A few weeks ago during our stop at Grandma's Attic was presented with this Bowler Hat and the request to fix it please. (**note to self- Jane you must take more "before photos") Unfortunately have a number of detail photos, but no full view of the outside of the hat.
Over the course of the last two weeks, have turned my hands to cleaning, repairing, restoring the Bowler to wearable status.
Serendipity was with me, as the near mint condition Bowler obtained at auction last month made it so much easier to feel confident in the refreshing of this frayed and worn one.
The leather headband fortunately was intact, thus was able to re-stitch it in much the same fashion as the one in the intact hat.
Began by pinning it in place.Then with beeswax coated cotton thread, attached the leather to the thankfully still intact cotton piping like ring. While the commission was to simply return the hat to wearing status - my heart required me to do it as historically correct as possible. The beeswax coats the thread so that sweat will not penetrate and rot the cotton.
(*note finished photo also shows replaced ribbon on rim)
With the headband in place, it was time to tackle the brim edge ribbon. The person paying me to fix the hat, had already done a nice replacement of the hatband. That experience encouraged her however to turn the hat over for the rest of the repair.
This was the daunting part. Took some heavy thinking. In the original the ribbon was sewn on before the rim was bent and turned - just too stiff and too fragile to bend it back out and replace the same way. Also more tricky as the ribbon was synthetic not cotton or rayon - so the steaming to shape was much more difficult.
Settled for shaping some with steam, hand sewing on the visible edge, then gluing on the upper and tucked in edge. Finished that last night, and the edge seems to be holding well.
Today will do a bit of brim shaping - it needs to bow just a tad. Lost some of that shape when steaming the ribbon rim. And one last cleaning - brushing to remove the lint from so much handling during the sewing.
TA DA! Here it is Finished.
It does look as though this will be a wearable hat once again. Hurray!