This is my progress on the mega hat so far. I'm using Lynn McMaster's pattern for a universal round brimmed hat.
I'm not going to go through every step by step with pictures, since that's in the pattern,but rather just point out some things I felt were difficult or where I deviated from the instructions.
I sewed the millinery wire on by hand, I was afraid that my machine wouldn't be able to handle the stiff buckram. The same goes for joining the ends of the crown sides together. When the instructions called for staystitching a line around the head opening I did change the needle on the machine to the heaviest that I had, and could use to to machine sew the seam. It did groan a bit though, so I'm probably going to stick with using as much handsewing on the buckram as possible.
I was amazed how stable the brim feel in buckram and with the wire attached, no buckling or not the least flimsy. It actually looks like a proper hat brim!
The next step was to clue a piece of bias binding over the outer edge of the brim, and where the crown tip and sides meet. I used wood glue. The pattern calls for "white glue" and wood glue is white, and since I have had good results before with using it on fabric I figured it would work now as well. I hate gluing stuff. I can do most things with a needle and thread, but as soon as I leave that comfort zone it feels like wonky things happening. I can only hope that the bias will actually stick to the edge and hold its place.
Two days later I continued. I added the mull to the the crown tip and sides and sewed the outer fabric for the crown and pull it over the crown. This was fairly easy, so I felt really confident going forward with the brim. Adding the mull was fairly easy. I used felt and it stuck to the buckram so that it didn't buckle when I sewed it on, for this I used the machine. One one side you had to add glue to the mull. I got really worried when the pattern warned about weakening the buckram with too much glue, so I think I probably didn't add enough. Covering the brim with the outer fabric was a lot trickier though. The pattern said to do exactly as with the mull, and I ended up with a wrinkly mess.
The next step was to cover the edge of the brim. In the pattern it says to use self bias, grosgrain or lace. I didn't want a visibly different edge though, and I didn't think it would work to make self bias out of the velvet, due to the nap. Since I had used quite a lot of seam allowance I simply turned it under and attached it to the other side of the brim.
Then it was on to attach the crown to the brim. It took me a full day to handsew it, and my hands were really sore from pushing the needle through all the layers of fabric,including the buckram. In the end I finally had a hat though. Interestingly the floppiness almost disappeared when I added the crown, and I'm guessing it would have disappeared completely if I had had millinery wire around the crown as well.
Now I had a hat, but I wanted to shape the brim, and I was worried about some buckling that was still visible on the brim. I decided to try and shape the buckram. To be honest I couldn't find any really good instructions for shaping buckram on the net, so I had to make a try for myself first.
And with that it's just the decorating left, first off is to create the big blob of fabric to go top.