Lately I have been going through my vintage sewing and clothing items in an effort to de-stash. While sorting hats these pieces surfaced and I knew I finally needed to do something with them. I've had these vintage hats/facinators in my collection for several years now. They came to me along with some much nicer hats and had been badly stored by the former owner. I've never had much interest in late 1950s or 1960s fashions and because of their poor condition I really didn't know what to do with them. They were too pretty to toss so these sad little things have sat in a hat box unloved for the last couple of years. Until now!
Here are a few pictures of the hats before and after steaming. As you can see they were badly crushed and rather sad looking. These hats are all made from netting and have chiffon flowers and velvet leaves attached to the top, or in the case of the pink one, little velvet ribbons. So cute!
So, what will you need for this hat refresh tutorial?
- Vintage hat/veil
- Hat form or tailor's ham
- Iron with LOTS of steam OR a hand held steamer if you have one
- Straight pins (optional)
- Straight pins (optional)
A few things to keep in mind as you work. STEAM IS HOT!!! I know that seems obvious, but please be careful! DO NOT touch or press your hot iron directly on the netting or flowers of your hat. The heat could melt or otherwise damage your item. Hold your iron several inches ABOVE the hat and LET THE STEAM DO THE WORK. :)
I practiced this method on the pink net facinator first as a test as it was the most damaged of the hats. I wasn't worried about ruining it. Your iron should be set on a middle to high steam setting. Let your iron heat up while your are placing the hat on your form.
|If you don't have a hat form or hat block, a tailor's ham with work just fine|
TIP - To keep your hat from sliding around while you work place a couple straight to help hold it to your form.
Next, hold your iron several inches ABOVE your hat. Gently move the iron back and forth for a few seconds at a time to help the steam work its way into the flower petals and over the lace/letting. Let the steam to the work to relax the material and help fluff up the flower petals. It make take a few minutes so be patient.
If needed, use your fingers to lift up the flower petals then steam again. (DO NOT try and hold the petals with your fingers while steaming or you will get burned!!) Fluff, then steam. Save your fingers! :)
The flowers of the beige hat you see me working on in the video were really flat when I started. I found that several seconds of steam then using my fingers to lift up the petals followed by more steam worked well.
You may also find it helpful to tip your hat form as you work so the steam can really get under the flowers and around the netting.
That's it! What do you think? If you use this tutorial please let me know how it worked for you!
My apologies, the video is a little fuzzy at times. I think it's due to the lighting in my sewing room. I should note too, the video cut stops a little abruptly at the end because my camera decided to shut off. Silly thing. :p