How to Make a Flapper Wedding Cap
Sourcing Items for this Project
Vintage Crochet Doilies
Recycle with purpose in your mind.
Beautiful need not always be expensive! This unique 1920’s flapper style hat was created using only recycled fabrics. Vintage Lace was sourced from local thrift stores or car boot sales. The little '‘skull cap’ is made from a piece of recycled curtain netting which was soaked in PVA craft glue and molded around a wooden hat block. The little cap became the base for this stunning 1920's flapper wedding hat.
Vintage crochet and lace can also be sourced from Amazon so too can vintage wooden hat lasts be found. Finding a bargain is getting a lot more difficult but e-Bay is still one of my favorite places to find items like these.
Keep the end result fixed in your mind
Crochet and Lace with Sallybea
A note on hat blocks
Vintage hat blocks can be simple or complex. Wooden blocks are tactile and beautiful. One can't help being drawn to stroke and smooth the wood beneath your fingers. Behind the layers of varnish lay many hours of work by a skilled craftsman. They have become very collectible and expensive. Choose your hat blocks with care and treat them kindly and they should last for many years. Cover them in cling wrap or tin foil when using with wet wool. This will help protect the wood.
Things you will need for this Tutorial
A hat block/either wooden or polystyrene.
A piece of heavy duty curtain netting
PVA Craft or hobby glue
A small piece of fabric lining in a complimentary color
Vintage cotton lace doilies (tatted or crochet) in neutral shades
Bits and pieces of vintage lace ribbons and lace
A pair of sharp scissors
Pins and a long sewing needle
A glue gun with glue sticks
Wooden hat block
Begin by covering a wooden hat block with cling wrap as shown below. This will prevent any glue from sticking to or from damaging the hat block below.
Hat block covered in cling wrap
PVA craft or hobby glue, wooden hat block, curtain netting and rubber bands
Preparing the wooden hat block
Drape a thickly woven piece of curtain net over the cling wrapped hat block as shown below.
Draping the curtain netting over the hat block
Adjust the folds
Use elastic bands as shown here to gather in the fabric. The folds in the curtain netting should be adjusted to give a pleasing effect.
Use rubber bands to help gather in the folds neatly
Spread PVA craft hobby glue on the head area.
Spread the glue.
Spread a nice thick layer of PVA Hobby glue on the curtain netting. . Work it well into the fabric above the eyes and the forehead. Spread it around the sides and back of the head until you reach the elastic band area on the neck. Make sure the pleats in the fabric are well glued so that they do not move when the glue is dry.
You may wish to use your hands or a paintbrush to do this. Remember that the glue is water solvent so you won't have a problem rinsing your hands or the paintbrush in water.
Leave the glue to dry properly, preferably overnight.
Trim the net cap carefully with a pair of sharp scissors
Once dry, trim the net cap as shown with a pair of sharp scissors. The cap should maintain its shape perfectly once removed from the block.
This small surprisingly flexible ‘skull cap’ is about to become the base for your 1920’s lace wedding flapper hat.
Front view (Excess fabric trimmed)
Lining the Hat
Remove the cap carefully from the hat block.
Turn the cap inside out and place it back onto a hat block. You may use either a wooden block or a polystyrene hat block as shown here. The latter makes it easy to envisage what the finished hat might look like on a human head.
Drape a piece of silk lining over the skull cap and secure the fabric to it with tightly stretched elastic bands. Arrange the folds in a pleasing way and then either glue the fabric onto the cap with a glue gun or sew it securely with a long needle as shown below.
Trimming the lining
Put the cap back onto the hat last
Put the hat back onto the hat last. The lining will now be on the inside.
Cover the cap with a piece of lace. In this case, I used a piece of a crochet table cloth.
Glue the edges of the lace to the surface of the net cap so that the lace fits snugly against the curtain netting cap. This lace layer will now become the first layer for the flapper hat.
If you miss out this stage it is possible that the curtain netting layer will show through the layers of lace.
The crochet table cloth glued to the edges of the net cap.
Tuck in any excess lace where required.
Tuck in any excess lace. Retain any which you may wish to drape at the back of the hat. Finish off the inside of the hat with either bias tape or glue on some trim or ribbon to the inside of the hat.
You want the inside of the hat to look as nice at the completed flapper hat.
Tuck in excess fabric at the front
Back view of the lace covered cap
Experiment with the lace before you pick up the glue gun
Working out your design
Experiment with different pieces of crochet and lace before you pick up the glue gun. Get it right at this stage and avoid costly mistakes later.
The rear view of the flapper wedding cap
A 1920's flapper wedding cap.
Are you interested in recycling vintage lace for creative projects such as this one?
© 2015 Sally Gulbrandsen