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.
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:
I then cut the same pieces from the interfacing and iron them on to the wrong side of the fabric.
Next I sew some 1/2 inch seam binding to the flat edge of the hat band.
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.
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.
So line up the seam on one end of the oval and start pinning it around.
I will sew this with the regular machine first and then give it a surged finish.
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.
Top stich around the top edge of the seam binding to finish the hat.
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.
Here is Whistle’s finished pillbox. She picked out the buttons and sewed them on herself.
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.
Until you get to church and receive your first complement on your pillbox- and then you remember it is there.