Hat #1: Augustine – The Art Deco Helmut Cloche

Today I am going to introduce my first hat that I made with The Saucy Milliner. 🙂

In November 2011, I blocked a fur felt hat on a vintage Art Deco (1920’s) asymmetrical hat block (the ‘helmut’ cloche, I believe). I used a mink-coloured fur felt and trimmed it with a pale pink grosgrain ribbon.

I do not have a name for this cloche. Any suggestions?

Thanks to the suggestion by Kathleen from All About Royal Families, I have decided to give my cloche an Art Deco name – Augustine. Why? I wanted an Art Deco name for my hat. Kathleen pointed out that Sint-Niklaas, Belgium is known for its Art Deco (and Art Nouveau) buildings and one of the architects is August. Coincidentally, the name Augustine was very popular in the 1920’s.

I had no idea what to expect in hat making, but after spending a full weekend with The Saucy Milliner, I realised how much work goes into making a hat. The first day was spent on blocking two hats (I’ll post on the other hat another time I posted the second hat on 13 Nov 2013) and the second day was spent on putting the hat together. Furthermore, unlike some hat makers (better known as milliners), we did not use a glue gun but switched between the sewing machine and a needle. Being a perfectionist but also overly cautious, I was far too nervous when it came to using the sewing machine so you can see how the asymmetrical brim is angular and not rounded as it ought to have been. 😦 See the Daisy Blue-canan cloche that ABC’s Once Upon a Time’s (OUAT) Blue Fairy, Keegan Connor Tracy blocked for the correct rounded brim. Isn’t her Daisy hat cute? 🙂 The third photo of my hat looks like a German WWII helmet. 😐

As for the ribbon, I chose not to do the traditional ribbon ‘tails’ (what are they called?) but folded the ribbon in half and attached both ends together to create an open teardrop. I intend to sew the edges together later now that I’m happy with the design. The best part about sewing (rather than gluing) is that I can always change the hat band. I can use a different coloured grosgrain ribbon or velvet ribbon, or even create a band out of excess fur felt (from the hood).

So far I’ve worn this hat on cloudy or partly-sunny days. I made the mistake of wearing this cloche on a drizzly day, which left my hat with discoloured patches.* If you ever make your own or purchase a Saucy Milliner fur felt hat, DO NOT wear it on rainy days. I’m not sure what would happen if you wore a black hat but best keep your hat dry.

*Please note that my cloche is now fine. As The Saucy Milliner suggests, you can gently steam the hat. I simply kept brushing the crown.

Hope you enjoyed today’s post!

Update (13 May 2014)

P.S. On 11 May 2014, the Once Upon a Time S3 finale featured The Saucy Milliner’s helmut cloche! This was a white fur felt cloche with a cream? broad ribbon that Belle wore to her  intimate forest wedding (See photos from tweets below). I think the broad ribbon makes the cloche look far better, wouldn’t you agree?

Take a look at The Saucy Milliner’s Facebook page for some variations of this silhouette:

8 thoughts on “Hat #1: Augustine – The Art Deco Helmut Cloche

  1. Have you tried steaming it gently? Rain will leave your hat with a bit of ‘character’, and not all batches of felt are colourfast, so the damp will affect each hat differently! I do love the little angle on the long side of this hat – it adds charm! 🙂 Hope to make more hats with you, soon! Your collection and skills are growing! Thanks for the link! Kelly


    • Hi Kelly,

      No, I have yet to steam the hat but I kept brushing the crown and now it’s hardly noticeable. 🙂
      Hope your hatting projectings are going well! I still haven’t gotten to trimming the rest of my hats. The weather is just too lovely to stay indoors. 😉
      I would love to make more with you soon!

  2. You made that! Impressive! (So perfectly round!)
    I was going to attempt to sew a lévite or gaulle chemise but the instructions I got are vague at best. No measurements! sewing is a pain…

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