Saturday, April 27, 2019

One Afternoon Tutorials--Many Hats

My last collection of one-afternoon tutorials was an assortment of how-tos for making different types of bags. Today's collection is all about headwear: caps, hats, and other forms of headwear.   

From time to time, I have posted headwear tutorials in the past. I have tried not to duplicate any tutorials (since you can look up my old posts simply by checking out the "one afternoon tutorials" tag). Apologies if I have duplicated  any of those tutorials here.  

As with my collection of bag tutorials, I have tried to list these tutorials in roughly chronological order for the item in question (i.e., tutorials for items earlier in history will be nearer the top on this list).  Also, (as is true of all the tutorials I mention in this blog), unless the description of the tutorial says otherwise, I have not tried these tutorials out!  Nor have I made any judgments about how historically accurate the products of these tutorials may be.  Research the items you want to make, and decide whether the tutorials reach a level of authenticity suitable to your objectives.  

On to the current list!
  • Scythian inspired hood.  This is the type of open hood, resembling a Phrygian hat, that appears in the art of the Scythians.  This tutorial gives double value, as it includes directions on how to felt wool fiber into cloth from which to make the hat.  Tutorial provided by Lara Baker-Olin on her blog, A Magyar Jurta.
  • Viking women's headwear.  On her blog, Jenn Culler includes an article about speculative but plausible Viking age women's headwear. Most of these are made with unsewn pieces of cloth worn as turbans, headscarves, or veils.  Find it here.  
  • Early Medieval coif.  A common piece of headwear for both men and women (often under other hats, hoods or veils) is the coif, a tie-on garment. From the Maille Is Riveting blog.  
  • Medieval "beanie."  The same page on Maille Is Riveting that has the coif directions also have directions for a kind of skull cap with a stem on the crown of the head, which often appears in medieval art.
  • "Coffee Filter" Hat.  This is a kind of pleated coronet with a chinstrap, often worn with a hairnet.  I do not know what this type of headwear was called during the Middle Ages, but today costumers also often call it a "coffee filter" hat.  Cynthia Virtue provides these directions for such a hat on her website.  
  • Open hood (15th c.).  Hoods like this one turn up on peasant and farmer women depicted in the Tres Riches Heures and other manuscripts of the same approximate date.  You can find Sidney Eileen's directions on how to make one here (though, unlike hers, most of these do not seem to have been embroidered).
  • "Butterfly" hat (15th c.). Cynthia Virtue also has a tutorial for a 15th c. "butterfly" hat.  You may know this hat by the term "hennin" (or henin).  The tutorial is here.  
  • French hood (English/French Ren).  This is the ornamented crescent with a veil hanging down its back that you see in the art of Henry VIII's day. The Elizabethan Costuming Page (which still lives, after all these years!) has a page about how to make one, with links to other relevant pages on the same site. I suggest you start your journey through them here. Note:  I used this tutorial to make a French hood once, long ago, and it was quite satisfactory except for the chinstrap (which may have been due to my misreading or misapplying the directions).  
The next few tutorials all come from Genoveva's German Renaissance of Genoveva blog.  
  • Split-brim hat. Similar hats were worn in other countries during the period. The tutorial is here.
  • Platter hatThis hat is commonly associated with Landknechts, but women wore them too. Note: The directions are packaged as a PDF.  
  • Wulsthaube.  This hat looks like a smooth headwrap with a bulge at the back.  Directions are here
  • False braids.  False braids made from stuffed tubes of cloth were a common addition to certain German Renaissance hairstyles, and not all of them were made in the natural colors of hair!  Illustrated tutorial here.  
Now for more modern stuff:
  • Late Tudor hats. Directions for a Tudor-style flat cap and a high crowned hat can be found courtesy of Tammie Dupuis at the Renaissance Tailor site, here.  
  • 17th c. coifs. Late 16th-early 17th century women's coifs were worn with a tie-on kerchief or cloth underneath them.  The Marquis of Winchester's Regiment gives directions on how to make a set for yourself.
  • 18th century hat.  The Pragmatic Costumer shows you how to turn a modern, circular straw placement into a hat here.  Martha MacGyver's Imaginarium has a tutorial on making a similar hat from a modern straw hat; find it here.
  • Regency (1800s-1810s) poke bonnet.  Kelly of Tea in a Teacup has a lovely, detailed  tutorial with plenty of pictures about how to make a Regency poke bonnet from a straw hat; find her tutorial here.
  • U.S. Civil War (1860s) bonnet. From Kim Morton comes an illustrated tutorial on how to make a 1860s bonnet from a modern straw hat. You can find it here.  
  • Mid-Victorian day capSew Historically provides directions on how to make a pattern for such a cap, and how to assemble and hand-sew it here.
  • 1940s hairscarf.  Ever wonder how to duplicate Rosie the Riveter's headscarf?  Wonder no more. Retro Chick at Lipstick, Lettuce & Lycra shows you how in this video.  The accompanying blog post also provides some useful information.
Have fun!


  1. What a great selection of hat tutorials! The Zopfe fascinate me - I don't know why, but it really surprises me to learn that Renaissance Germans had hair extensions in "unnatural" colours.

    1. The "unnatural colors" fascinate me too!

      What I like to try to do is hunt down tutorials about a wide range of historical eras. As a Viking era enthusiast, I feel a bit unloved when I see tons of material about medieval - 29th century and nothing I'm currently interested in.

      Glad you appreciated the selection! I'm not sure what I'm going to do next. Underwear is either too boring (shifts and shirts) or too complex (corsets are, I think, beyond the scope of a one-afternoon job even for those with the skills to tackle them). Jewelry and belts are possible, and maybe some items of outerwear are possible. I need to think about the subject a bit more.

  2. I don't know why but I always seem to find hats the most difficult when it comes to costumes

    1. Hi! Thanks for stopping by.

      For some reason, I usually find headwear the easiest, except for veils. I have a hard time placing and sizing a veil in such a way that it looks good on me.