Church Militant “To the Pillbox!”

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Always in search of new ways to artfully cover our heads to show deference to our Lord I have heard the cry “To the pillbox!” Today I would like to show you a link to a tutorial that you can easily follow as I have done to make your own pillbox hat.  Brenda Burton of Humble Bumble B gave an interview on a web program called Thread Bangers (2007)- they have tutorials on all kinds of crafty subjects.  Here is the link.

The first pillboxes I sewed were made of felt.  Recently I have made some using 100% cotton fabrics reinforced with interfacing.  I really like the versatility of this for color and seasonal transcendence. Here is Whistle in her pillbox after church.
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So how does it go together?  I modified the pattern slightly from the tutorial to be smaller for the little girls heads- I think it turned out to be a great size for all heads.  When you watch the video- Mrs. Burton gives an excellent and simple presentation on making the pattern.  I changed the dimensions on the oval to be 6.5 inches and 2.5 inches high.  My band is 9.5 inches long- both are cut on the fold. Here is an example:

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I then cut  the same pieces from the interfacing and iron them on to the wrong side of the fabric.

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Next I sew some 1/2 inch seam binding to the flat edge of the hat band.

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You can use any color you might have in the drawer as this part of the hat will not be seen when you wear it. I am using a serger here.  Not required- but it sure make the hat so nice and neat!  Then I iron the seam binding out flat.

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Fold the hat band right sides together and sew a 5/8″ seam-joining the ends together and then you are ready to pin it to the top of the hat.

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So line up the seam on one end of the oval and start pinning it around.

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I will sew this with the regular machine first and then give it a surged finish.

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Next I fold the seam binding to the inside and pin two short lengths of ribbon to each side so that you can catch a bobby pin that will hold the pillbox on your head.  In Mrs. Burton’s video she puts a hole in the felt-  I think with cotton you could do a couple of small button holes for your bobby pins- but I thought this was easier.

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Top stich around the top edge of the seam binding to finish the hat.

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All that is left is the embellishments.  We picked a selection of buttons to adorn the front of these pillboxes- you can keep them bare and then use a broach or other jewelry and change it up to match your outfits.  An artfully applied flower with a corsage pin can also make a good decoration that you don’t have to commit to.

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Here is Whistle’s finished pillbox.  She picked out the buttons and sewed them on herself.

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Here is Whistle and Bubble together with their custom pillbox hats-these are so feather weight- once you have them pinned on you don’t even remember they are on your head.

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Until you get to church and receive your first complement on your pillbox- and then you remember it is there.

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God Bless!