Hi! My name is Maria and I'm new in this site. Thank you all! I would like to know what kind of sewing machine I should buy to make felt hats. I don't want to spend a lot of money on it at the beginning. Thanks for your comments!

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Welcome Maria!  I know some people use machines for their stitching, but I do all my millinery stitching by hand.  I have been a seamstress /designer for years, and find that in millinery, nothing replaces careful hand stitching.  Having said that, I am sure that there are advantages to machine stitching such as time savings for those who are turning out a large number of hats. I will use a machine for casual fabric caps etc.  I would think that you will want a machine that can handle heavy threads and allows room for manipulation of the hat. To save money, you may want to find a previously used or refurbished heavy duty commercial model.

Thanks Bridget for the advice. I will not buy anyone at the moment. I just bought a block, stiffener and other things to start from scratch. I'm going to take the felt hat course. Wish me luck! I'll be around here!

Good luck!  If you have never blocked felt before, you are in for a real treat.  It is so much fun, and you can create so many different style hats from the same block.

I'm going to try. I love hats! 

Great advice Bridget - thanks for your support to help new students. In the felt lesson I teach mostly hand stitching but also machine use.

My advice to students is do not buy brand new computerised machine as felt is thick & straw is rough. A reconditioned second hand one is best to begin with.  Felt is lovely to work with as you can mold like playdough. Enjoy -Elaine

Thanks Elaine I'm going to buy the materials for the course. I'm also waiting for my hat block. Thanks for your advice!

Do I need to buy more things than the requirements on the hat felt lesson?

Hi Maria, Just use a kettle to start with for steaming. Buy feathers or flower to match for trim. Lesson 20 details how to use felt scraps to create trims for felt hat but you may wish to add extra. 

Stay in touch, Elaine

Should I buy a kettle? I was thinking to just use steam iron. But if you think it's necessary I will buy it. Other thing... is it easy to buy rajah iron cloth? Because I'm living in London and I don't know in what kind of places they sell the Rajah Cloth. I can buy it through Amazon but I think it's better to buy it in a proper store.


You can pay your attention to Consew CP206RL sewing machine. Consew is a well-known brand, which produces good quality machines and accessories for years, so versatility and quality is a 100 % guarantee. To my mind, for any beginner, this machine has enough for first designs. 

On my first few I didn't want to buy expensive premade flowers or premade feathers ...so I went to my local craft store Hobby lobby and bought a bag of feathers for around 4 dollars and just started peeling cutting and curling with my hair curlers....then I came across the next batch of videos..lol. Imagine my surprise when Elaine opens up MORE ways to play with feathers.  But if in a rush petershams is a quick place to go.

Please share your creation when your done

I have a band stitcher machine I used on western hat.  julian


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