When is a flat pattern not a flat pattern and a Hatter sane? Part 2 this article first appeared in Your Wardrobe Unlocked

Adding millinery wire to your buckram   Crown Sides

1) Use a piece of scrap buckram to join the center back seam of the crown sides above the grid lines. You can use single buckram or if you steam iron crown buckram you can separate the two layers and use just one layer here.


2) Cut all the vertical lines of the gird. This gaves 23 four-inch long tabs.

3) As with the crown tip and the brim sew wire along the non-clipped (bottom) edge of the crown sides. It is not necessary to use a wire joiner for this wire. Just sew the extra length and overlap the wire about 2”.

4) Make an oval of wire that is the same diameter as the wire on the crown tip and join it with a wire joiner.


5) The next step is to flare the tabs, this is done by sewing them to the wire oval. Some math is involved. You know the length of the buckram crown sides rectangle now measure the wire oval. Subtract the length of the rectangle from the length of the wire. Divide the difference by the number of tabs this will give you the length of the gap you need to create when sewing the wire to the top edge of the crown sides. Your spacing doesn’t have to be exact not at all because of the nature of the Zig-zag stitch the spacing will be adjustable even when you are finished. Make sure that you stitch is wide enough not to catch the threads that cover the millinery wire.


6) Adjust the gaps so that the spaces between them is even.

Shaping the Flare

1) Wrap a piece of bias tape just down from the top of the sides. Snug the bias until you get the shape you want. Use pins to keep the bias at the correct height. This is where the horizontal lines come very handy.

2) Stick the buckram crown tip on the top and the brim below and take a little time to study the shape you are creating, have a cup of tea. Soon all will be glued and you will not be able to change much.

3) Cut 5 pieces of single layer buckram into 4X4.5 inch rectangles placed on the bias of the buckram. With a marker or pencil draw three lines an inch apart across the long side. Cut the lines from one side to within one half inch of the other.

4) Glue the bottom half inch of the single buckram to the inside of the crown sides just below the level of the tabs. Make sure that the cuts you just made run down the center of three tabs and both edges of the single buckram runs down the middle of a tab. I recommend a fast drying non-water based glue for this project. I think that Becons Fabric Tac glue is the best. It’s pictured below. Water based glues are risky because they can soften your buckram when it is soft it can buckle.

5) Add glue to both sides of the double buckram tabs that will be covered by the single layer buckram tabs of the patch. Let the glue dry for a minute or so then press the single tabs in place. It should lay very flat to the double buckram.

6) Repeat the step 4&5 with all the patches. Cut the final one to the correct width. Make sure as you add these that they always start and end in the middle of a double buckram tab.

Here is another opportunity to take a look check it from all angles. You can compare it to the target hat. In the center of the picture is the glue I recommend, Beacons Fabric Tac.

7) To obscure the spaces between the tabs I added a strip of 1” elastic bias tape even with every horizontal space created by the lines. The bias tape is tacked with a line of glue at the center back, when that is dry the bias is stretched to fit the shape and glued at the center back again. I used small dots of glue in a few places to keep it level. I added four strips one at a time moving up to the top edge.

Until I have time to set up the rest of the article in an normal page form here it is in PDF format. Coypright Lynn McMasters, 2011

On to other Article
Last Revision: 25 Jun 2010

Copyright Lynn McMasters, © 2007
Individuals have my permission to print single copies of the pictures or texts on this site for non-commercial uses, for any other use please contact me.