After wearing a dainty little hat with my frau for two years my friends and I decided that this year for medieval week we would make ourselfs new hats, huge hats!
This construction is guesswork, I have no real knowledge on hat making, especially not 16th century hats, but I try, and if it in the end looks looks the paintings that it is nice.
I based my hat on several woodcuts and this style of hat is also worn by the Landsknecht.
A man on his horse
A woman with her dog
One other woman with this kind of huge hat
The pictures and several other huge hats worn by both women and Landsknechte can be found at my pinterest; http://www.pinterest.com/katafalk/16th-centruy-fashion-huge-hats
My small hat is made in the exact same way, but smaller and for that project I bought a big macramé hoop at a second hand store as the base for the hat. For this hat a bigger hoop of similar type would have been ideal and my first thought was to ask a blacksmith friend of mine to help me to solder a thick wire together. But my friend had to much other things on his list so I was as usual left to my own devices and I started to look at my box of thin wire. I made a hoop skirt out of wire of this type once for a post apocalypse party by twisting lengths together to make a thicker tread and it worked for that so I had to try it. I do like when I can make things myself.
So twisting thin wire together I made a hoop as big as I wanted.
Then I took a piece of wool fabric that when sewn together was slightly smaller then the circumference of the hoop, you want it to sit tight around the hoop. The width of the fabric needs to be shorter then the radius *2 to make it sit on your head and to make the fabric sit tightly in the hoop.
Sew the fabric together, I used scraps so I have sewn it at two places.
Put the hoop in your fabric tube.
Put the wrong sides of the fabric together and gather the double fabric using a strong thread and big stitches.
Sew all around the inside of the hoop gathering the fabric and making it sit tightly around the hoop. Pull it tight and secure the threads.
If you use the same length of all your stitches the gathering will look even and nice.
Then cut two circles that covers the hole in the middle, one is for the top of the hat and the other is for the underside.
I cut decorative slashes in the top circle, using a wool that matches my dress to put under, I cut the blue wool the size of the finished top circle, this makes it easy to pin the seam allowances under.
Then I pin the top circle to the hat and sew it with big stitches, one in each “pleat”.
Do the same to the underside.
Then I attached some linen ties so that I could tie it onto my head.
Now it is time for feathers!
I simply put the feathers into the folds of the pleats. I do not fasten them in any way they stay put anyway.
I put them all around my hat. When I was at medieval week a whole bunch of people told me that when they had been at a event in Germany the German re-enactors had told them that the way that most of them wears their feathers, on one side of the hat facing back away from the face was not the way that the German Landsknechte was wearing them but the Swiss Landsknechte, but that the way to wear them was all around the hat, as I have mine or facing forward. It is always nice to hear that your hat is considered “right”, but then I have based my hat on several woodcuts so I knew that the look was “safe”. If there are any truth to this or if it is just a “myth” I do not know.
Now it is finished but I want to have some shape to not look like a big pizza on my head so I bent it slightly over my leg
And this is how it turned out, at first I did not know if this hat was for me. It is so big and loud and feathery, but I decided that I kind of liked it and after medieval week I am now sure that I like it!