Sunday, 13 March 2011

A New Hat From Old

Ah, the good old days, when you could torment animals in the name of fashion. I was walking around in the freezing cold when I spied this photo in Bates Hat Shop on Jermyn St, London. It inspired me to look for some smart head gear to keep out the cold winter winds. I often suffer from ear ache and head colds, due to the fact I always choose fashion over practicality, but I'm tired of woolly hats and berets for the time being, and fancy something more grown up, like this:

Something jaunty and mysterious like this:

But I want to spend as little as possible! Modern hats are either awful, or way too expensive, so I'm going to attempt to re-block an old hat, something my Mum has done to several old hats with great results.

Off to Brick Lane, where I found a pile of great hats in The Shop on Cheshire St. I found this one for the princely sum of £7.00!

It's not bad on its own, but doesn't quite have that grown-up mysteriousness I'm aiming for. First, I decided the crown needed reshaping into something with a more masculine shape. In order to re-shape it, I'm going to need a form for the head, and a steam iron. As I don't have a proper mannequin head, I improvised with a towel:

Because felt is essentially just wool chopped up and held together with glue, it can be re-shaped with heat and steam. This hat is a fairly basic, sturdy felt, and will withstand the heat from the iron.

Using lots of steam, I pressed the point of the iron into the crown, and squeezed the sides up and around to form a pointed shape.

Not bad! Next, the brim. It's shape is still too girly, and it seems to be held in place with something. After playing around with it, I realised there was a wire sewn into the edge, which I promptly removed:
This made the brim flatten out a little bit more, but still not enough. I applied more heat and steam, at the same time pulling a little bit to make it even flatter:

Finally, I finished it all off with some spray starch, so that the shape held.

The finished result:

No more cold ears for me!


  1. wow your a genious!
    i love the way it came out.

  2. Bloody hell, that is FABULOUS! You're so clever. I LOVE the new shape and it is very mysterious and old world glam.

    Sarah xxx

  3. That is really clever, I am so impressed with how you reshaped the brim x

  4. Wonderful!!!! Its sooooo much nicer than the original, I would never have though to even try something like that!

  5. I would of never thought about steaming it, now it does look more lady like and glam, now you need to take a pic smoking a fancy cigar.
    great job amor!

  6. I've reshaped a lot of felt hats but I never thought of using the shape of the iron to make a fedora, feel the urge to go and try it immediately.


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