The Pillbox hat is making a comeback! You can make one (or 2) for next to nothing. I saw the movie "The Help" and it takes place in the early 60's, the dresses and hats are beautiful and I was inspired to make a hat from that era. This would be a wonderful gift for a Mother, Aunt, Sister, Daughter or friend. The supplies you will need are: cereal boxes, hot glue gun and glue sticks. needle and thread, a pair of old jeans. I did use a sewing machine but only on the lining, that could be sewn by hand if necessary. I found an old blue wool skirt at the thrift shop for a dollar. I wouldn't recommend purchasing expensive fabric for your first hat, cut up an old shirt or skirt and get the process figured out. You will need 1/4 yard netting, other fabric scraps for the lining and fabric roses. I bought a couple of feathers to add to the decorative trim. 1 yard of 1" wide blue ribbon was sewn on the edge of the netting, but that is optional. You will need 2 hair combs to glue between the hat and lining to keep the hat in place. Use your imagination for the decoration on the side of the hat, add as little or as much as your heart desires. When choosing garments to cut up for this project, keep in mind that you want the fabric to be medium weight, not too light and not too heavy. Any woman would be thrilled to receive a beautiful hat because we all enjoy dressing up once in awhile. Try choosing a print for the hat and a solid for the fabric rose. When you think of all the color combinations and different ways to decorate the side...maybe a bow instead of the netting? The possibilities are endless!
Step 1: Making the Pattern
Cut a piece of paper 6" x 7". The top of the hat is is an oval. Cut out a circle 6". Place the circle at the top of the rectangle and trace around the top half. Move the circle to the bottom of rectangle and trace around the bottom. Now you have your oval. Open up the cereal boxes. Lay them flat. You can purchase poster board to use here instead of the cereal boxes, but why? When the hat is finished both the inside and outside will be covered with fabric and no one will be able to tell that you used a cereal box. Reuse items whenever you can. Cut out oval pattern and trace around onto the cereal box. Cut out the oval. Keep one of these ovals just for a pattern. If you want the hat to be a little smaller, just re-size the rectangle and the circle. I made a 5-3/4" x 6-3/4" rectangle and then curved the corners with a 5-1/2" circle. Pillbox hats can be made in many different sizes. This particular hat is meant to fit over the head like a regular hat, but many "pillbox" style hats are small and sit on top of the head. Many of the smaller hats are round not oval. If you make a smaller one keep in mind that the combs glued between the hat and lining won't work. What you will need to do instead is get some heavy crochet thread and make 3 or 4 loops and glue these between the hat and lining, placing them on the back and sides, leaving about 1/2" sticking out. Bobby pins can then be attached to the loops to keep the hat in place.