About

Cost
$ $ $ $ $
Difficulty
• • • • •
Time
3h00

Designing and Making Hats and Headpieces
Pillbox hats were originally worn as British military headgear and were
sometimes also known as the Kilmarnock hat. They were worn by the Gurkha regiment, amongst others. The pillbox has a flat crown and short straight sides. This style was made iconic in the 1960s when it was favoured by Jackie Kennedy, with many different versions designed
for her by Halston, the great American dress designer. The style later became known as the ‘Jackie O’ after she married Aristotle Onassis, and was always worn on the back of her head. Another claim to fame for the pillbox was Bob Dylan’s song ‘Leopardskin Pillbox Hat’, which he wrote for his album Blonde on Blonde in 1966.

Since then the pillbox has always been a popular style as it is easy to wear,
particularly as it has no brim and therefore doesn’t intrude when people
are greeting and embracing one another at events such as weddings. It can be worn in different positions on the head depending on the wearer’s preference, and a fashionable look is to wear it at an angle over one eye. This particular pillbox hat is worn slightly to one side of the head to show more of the trim and veiling.

Posted by The Crowood Press Published See The Crowood Press's 3 projects » © 2018 Judy Bentinck / The Crowood Press · Reproduced with permission. · Permission to reproduce from Designing and Making Hats and Headpieces (The Crowood Press) www.crowood.com
PrintEmbed
  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 1
    Step 1

    Take the parisisal cone, spray evenly with water and leave to soften for a few minutes. Next take your block (in this case the block is the same as for the crown of the wool felt cloche) and cover it with clean cling film.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 2
    Step 2

    Pull the cone over the block. Parisisal cones and capelines have a cross or ‘button’ at the centre. This needs to be carefully lined up with the centre of the tip of the crown. It should look like an × front to back. The lines of the weave will then sit parallel all the way down the hat. The pillbox need not be very deep but pin far enough down the block to allow for a turning where the head ribbon will be sewn. Pin so the straw fits firmly and as evenly as possible, pinning around
    the block to ensure it is pulled tight.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 3
    Step 3

    Wrapping a string around the lower part of the straw will help to keep it flat. Once pinned, leave to dry.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 4
    Step 4

    When it is completely dry, paint the blocked straw with straw stiffener, working it in thoroughly.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 5
    Step 5

    Once the stiffener is dry, iron with a piece of spare sinamay between the iron and the parisisal to prevent any unwanted marks being accidentally transferred.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 6
    Step 6

    Remove the pins and the string, tuck the palette knife inside the straw and run it around to release.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 7
    Step 7

    Next mark the centre back (CB) and take the parisisal off the block.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 8
    Step 8

    Now decide how deep the hat should be, remembering that if it is veiling.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 9
    Step 9

    The veiling is attached first in the centre around the ‘button’.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 10
    Step 10

    This choice of trimmings can produce a very chic and special occasion hat, but alternatively it could be trimmed with a
    simpler design for more everyday wear.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 11
    Step 11

    Next make up the petersham headribbon. Once you have your
    headribbon, start pinning it in at the CB and then sew it in using stab stitch. Having sewn the headribbon to the straw, turn it inside so that the ribbon cannot be seen.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 12
    Step 12

    Carefully cut away the excess straw so none can be seen beyond the headribbon. You now have a basic pillbox hat, ready to be trimmed. The trim is made of the same parisisal as the hat and features black spot veiling. The veiling is attached first in
    the centre around the ‘button’. The folded and curled parisisal detail is then sewn on top to hide the ends of the veiling. Glue two black quills together and sew to the hat under the twirl.

  • How to make a pillbox hat. Parisisal Pillbox Hat - Step 13
    Step 13

    The folded and curled parisisal detail is then sewn on top to hide the ends of the veiling. Glue two black quills together and sew to the hat under the twirl.

Made this project? Share your version »

Comments