Bergère Hat for a Garden Stroll

Late last year I had an opportunity to get some crafting practise by creating some new pieces to be worn with my chemise a la reine (dress and undergarments by Vanyanis).


My (self-appointed) task was to create a bergère hat and another sash – the dress is quite versatile so you can create a whole new look each time by accessorising with different colours.




I used a pale green silk which is shot with orange – an interesting combination, but hard to capture faithfully! I already had the silk from our little Gainsborough re-enactment.

 I found quite a few different tutorials for the hat, but in the end just had to improvise based on the shape of the particular hat I bought:


This is just from a discount store but it had the colour and weave that I liked! I ripped the fuzzy straw (and an ugly ornament) off and then folded the crown in to test the desired height.


From the silk I created a length of bias for the edge of the hat…


…and the ruffles! I opted for a wide ruffle because of the size of the brim, but perhaps it ended up a little too wide. 😛 There has got to be an easier way to attach/pin them!


The finished edge, with my nearly-invisible stitches. (It was my first experience ever with bias binding.)


And the finished hat!

It ended up a bit too floppy after cutting down the crown, so if you purchase cheap straw hats I don’t recommend shortening the height by removing the band inside – turns out it’s important for the structure! But I bought a second one to make another in the future, so I sort of know what to do now… though I honestly have very limited millinery skills or equipment!

The following day my friend Juliette from Somnolent Images and I dressed up and got a few pics at Alowyn Gardens.





(Scooping up a ragdoll at the Vanyanis headquarters)

Thanks for stopping by!


  1. Your new hat looks really beautiful! How did you attach the ruffles to the hat? Did you hot glue or sewn it down at the base?

    • Amy
      Amy Reply

      Thanks very much! They were pinned and then sewn in place, and I think the strip of white lace covers any marks.
      I didn’t have one at the time but milliner’s needles are better for getting through straw. I don’t recommend gluing silk – marks will almost always show! “450 Quick Dry Glue” is a really strong one that’s more suitable for fabric and won’t show as much, but a hot glue gun probably wouldn’t work and in my opinion can be pulled off too easily. 🙂 Sewing also means that I could more neatly unpick and fix areas if I ever needed to, but it definitely took longer and results in sorer fingertips!

  2. Alive Laughland Reply

    Wow, how impressive. It is all so very lovely. You have a talented photographer as well!

    • Amy
      Amy Reply

      Thanks very much! It would have been very difficult to sew anything to the hat band area with a machine, and I think I found it essential for the shape that the ruffles be pinned on to the hat, so it was all done by hand. The silk was just turned under twice and not hemmed or machined anywhere.

    • Amy
      Amy Reply

      Yes, probably! 🙂 It was a rush job though, so the only wire I would’ve had on hand might’ve been a bit hard to attach and unsightly. But the structural integrity really seemed to be based on the band either way.

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