Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter Instagram 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

Tilley hats

Alexandra | Posted in General Sewing Info on

I saw this Tilley hat in their store and looks easy to make, BUT how do you get the brim to flip like that?  Go here for the picture, the hemp hat with the black edging, it’s the first picture.


I guess you have to make the edge smaller some how.  the brim is one piece of fabric with top stitching around and around it about 3/8 – 1/2 inch apart but I don’t see how to have to edge slightly smaller and flip like that.  Suggestions?  Thanks

                 * -:¦:- *
        -:¦:- -:¦:--:¦:-
    -:¦:- ((¨* -:¦:- * ¨)) -:¦:-
        -:¦:- Alexandra-:¦:-


  1. User avater
    Becky-book | | #1

    I went to the web site, but I'm not quite certain which hat you like - guessing it is the one with the brim upturned all the way around? It was not the first one when I looked there.

    Anyway... when I enlarged the photo it looks like the brim is not just one piece, but rather has a smaller band at the edge; that is why it can be turned up.  But you have actually had your hands on one and say that it is one piece?  Maybe the back seam in the brim is not straight, but shaped so that it makes the outer edge a little smaller than it would be if intended to be flat.  Let me see if I can scan in a drawing of what I mean.


  2. User avater
    Becky-book | | #2

    Take a look at my feeble attempt at a hat brim sketch. Hope this helps,


    1. Alexandra | | #3

      Thanks Becky, I could give that a try in my mock up.  The other thing I was thinking is the black trim over the edge would be pulled really tight to make the brim smaller but it sure doesn't look like that's what's happening when I was handling the hat.  I love this hat but am not paying $80 for it so I will report back.  Got to keep my face out of the sun. *G*

      1. User avater
        Becky-book | | #4

        $80!! You could make several hats for that price, and try several different brim configurations!

        Go for it, and please post pics when done!!


      2. jane4878 | | #8

        I own this hat (the all cream one).  The brim doesn't flip back and forth as effortlessly as it appears in the photos.  I'd like it to flip down at the back and up at the front, but it's not willing to do that.:^)  It's made of very stiff, mercilessly boiled and shrunk hemp.  Tilley's are insanely expensive, but made to outlast a nuclear holocaust.  I find most of their stuff pretty ugly, but this is a really cute hat and my head's too big for most woman's hats.  I'll go home and take a look at it and see if I can see anything for you.  In the lid of the hat there's foam (so it'll float if it comes off over water) and there's a little pocket to keep valuables in.

        1. Alexandra | | #9

          I'd appreciate you're having a closer look for me Jane.  To get that shaping in the brim it has to be reduced in size at the brim.  OR they steam to bejezzes outta it over a form.  I have staw hats that do this but I was hoping to make this hat out of hemp for myself.  I can even get hemp locally!  I may have to endure the icy sales lady stares and go have another good look.

          1. jane4878 | | #10

            I finally have had time to take a look at the hat.  I'm a lab tech and I work alone and do call all weekend--yesterday wasn't quite hell on earth, but it was getting there!  The hat's brim cut in a circle, square on the grain in two layers with the grain on the bottom looking perpendicular to the grain on the top.  Hard to tell, but in one direction the fibres are heavier.  There is circular top-stitching with the first circle 2 cm from the centre and then every 1.5 cm out to the brim.  The brim is bias cut and doubled over on itself on the underside of the brim.  It feels as if there plastic boning or something stiff yet flexible inside the bias.  It is tight and stands up almost perpendicular to the brim.  The brim curls up better than it curls down.  The sides of the crown of the hat are cut on the bias with the trim around the bottom of the sides cut on the grain. The crown has an interior lining that looks like ecru batiste. It overlaps to form the velcro pocket.  Hope this helps.  I'm not up on hat terminology or construction. 


          2. Alexandra | | #11

            Thanks for the closer look Jane.  I made mock ups all day yesterday while the Oscar red carpet played in the background, a fun fashion day.  I have the crown part figured out, think mine is a little too high though.  And the brim, as I suspected has to be reduced in size at the outer edge to flip up/down.  I made 20 small darts about 1 1/2" in length all around the outside of the the brim to accomplish this and whooooohoooo, it flipped up.  I'm only working in flimsy drapery lining scraps for my mock ups but I'm jazzed that I got it to flip.  The navy trim or bias will cover my tiny darts.  I'm sure this isn't their method of making it but I'm also fairly sure they have moulds they are steaming the shape over.  I'm going to look for horsehair braid today and put that tightly around the brim edge to help with the shape and support.  I have visions of hats in every colour that can be stuffed into my purse when not in use but pulled out and used to keep the sun off my fair complextion when needed.  Maybe its own little draw string bag to keep it clean.

