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Sparkley Pillbox

First of all, we need to prepare the base. I'm using this offcut of sinamay from a previous video and for those of you who like the colour it is Dark Dusky Pink from Petershams - it's part of their budget sinamay range.


I cut the sinamay into bias strips, wide enough to cover the sides of the block and covert the top and bottom by around an inch. The block I am using is the MBB from Guy Morse Brown or alternatively known as the Multiblock Base.


Some of my strips were a little short but as we are layering them and covering with fabric, it doesn’t matter that you can see the joins. Using steam, I blocked each strip around the wooden shape and stiffened it and left to fully dry.


Whilst that was drying, I wanted to prepare the outer fabric. I have has this for a few years now and have only just got round to using it. I couldn’t remember where I got this from so I did a bit of internet detective work and found it. It is polyester chiffon with a pleather border - its 58” wide but only the bottom 12” had the pleather. It is from a UK craft store called Minerva crafts and this fabric is now reduced to £2.99 per meter!


As I’ve not stored it well, it was a little creased so I spread it out on a towel and steamed it back into shape. All I did was to pass a steaming iron over it to dampen slightly and then just positioned the pleater into place and left to dry. I thought I would do this now, so I don’t have to steam it when it’s on the hat, potentially ruining the shape of the hat.


Once the sinamay was dry, I removed it from the block and cutaway excess sinamay leaving just under an inch. This was sewn down with some covered millinery wire inserted into the fold. Next, I covered the base with some thick interfacing. You could use batting or felt, you just need to use something which will smooth the edges so you don’t see the harsh edges when you cover with fabric which I’m doing next - before we cover it with the fabric though, just cut away any excess interfacing on the inside.


I cut away the top part of the chiffon a while ago, but I had some still in my fabric pile, so I used it to cover the sides of the hat. I cut it on the bias so it would curve around nicely. I then sewed it down using matching thread. You can see that the end of the fabric is visible but we will be covering this. Once again, cut away any excess fabric on the inside.


As we have added thickness to the hat, I measure the outside circumference so I could cut the correct length of pleather trim. The block is 22 ½ inch but the new circumference is 23 ½ inch so I measure out the trim and ensure I have enough full segments to go around the hat. I cut it so the backing chiffon wasn’t visible from under the trim but had enough above the trim to sew to the hat. However, I did cut 1 strip with enough fabric under the trim to enable me to sew the 1st strip down


I pinned the 1st strip along the top of the hat and sewed it into place. My stitches were under the trim, so you wouldn’t see them. As you can see, I had enough fabric at the top of the trim to cover the edge of the hat and meet the stitches that were coming from the under the trim.

Before I placed the rest of the trim, I wanted to get the tip of the crown in. I cut a piece of interfacing which matched the block and ironed it to this gorgeous chunky glitter fabric from petershams millinery. I cut around the interfacing, leaving an inch seam allowance. I cut into the seam allowance, so it would sit around the curves better.


To place it into the hat, I put it in from the bottom with the glitter fabric facing out, This means the seam allowance, in theory, would have resistance against the inside of the hat and you can just adjust as you go. This is a little tricky to do, so when you have a segment in place, pin it down and adjust another section. It took me 3 attempts to do this, so just keep persevering. Once you have it in place, sew it tp the hat, hiding the stitched under where the trim sits.


Now you can carry on and add the rest of the trim to the outside of the hat - just be sure to offset your trim slightly to give the hat some dimension.


I placed in a lining and sewed the edge of the lining to the bottom of the hat with a blanket stitch. If you want to see how I do linings, I have a video coming up on Patreon soon - so go sign up to see that, the link is in the description box below. I then added some ribbon to the bottom of the hat, to serve as the bottom trim and the ribbon inside the hat.


To finish, I used some of the pleather trim and made some cute little flowers, with some of the chunky glitter fabric as the centre of the flower. These were arranged at the centre back of the hat, to give the hat some hight when worn tipped forward as this hat is designed to be.




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