After making the pattern, I drew it onto my heavy buckram, two pieces each for the hat and the lid, being sure to leave enough for a “seam allowance” on the sides of the pattern in order to sew it closed. I then did a running stitch, with an occasional back stitch to make my cone and whip stitched the lid onto the cone. I used cotton floss that I had handy – color doesn’t really matter since it will be covered anyways.
After that I wet the buckram, since I read that doing so will act as a glue and help the two pieces bond better. This part is officially true. What I wasn’t prepared for as shortly after it got wet, and not right away, the buckram lost some of its rigidity and started buckling under its own weight. I flipped it over and it helped some.
I also found it handy to rewet it some and then place the cardboard pattern inside to help shape it. It was also of mild assistance to place it on the foam mannequin head. This would have been a better help if I didn’t have such a large head, but oh well. On the plus side, after it dried, it is back to being ridged, and is actually a bit stiffer than before.
Next, I used cotton batting – doubled – to wrap around the bottom portion of the hat since the buckram would snag my silk. It will also provide a nice comfortable edge for the hat to rest on my head and keep it from poking me.
I also cut a single piece of cotton batting in the cone shape of the hat with no seam allowance to give it smooth lines without appearing fluffy, like a poly batting would. I then cut three pieces of the batting for the lid, again to help cover the raw and rough edges of the buckram.
After ensuring a snug fit of the batting, I cut out my silk giving it a small but consistent seam allowance along the top, sides, and along the lid. I gave myself a generous seam allowance along the bottom so I could tuck it up inside the hat. I then cut out another piece of cotton batting for the inside and the same size pieces from my linen lining as the black silk. The additional batting is more to have an easier surface to knot and sew on then for appearance.
Before continuing with covering the hat, I cut a coat hanger wire, covered the middle section with some cotton batting and then a small strip of black silk (both for comfort and for appearance). This was then bent into a U shape which would help hold the hat on my head once the hat is finished. Once I determined the appropriate length of the wire, I cut it down and rolled the edges. This was then sewn in place to the buckram hat and frame. The raw edges of the silk and the wire will be covered by the lining.
Going back to my batting, I whip stitched it in place on the hat, being careful not to pull on it which would cause it to stretch and become loose for both the inner and outer parts of the hat. After sewing the lining and the outer fabric into the cone shape with the lids, I took the lining and tacked the lid portion to the top.
Next, I carefully slid the silk outer fabric over the cone hat, making sure I had snug fit. I tacked the bottom of the silk to the underside of the hat to ensure the silk was smooth, pushing the inside batting and lining out of my way. This ensured that the silk was smooth and taunt and covered the area under the wire frame that will help hold the hat in place. Using very small stitches I tacked the lid in place. I then added some more cotton batting to the area just over the wires so they don’t push uncomfortably into my head. This will be covered up by the lining.
At this point, I decorated the hat with pearls and coral beads, being sure not to catch the lining but going through my batting. To be honest, I did this, and decided it needed some gold thread to help pull the pattern together. When I went to add the gold thread, it looke awful. So I pulled off all the carefully sewn on pearls and beads, added my gold thread and reapplied the pearls and beads. Finally, I tacked the gold trim in place. Once satisfied with my decoration, I pulled the lining into place and tacked it along the bottom of the hat.
The final step is the veil. I used very lightweight silk chiffon for the veil. Ideally, I would have used organza, since it is sheer and has a stiffness that will give it body as shown in portraits, but I didn’t have any readily available. It is simply a large rectangle with a slight rolled hem to hide the raw edge. It is then pinned in place along the front part of the hat, the upper crown section to create the folds and along the back.