1912 Millinery Techniques


Picture Captions:

Hat A: a black satin hat trimmed with ostrich tips of velvet and silk cord.

Hat B: a half of a biscuit shade the trim has shaped binding of black velvet.

Hat C: a toque of velvet, soutache braid, and lace trimmed with a light feather and bunch of pansies.

Hat D: silk toque in black and white for a middle-aged woman.

Hat E: bonnet for an elderly woman would look well in silk or velvet.

Hat F: a pretty toque of net and straw.  The roses are cream with yellow centers.

Hat G: black and white satin and pink roses.  The white satin is veiled with black net, giving a gray appearance.

Hat H: a black silk toque trimmed with lace and silk bow and ornament.

Hat I: a stylish floral toque finished with the large velvet bow.


Each of these hats is larger than the head of the wearer.  If you notice, the hair fills up much of the space inside the hat.  This is to be expected with the style of the day.  I have seen a line drawing from the period (1913), and it seems that a buckram hat (or hat frame) in a matching color that actually fit the head of the wearer could be worn inside a much larger hat, and may have been sewn in at the inside of the brim.  Typical instructions from 1912 show diagrams with an adjustable crown or brim with a drawstring Inside the hat so that the wearer may position the hat correctly on her head.  Otherwise, the hat would fall over her eyes.  It would have been wise to use a hat pin or other means to secure the hat to the head. One would still hold onto one’s hat when the wind was blowing.

Most of the large hats are frames which are adorned with fabric, scarves, peacock feathers and flowers.  I will include some instructions for some typical adornments in a separate article.  Some of the typical ornaments were peacock feathers, laces, ribbon roses, and ruched fabric.

The hat frames were made of very stiff wired fabric, such as buckram or starched canvas.    The hat frame was covered with any fabric that was typical for the day and handstitched to the frame.  Any unsightly stitching was covered with the adornments of embellishments.  Some of the ribbons and bows were wired along the edges.  Please use the pictures for correct placement of your embellishments.

The pattern for the hats will be created by the VPLL Titanic group for your use.

For further reference, see:

hat instructions:



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