There are a lot of talented milliners posting photos of the exteriors of their wonderful creations, which are very inspiring. But, I'd also like to see the insides of the hats and undersides of the fascinators.

I'm curious as to how many modern milliners are putting full linings in their hats and what kinds of linings.  And I'd love to see what your labels - which are basically your artist signatures, and will be how people will know the hats were made by you - look like.

So in short....I'd love to see your labels and linings. Please post photos!

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Hope this fits in this space.  Please let me know if you can't understand this.  It would be much easier with pictures - notwithstanding that Elaine has probably got this covered in one of her lessons - and much better too!

Gathered Linings:

There are two pieces to the lining, the tip and the sideband. 

Step 1. Cut a sideband in lining fabric, on the true bias.  

The length of the sideband = the headline or circumference of the hat + 3cm seam allowance.    Width/depth = depth of the crown + 3cm.

You can cut the ends straight (i.e. a long rectangle), but if you want a bias seam, cut it in a parallelogram shape (see picture below) with the ends (AD & BC) at a 45 degree angle.  When cut, you can fold AD & BC in to meet each other - with a 1.5cm seam allowance.  

I usually cut the length and then fold the ends (AD & BC) into the middle - overlapping the seam allowance.   If the folded length is 1/2 the head measurement, you’ll be right. 

Step 2.  Cut an oval of fabric for the tip - approximately 2-3cm bigger than the opening you might need.  It is not necessary for this to be a perfect shape.

Step 3.  With right sides together, sew the short ends of the sideband together with a 1.5cm seam allowance.   You now have a bias tube - which should be the circumference of the inside of your hat.

Step 4.  Press over a 1/5cm hem on the top edge of the sideband (the edge which will be at the centre of the crown) being careful not to stretch it too much. 

Step 5.  With a needle and matching single thread, and with right side facing, take a small (2mm) running stitch around the folded edge of the sideband, about 2mm from the folded edge. 

Note:  I was taught a way to do this which slightly gathers the edge - and hopefully, I can explain it here ...

a. starting on the right side, take two small running stitches - down, up, down, up.

b. on the third ‘down’ instead of putting the needle into the front of the fabric, take it over the top and come in from the back - making an ‘up’ stitch coming from the wrong side.  The thread will then be over the top of the fold of fabric, making a little pleat.  

c. repeat the running stitch, down, up, down, up, over, up.  

d. continue this running stitch all the way around the top of the sideband.  It will gather as you go and this is OK. 

Step 7.  Do not finish off the gathering thread at this point, keep the needed attached - as you may need to loosen or tighten the gathering and you'll need it later.

Step 6.  Put the piece of fabric which is the oval ‘tip’ onto the top of the block you used for the hat.

Step 7.  Gather the top of the sideband a little and the place it over the tip, so that the tip shows through the hole.  You can make the hole as small or large as you like.  I usually pin at this point - at the front and back and two sides to hold it firm on the block.  Even out the gathering stitches ensure it fits to the block well, and then secure all the way around with pins.

Step 8.  Secure the gathering with a couple of small stitches and then, with the same needle and thread, stitch the gathered edge to the tip with a small stab stitch.

Step 9.  Once attached, you can trim/neaten the edges of the tip on the underside.

Step 10.  Fit to the inside of the hat.

Phew!  I had no idea it was so complicated - but really good exercise to write it down! 


Please do a lesson on different ways of lining hats. I don't think any of the current lessons cover the topic properly. Finishing and the interior of the hats are as important as the exterior.
Also please do a separate lesson on millinery hair attachments for various kinds of hats. Especially the wire prongs used by Aoife here in this discussion. 


It all seems to make good sense. I can't wait to try it on my next hat. If I struggle along the way, I will let you know. Thanks for sharing! X

Besides being an accomplished milliner, you are one heckuva technical writer.  That is very similar to how they describe it in *From the Neck Up* by Denise Dreher (page 111).  Although, she glues the square of lining fabric right onto the top of the hat.  I think I like the stab stitches better.  I haven't steamed silk yet, but it's on my short list of things to do. 

Thanks Cynthia - you'd have laughed if you'd seen me at the computer, pretending to sew ... "down, up, down, up". 

Just got out my copy of 'From the Neck Up' and read her section on fitted linings - we're making one (with eight pleats) at TAFE tonight - never made one of those before!

I love that book.  I'm working on page 101 (making a cockade) at present.  I can make silk flowers and origami animals, but my cockades look really sick.  

Your instructions on how you do your linings is great, thanks for sharing. Your linings look so neat.

Thanks so much for this description - I tried it and it is very clear written and easy to realize. Thanks for sharing this. 

Yes I block my silk linings for my button shaped hats.

Great instructions. I love the red spotty one.

ANEL- fyi for my linings I use the same method as above (with a slightly bigger piece of fabric) but I just gather it omitting the oval tip (ie omitting Steps 6 and 7). The key timesaver in my view is ironing a hem on both of the long sides as it gives a really neat finish ( Step 4).

Dash it! I knew I'd forget something ... the other hem ... thanks Vivienne!

Thanks Vivienne!


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