that I used as a source had a slightly curved crown, however I couldn’t achieve this effect with the stiff buckram I was using, and so I had to create a straight sided crown. I do still think that this created a good line and am really proud of how my hat ended up looking. I genuinely enjoyed my first experience at millinery work and greatly look
forward to working and creating hats again in the future.


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