Tuesday, June 21, 2016

Easy Straw Hats

Happy Summer Solstice! Now that the sun is out in full force, quite naturally, your girls will need straw hats!!!!

The other day while strolling through my local crafts store when I spotted packages of raffia which brought back memories of a project we did at a school I worked for in Paris. The seniors had to make their own accessories for their mini fashion collections. One girl made a series of hats made from raffia which I later bought. The process for making straw hats is pretty simple. You braid the raffia, shape it over a form and sew the braids together.

For this project you will need a small bit of raffia. A little goes a very long way so buy the smallest package available. You will need the hat forms we created in a previous post. You can find that tutorial by clicking HERE. And then needle and thread.

1. We start by preparing the raffia. You want to pull apart the strands.
2. The width of braid you want to create will dictate how wide or fine each strand will be. Let the raffia soak in water for a few minutes.
3. Take three strands and braid together. Knot the braid on both sides.
4. Iron the braid flat. You should create a few braids. The bigger the hat, the more braids. For my sun hat, I made about 3-4 braids.
5. Fold one edge under the braid, then place on the top of the hat form.
6. Pin on the crown.
7. Now begin to wrap the braid around the form, placing pins to hold in place. When you run out of one braid, add another in by criss-crossing the edges and keep wrapping around the form. (See the instructions for the next hat for more detail.)
8. You might want to stretch out the braids a little for a looser weave.
9. With needle and thread, sew the strands together using the smallest stitches possible. The stitches will be visible so you will want to choose a thread perfectly matched to the color of the raffia. (Raffia is sold in different colors, by the way!)
 Here is how my hat looks on the doll from the side back.
You can add a little scarf to the crown and hold in place with a hat pin (or a pearl tipped straight pin).

Even though this is a rustic summer straw hat, you can transform this into something more high fashion.
Here is a simple cloche. I've left it natural, but you can spray or paint it with another color or a metallic.
 The steps are the same. The only thing which has changed is that I create a smaller braid (1/8" or 3mm) and I've used a hat form without a rim. Instead of making the hat form, you can use a small ball or object which comes close to the size of your doll's head. It should be made of something that you can stick pins in.
1. Again, prepare the raffia. Start by tucking one edge under the rest of the braid.
2. Pin to the crown of the form.
3. Wrap around the form, pinning in place.
4. One braid has run out. I added a second one. Note how I've criss-crossed the edges. This forces the edges to the interior of the hat. Wrap the braid around to hide the end of the previous braid.
5. To keep the edges from unraveling, dip each edge in glue and let dry.
 6. Continue wrapping the braid around the form until the very end. In this case, I have wound my braids close together for a "tighter weave."
7. Sew the braids together.
8. When you get to the end, clip the edge.
9. Then tuck the end into the interior of the hat and sew or glue in place.
 I like the simple shape of this hat. You can always add feathers, flowers or small bits of jewelry to it.
Or, you can take a bit of the raffia and add to the hat. Here, I've simply tied a few strands together into a bow and sewn it onto the side of the hat.


Follow us on Twitter: @FashDollStylist
Like us on Facebook: www.facebook.com/FashDollStylist
We're also on Pinterest: www.pinterest.com/FashDollStylist
Come show us your stuff on Instagram: www.instagram/fashiondollstylist.com


All photos and text, property of Fashion Doll Stylist. Please do not reproduce without prior permission. Thank you.

36 comments:

  1. Wooow beautiful hats! Your dolls look so beautiful and natural. Thank you for tutorials!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you Aya. My girls are loving their hats!

      Delete
    2. I am sure of that - your hats look amazing!

      Delete
  2. Great guide to hat making - I'd never have guessed they were so relatively easy to make! Thanks for sharing!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, jSarie. I was amazed at how easy it was to make these. Of course when you are working on a full scale hat, the stitches are so visible. But even still..it costs almost nothing and you've got a great summer hat!

      Delete
  3. I have been enjoying all your pic on instagram. I will have to try my hand at creating some hats for my dollies.

    ReplyDelete
  4. This looks a lot like corn cob wrappers, from which I used to make small baskets when I was a kid. I dried a bunch of them a couple of years ago, but never got around to using them. Thanks for the easy tutorial.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hmmm.....corn cob wrappers (we call them husks in the US)....I must try that. (I'll be having corn on the cob tonight....I'll hold on to a few husks and experiment!!!)

      Delete
    2. I knew that word XD Stupid me :) You take the thinner, whiter ones that are closer to the grains and dry them before storing (for baskets, you can use all the husks). The only difference is that you tear strips after wetting. Remind me to try, I have some ready to use!

      Delete
    3. Update: the husks work GREAT for this scale and even smaller. I'll show you pictures in the next couple of days.

      Delete
    4. BlackKitty that is really nice to know!!! I'll definitely try this out. Looking forward to seeing your photos!!!

      Delete
  5. Very creative and cute! A few days ago I was getting ready to take a couple old hats to the thrift store, but changed my mind and decided I would take them apart and make doll hats. This post will come in handy when I get around to that project. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Vanessa. It won't take you very long to make your girls hats. Though you might want to soak the straw you take from the hat for awhile before fashioning it into something new. It will make it easier to work with. What doesn't seem to work very well is cutting the straw out as is with a pattern. (Tried that already!)

      Delete
  6. These hats are awesome! You always come up with such creative ways to make things for your dolls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Phyllis. Well...all I have to do is to look in my closet and figure out what the dolls are missing! LOL!! They have nearly everything and are quite spoiled. But...as long as there are new trends....there will be new things for the divas!

      Delete
  7. Wow they turned out gorgeous,great tutorial.
    thanks for share with us
    xx

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, M-C. Glad you enjoyed this.

      Delete
  8. You are impressive! Great job!

    ReplyDelete
  9. Another beautiful and creative accessory. I like them all. I think the last is my favorite.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you, Jaye. I would have played more to come up with different styles, but I was trying to keep this post short and to the point.

      Delete
  10. This is the same thing as the full sized process (just more rows). Unwinding a hat that almost works (from the crown or the brim) is a project that takes far less time and effort than you'd think.

    Such lucky dolls!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Oh yes, I do know.... I observed this technique from someone who worked at the same school. I also took a close look at my own hats.

      Delete
  11. I have to try this. I only have one doll-size straw hat, and it's falling apart.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Anderson's All Purpose and welcome to my blog. First, you can probably save the old straw hat by stitching up the areas where it is falling apart. But still, this is a pretty easy process, once you have your hat form made (you can do this using paper mache or oven baked clay or Styrofoam, roughly shaped into a hat).

      Delete
  12. Waw !
    Comme on dit : je te tire mon chapeau. C'est très beau, il ne manque plus qu'a essayé.

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Merci Shasarignis. En plus, il est tres facile (et bon marche) a realizer!!!

      Delete
  13. Another great idea I need to try and I have a roll of raffia!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Chris, this is really easy and the best part is..due to the "rustic" nature of these hats, you can't really go wrong!

      Delete
  14. Replies
    1. Thank you Sarah. Happy to hear from you.

      Delete
  15. I have been reading out some of your posts and i
    must say pretty good stuff. I will make sure to
    bookmark your website.

    ReplyDelete

We love hearing from you. Your comment will be published shortly.