Birdy Beret, 1948 French style

by Jeanne on January 31, 2013 · 4 comments

in 1940s,Accessories,Hats

I just loved the bird ornament on this pattern from Mrs. Depew the moment I saw it. So I bought a copy and made myself one.

The pdf contains instructions for drawing out the hat and bird patterns and describes how to do the other  variations pictured. Sewing instructions are minimalist to say the least. But drawing the pattern is simple and it’s easy to sew. An unlined felt one would be perfect to start with if you were unsure and needed a practise hat.

Anyway I made this to complete a tailored suit which uses the same suede as a trim, but no pictures of me in that ensemble yet as I still have an extra Christmas inch on my waist and the pencil skirt was already tight to start with. As soon as I can button the waistband again I will post about my making of that as it’s a copy of a late 40′s suit and I’m quite pleased with how it turned out.

But back to the hat- I made this one out of suede and lined it. The bird wings are two layers of suede fused (bondaweb) together to keep them from flopping. Next time I’ll probably do the same on the tail but it depends on how firm the material is. The two pattern changes I made were to enlarge the head opening and make the birds body a tiny bit shorter… but possibly my initial measurements for that were a little off in the first place. Stitching the edges gave it a more finished look I thought.

How long to make?  With drawing the pattern and messing about with my sewing machine to get it sewing suede nicely about 4-5 hours. I expect further hats to take much less time.

Will I make it again?  Definitely. Plans for red velvet, black felt….

This post was written by...

– who has written 15 posts on

Professional costumier & pattern designer and it's also what I do for fun... usually 1930s & 1940s style.

Jeanne's posts / Jeanne's website

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

Jessamyn January 31, 2013 at 6:08 pm

That is such a great marriage of quirk and style. I agree with you, the topstitching gives it a real sense of finish. Brava!


Jeanne February 1, 2013 at 4:28 am

Thank you :)


Sophie February 1, 2013 at 4:48 pm

Woha!! I love it! Congratulations for your work!


EmSewCrazy February 1, 2013 at 7:24 pm

Lovely! I can’t wait to see what your next one looks like.


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