August 17, 2008

Black cloche for a theater play – ribbon trimming

Filed under: Black straw cloche,Millinery projects,millinery techniques and cheats — Cristina de Prada @ 11:41 pm

Black cloche straw hatThis beautiful 1920’s cloche is the result of the combined efforts of Nina and me. All credit for the design must go to her since I just helped her apply the trimming.

The first vintage ribbon that we were going to use, a wide waxed black ribbon turned out to be “burnt” and ripped very easily so it ended up in the bin.

The second choice, this beautiful vintage moiré ribbon looks very beautiful on the hat.

Nina thought of this classic ribbon trimming, where a running stitch following a zigzag pattern is made, and when the thread is pulled the ribbon gathers in a beautiful manner. She asked if I knew how to make it and I remembered seeing it in a book (probably more than one), so I just went ahead, and it was relatively easy. I marked the sections (corners of the triangles) with pins, and although I began by folding the ribbon and marking it with my nail, I ended up just doing it by eye using a long needle.

Here is a picture from one of the books that show how to make this ribbon trimming (often referred to as purled ribbon or shell trimming).

This is from a book called “Ribbon Trimmings A Course in Six Parts” by Woman’s Institute of Domestic Arts & Sciences Department of Millinery (Reprinted by Viv’s Ribbons & Laces, Sloan Publications ISBN 0-9631893-0-1).

Here is a detail picture (sorry for the low quality!):

The beads are in fact plastic half spheres with two little holes to sew them on. They shine wonderfully. The three ribbon pieces that stick up have been carefully sewn in place for a natural look, and give the hat a nice sense of movement (we used up to the last centimeter available of the ribbon!). Finally, just say that the hat is unfinished, and will have a long black veil hanging from the right side, because it’s going to be a mourning hat on a theater play.



  1. So elegant! I have straw envy though…where can I get a cone like that?
    I’ve done that same ribbon treatment, pulled it tight, and then coiled it and tacked it down on some crinoline. It looks like a zinna! Just add a few stamen in the middle.
    Please show us the hat with a veil. And be sure to check Kate’s post about her black hat that she made and wore for real mourning. A beautiful tribute to her mother.

    Comment by Jill — August 18, 2008 @ 5:42 am

  2. Que belleza de cloche!. Habrá que ir al teatro este otoño….

    Comment by Prima — August 18, 2008 @ 9:18 am

  3. Jill,
    Thank you for letting me know that Kate’s mom had passed away. I did not know.
    I hope to be able to get a snapshot of the hat with the veil, we will see!
    Regarding the cone… well, vintage… so no chance of getting one like that anytime soon!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — August 18, 2008 @ 10:48 am

  4. Too gorgeous. Miss J has posted this on her blog. Fantastic!

    Comment by Miss Janey — August 18, 2008 @ 7:26 pm

  5. Absolutely fabulous!

    Comment by Marie from Texas — August 18, 2008 @ 10:17 pm

  6. Gorgeous hat and trimmings Cristina!

    Comment by Cath — August 22, 2008 @ 12:20 pm

  7. I love it!

    I made a cloche last year and just hope the rain stops long enough to wear it

    Comment by Manda — August 22, 2008 @ 5:20 pm

  8. Delicious! And so beautiful on you. Looking forward to the veiled effect.
    K Q:-)

    Comment by Kate — August 24, 2008 @ 2:11 am

  9. This hat is so lovely! And I too want to know where you got the hat body?

    Comment by Lorri — September 18, 2008 @ 4:18 pm

  10. Oops, forgot to answer about where the hat body came from, and I also owe you guys a picture of the hat with the veil (hope to get one soon).

    The straw body comes from my friend’s Nina vintage stock, and it was the only one she had of that type. But at least it ended up as a beautiful hat!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — September 18, 2008 @ 9:30 pm

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