1940s inspired hat

March 2, 2013

Hello everybody!

This is my first post on the website, I hope you will like it.

Recently I had a sudden obsession with making me hats, especially since I read the Birdy Beret, 1948 French style by Jeanne.(I HAVE to make it too, as soon as I find the good fabric! )

I wanted to make something looking like the “hand hat” that we could see on 1940s pictures :

This is a funny thing, I like the idea of a nice hand covering your head, protecting it against the  weather. Although I think on this picture the fingernails look a little creepy…

So as it was the first hat I made, I had absolutely no idea of how to do it!

I found on the internet some DIY videos, explaining how to make fascinator hats, with glue. I am a student, and the same week-end I did it I had a concert, and I had decided to wear a burgundy 1940s dress with this hat. Unfortunately, I didn’t have neither “glue gun” (I don’t know what is the exact name in english, sorry) nor my sewing machine in my appartement, so I had to do it as fast as I could, with a very small needle, a black thread, and my two little hands haha. For all those reasons I can’t show you pictures of underneath the hat, it is what I call a “sewing desaster”, really not beautiful haha!

So, The colour was chosen : burgundy (felt). I add some little feathers (I used UHU glue for this), a nice button I found in a little shop in my town in north of France (where I saw the biggest collection of button I had ever seen!), and a piece of veil I bought in a hat-maker shop.
























Finally, as nobody sees what is under, the result is not so bad 🙂 . I have already started a black hat, smaller with no veil. But the next project, and I will take my time for this one is the kind of “double pillbox” that Mélanie Laurent wears in the Tarantino’s movie Inglorious basterds (at 1:18). The dress is also one of my ” have to do” projects 🙂


  1. Your hat is outstanding! Thank you so much for sharing it with us!! Yes, we call it a “glue gun” in English (I don’t have one either). Sewing by hand is **always** a good thing, and many of us would not want to show the underneath of some of our projects ! ! !


    Bienvenue !
    Votre anglais est beaucoup mieux que mon anglais (traducteur).

  2. Welcome, and thanks for sharing your new hat!

    I’ve seen a few ‘hand hats’ too, they are quite avant garde, it’s great you’re getting yours out and about. The net is so pretty. What’s next?

    The more vintage style dresses I sew, the closer I get to making hats to complete the look, I’m very inspired by your work.

  3. Beautiful, I thought the first photo did look a bit creepy too. But your interpretation is just stunning well done.

  4. Ow! Thanks to all of you, these are very sweet comments!

    Oh okay, thank you for you translation Dellis, and you french is perfect 😉 . I agree, hand sewing is fun (and finally I don’t know how I could do it with a machine haha!)
    Thanks Mermaid purse, I went to 4 or 5 shops before finding the net I wanted, the “moucheté” (with little black dots). Next I will finish the black one, but first of all I think I am going to make a blouse with the 1950s “Simplicity S.116” pattern 😉 .I will probably post it here :).
    Yes Gilly, I thought it too haha, but I couldn’t find one of the other pictures I had seen before. Thank you, I tried to make a more sober one 🙂

  5. I love it!!! I wanted to make one for such a long time.. I it would already be legit to wear head pieces like just for fun. p.s. loved the reference to “Shoshana”. The dress is gorgeous and it’s time somebody made it!

  6. I really love your version of this hat. I am really impressed that you were able to make this without ever having made a hat before and not having any instructions (besides the basic facinator tutorials). It almost makes me think that I might want to try to make a hat to see if I can (almost, still not sure I can do it LOL). I can’t wait to see how your next hat turns out.
    I think it is the combination of the black and white and the fingernails, but your inspiration photo reminded me of the movie where Sarah Michelle Geller was in the shower and the ghost havd was in her hair, very creepy. I love how you took that inspiration and made something so lovely.

  7. I love your version. I did not like the inspiration photo at all! More than a little creepy, but yours is a stylized version, and i really like that!

    Great job! I’ve never yet made a hat yet, but i have lots of patterns and plans. Someday, i hope!

  8. Thanks! I tried to find another picture when I wrote this post but this was the only one that I could find. I do agree, I wouldn’t feel confortable wearing the hat on the photo haha!
    Oh I would be glad to see what would a “copy“, and all of your hats look like!! 😀

  9. This hat is so gorgeous! What did you do to give it structure? It seems like it would be a bit floppy if it was only made out of a layer of felt.

    1. Well Camille I used some “caterpilars” (wires with little hair around), that children use to make little sculptures, I don’t know the world in english sorry.
      You can stick it with a glue gun under, or sew it as I did, as I didn’t have any glue gun 😉

  10. Hello Sophie,

    I don’t know if you will see this or not but I was wondering if you ever made the red dress that Mélanie Laurent wears in the Inglorious basterds. I am getting married next year and I really want a dress similar to that one….

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