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Butterick Hat Pattern (B4146)

Elinor_McD | Posted in Patterns on

I’m partway into making Hat B of the Butterick pattern B4146 hat pattern and am feeling frustrated. I’ve not made a hat before and perhaps it’s simply my inexperience showing. I’m having trouble fitting the tip (the round top of the crown) to the crown. The instructions say to baste the fashion fabric and the buckram for the tip together, and to do the same for the buckram and fashion fabric crown pieces. That part went well. Next I’m supposed to first pin and then sew, clipping if necessary, the crown to the tip.

This would not be a problem if there were no buckram involved, but that very stiff stuff makes it extraordinarily difficult to fit the tip and crown pieces together even with pins, much less to stitch. I presume that I must pin and stitch right sides together so that I’ll have a finished seam all around the join of the tip and crown and then somehow to turn it wrongside in?

Has anyone else made a hat like this and do you have advice for me?

Elinor McDonald


  1. colleency | | #1

    I haven't made that hat, but I've had a hatmaking class. So I know just enough to be dangerous.

    Apparently, there are two types of buckram. There is theatrical buckram, which is incredibly stiff and hard to work with. There is also buckram that was used in the '40's and before, when people wore hats all the time.

    Perhaps you could try a millinery supply store for the answer, and maybe they would even have the lighter-weight buckram.


    (Like I said, just enough to be dangerous.)

    1. Elinor_McD | | #2

      Thanks for your suggestions. The pattern does not call for the use of millinery wire, so I suspect they really did mean the stiff buckram to be used. But I'm going to purchase some of the "millinery buckram" from one of the merchants listed in the google search to try out.

      What I did was to sew on the seam line on the tip, and on the band. I clipped the edges, then with my fingers bent the buckram-fashion fabric sandwich down. I slipped the tip inside the band and held it there with removable painter's tape. Then I slip-stitched by hand the fashion fabric seam around the edge of the tip to the band. It looks very good.

      I ran into the same trouble when I went to attach the completed crown to the brim. Before reaching this step, the pattern already had the underbrim fabric attached to buckram, and the upperbrim fabric attached to another piece of buckram and the two sewn together at the outer rim of the brim and covered with self-fabric folded bias tape slipstiched on. There was no way I was going to get that double thick brim sewn to the crown by machine. So I again sewed on the seam line on both pieces (so I'd know where it was), I clipped nearly to the seam lines, and then fitted the crown over the folded up inner edge of the brim and sewed them together by hand. The clipped edges were folded up or down (which ever direction was needed) so that the two seam lines could exactly meet. I then made a separate bias tube of the fashion fabric, ironed it flat and slipstitched it to cover up the crown-to-brim seam. Since the fashion fabric on the crown band was already arranged in folds, this resulted in completely hiding what I'd done.

      The hat looks good and it fits my head and matches the dress that uses the same fabric. Now I am shopping around for what I'll use to trim it.


      1. colleency | | #3

        That sounds great! I vaguely recall that we may have been instructed to do likewise. I'd have to dig out my notes. I'm embarrased at how little I recall, but it was a lot of information in a relatively short time.

        I'm glad you were able to figure it out!

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