          3. jane4878 | | #12

            Cool...you'll have to show us when it's done.  I love hats, but I'm not skilled enough to make them and have too large a bean to buy RTW.

          4. User avater
            Becky-book | | #13

            Hats are not really that hard to make; just start with something simple with not too expensive cloth.  And if you don't quite like the end result, donate it to someone's dress-up box! then try again!


          5. User avater
            Thimblefingers | | #14

            At the mention of Tilley hats, I just have to tell my Tilley hat story!  My parents are not well off and my mom was in the city having radiation treatments for cancer.  They were with my Auntie and on the way back to her place after a treatment, they stopped at a used clothing store and found several suits to fit my Dad.  They were brand new and the lengths were perfect for him - almost like they were tailor-made for him.  After they left the store, as they were driving, my mom commented that "All he needed now was a Tilley hat!"  (My ex-in-laws used to flaunt their Tilleys in my parents' faces!)  At that moment she told my aunt to stop, there was something on the street.  She stopped and lo, and behold, there was a Tilley hat, none the worse for having been run over a couple times!

          6. User avater
            wghmch | | #15

            That's even more unusual than most of the Tilley stories. When you get a Tilley, you also receive a sheet of funny/clever testimonials that you are supposed to put in the pocket of your hat, and hand them out to people who admire it. Tilleys are expensive, but they do their best to make it worthwhile for you to do business with them. One of my friends had a Tilley that he had worn and washed for about ten years. It was due for another session in the washing machine, so that's where it went. To his dismay, it came out in pieces. He boxed it up and sent it to Tilley, and a couple of weeks later received a brand new hat of exactly the same style, with an apology that he "had a problem" with a Tilley, which they expect to last forever. You don't often find customer service like that anymore.Bill Holman

          7. User avater
            Thimblefingers | | #16

            Yes, I have heard many very positive stories, as well.  But I do think arranging to have a Tilley fall from heaven in front of a vehicle, during a familiy's time of physical and financial difficulty, at the exact moment that "Tilley" was voiced, really takes the cake for "Customer Service"!!   I wonder how they did it!!  :^) 

          8. fabricholic | | #17

            That is the greatest story. I hope he is enjoying his hat and his suits.Marcy

  3. mimi | | #5

    Alexandra:  You could try a slightly smaller than the hat fabric trim on the brim if you want it to pull up all around.

    If you just want it to pull up on the sides a bit, interface it with a stiff web and when finished roll the sides up around a hard object (like a small can) and wrap in rubber bands.  Let sit overnight and the hat brim should hold its shape for a long time.


  4. fabricholic | | #6

    Those hats are really cool looking. Would you consider selling them?Marcy

  5. User avater
    [email protected] | | #7

    When I looked at the Carolyn - Brim down, you can see more of the layout. The main brim piece fans out and the 1 1/2" band (before the black edging) would be shorter. This would naturally bow the brim up or down. Also, please note that hemp fabric is generally very stiff and it would hold the curl of the brim well. You might want to look at some of the Vogue - Patricia Underwood hat patterns to see how she handles this type of brim.

  6. Teaf5 | | #18

    What a delightful thread! I have never heard of Tilley hats, so didn't think I could help. However, as another huge-headed woman who loves hats, I've made quite a few. I'm fairly certain that the turned-up brim of the hemp hat is just a normal flat-circle brim with a bias or elastic binding around the outside edge. If you stretch the binding as you are stitching it, it will relax into a tighter circle than the edge of the brim, making it curl up (or down, depending on how you flip it).Here's a tip for blocking hats for the large head (mine is 23.25"): A 3-qt. farberware saucepan gives a nice cylindrical shape just the right size. Looks pretty funny, and I can't make rice till the hat is dry, but it works perfectly every time!

    1. thehat | | #19

      Hi  just a little thought on the hat matter they also use 19gauge wire inthe brin to shape them and if you want it to stand up straight  use a heaver webiing or really stiff interfacing toss that into the ring have fun with your hats

      1. Alexandra | | #20

        I made my first hat with flipped up brim out of jewel toned Waverly chintz; I have lots left over from home dec projects.  It matches my big bag I made to carry *stuff* back and forth to work.  It looks great, I can't post a pic, Norton won't let me, so you'll have to take my word for it.  I used an ancient Vogue hat pattern I had as a starting point and I must admit that was a great help in getting the finished hat I wanted.  More hats and bags on my to do list, how fun!

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