Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Conversational Threads

help! putting grosgrain trim on felt hat

Janna | Posted in Fabric and Trim on

A friend has a black felt hat for some kind of historical military convention  (it’s sort of a tricorn, with three sides folded up and affixed, one side with a gold button). I don’t exactly know how to describe it.  He wants a folded strip of 1″ navy grosgrain put around the entire edge of the hat.  I can’t decide how best to attach it. I will fold it in half, press it, then what – hand stitch it onto the edge with tiny stitches?  Straight stitches or overstitching over the edge of the ribbon?  Do one side at a time or both together?  The felt is stiff but I can stitch through it.  I assume there isn’t any kind of fixative or glue that won’t stain the ribbon but I am worried about unevenness or tucking/puckers with the stitches.  Any suggestions? 


  1. Michelle | | #1

    I've just checked on my husband's Borsalino hats to see how the hat band was attached.

    All of them have single grosgrain ribbons that are sewn onto the hat at the point that they meet (on the left hand side) and are tacked onto the hat with a few stitches.

    On top of this 'join' there is another strip of grograin (approx. 15 cm long ) which is attached to the 'under' ribbon with the aid of a loop (also made from grograin) This is made to look like the center of a bow made from ribbon - but not pulled tight.

    The 2 ends of this ribbon are turned under and hemmed. These stitches go through the grosgrain and are also sew through the hat.

    I hope that this all makes sense  :)

    Good Luck,


  2. colleency | | #2

    I'm not sure if this will help.

    I took a hatmaking class, and we were taught to "swirl" the grosgrain ribbon. You iron it into sort of a u shape, by holding one end of the ribbon in your left hand and pivoting the iron at its base. That may help with the pucker problem. Unfortunately, I'm not sure if that works with standard grosgrain that you find in regular fabric stores. Millinery or true grosgrain has little, tiny loops at the edges, as opposed to modern grosgrain, which has flat edges.

    As far as how to sew it, I wouldn't try to sew directly through both layers. I think that would be exhausting. I would overstitch it over the edge rather than straight stitching it.

    1. carolfresia | | #3

      Colleen, I guess millinery grosgrain is what I've been calling petersham. I don't suppose it much matters what term one uses, as long as you make sure you've got the type with the tiny scallops along the edges. Plain old straight-edges grosgrain really doesn't stretch appreciably, so the "swirl" technique (which is what I use to shape bias strips for neckline or armhole facings) won't work on it. Do you happen to have a source for true grosgrain?


      1. colleency | | #4

        It probably really is called Petersham. I only took the one class, and I only made one of the hats. *blush* However, the Petersham/grosgrain that I found was in Los Angeles. I wrote down at least one online supplier, and I will look in my notes tonight and post it for you.

        1. carolfresia | | #5

          I've just spent some time looking online for this ribbon, and have found it under both names. How neat to make a hat, though. All those Degas paintings of milliners' shops always make me want to be a modiste when I grow up!


          1. colleency | | #6

            Definitely! The class I took was really great, but it was much harder than I thought it would be. We used "Classic Millinery Techniques" by Ann Albrizio as a text. http://www.amazon.com/exec/obidos/tg/detail/-/157990016X/qid=1086981775/sr=8-1/ref=sr_8_xs_ap_i1_xgl14/002-6258317-0922444?v=glance&s=books&n=507846

          2. carolfresia | | #7

            I have nowhere to wear a hat! But I'm trying to let my hair grow out from a very short haircut, so hats will look a little more proportional on my head one of these years. I'm sorry that that aren't so many opportunities to wear beautiful hats these days, but also very, very glad that I don't have to think about another whole accessory category every day. I'm lucky to get a pair of earrings on in the morning!


          3. colleency | | #8

            LOL! I must admit that I rarely wear hats, except to costumed events. I gave up on earrings as being too much trouble. But I would like to see gloves return as a fashion accessory.

      2. GALEY | | #9

        dear carolfresia--if it is not too late to submit it, I recently saw on a web site for hat and glove patterns that what you said about petersham/grosgrain is indeed correct; the edge of the petersham is designed to be shaped, and does not have the texture or the rigidity of grosgrain edges.  I found this site very educational.  Also, I found it in Threads Marketplace.  Thanks, galey.


This post is archived.

Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in

Conversational Threads

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All


Shop the Store

View All
View More