An 1860s Doll Hat: The Cracktastic Hat Bounces BACK

A black American Girl doll hat is decorated with black feathers, orange ribbons and a rhinestone spider

My cracktastic little halloween-y 1860s doll hat, last seen looking like something out of a montage of bad 80s bridesmaids dresses , languished in my closet for almost two years, stripped, undressed, and hopefully very ashamed of itself.

A black velvet doll hat with orange bows and orange roses and beaded sparklesticks and black feathers.

Over this past weekend, I dug it out of my ‘Just pick it up and stop procrastinating you great big procrastinator!’ pile, sighed a mournful (and, admittedly, theatrically self-indulgent) sigh, and I redecorated the darn thing.

A black 1860s doll hat lies on the floor in a pile of ribbons and trims

Here you go – black feathers, black ribbons, spider-y and scorpion rhinestone brooches with the brooch parts stripped off, and.. well… voila.

The lack of enthusiasm in that ‘voila’ is because this next sentence is going to become a public service announcement. Ready?

Don’t use hot-glue when you’re trimming hats. If you ever think you might conceivably imagine the theoretical possibility of re-trimming later on, don’t use hot glue. And don’t EVER use hot glue if the hat you’re trimming is made of velvet. My ideas for trimming this thing went out the window the moment i realized that the whole trim concept was going to be “hide the big hot glue scars where the hot glue dug deep into the velvet pile and wouldn’t come out.”


I lost my enthusiasm for over the top decorations right about when I discovered the hot glue scars, but It’s still reasonably cracktastic, in the right sort of light, and when you remember that at doll scale, small is actually really REALLY big. And if big is small, this little 1860s Halloween hat is QUITE the aniline orange performer.

This hat will be worn with an 1860s Halloween ensemble that I began to sew right before our move to Chile. Unfortunately, the ensemble in question was one of the casualties of the Horrible Movers, and I still haven’t found it yet!

Consider these photos to be in the nature of a teaser – complete outfit coming soon!


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