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To Put A Straw Hat Into Shape

If the general outlines of a straw shape are found to be good, or if it
only needs slight reshaping, it can be done at home with satisfactory
results. It is really home-blocking by the use of heavy cardboard. A
rounded crown can be made flat on top, and a slightly rolling brim can
be made into a straight brim by using this method. It is a joy to take
an old, discarded, battered straw hat and make it into a fresh-looking
and up-to-date hat, a piece of work which any one may well be proud of.

Cut from a piece of heavy cardboard the exact shape and size of which
the crown top is to be made. Cut another the exact height of the crown
and long enough to fit around the head, allowing the ends to just meet.
Sew these pieces of cardboard together which will make a crown the exact
shape you wish. Dampen the straw crown sufficiently to make it very
pliable and pull it into shape over this cardboard crown. Turn the crown
upside down on a flat surface and place a weight in the crown. A
flatiron or a small stone jar will make a good weight. Bind the outside
firmly and smoothly with a cloth, pin in place, and leave to dry. After
it is thoroughly dry, remove the cloth, and before removing it from the
block, cover with a coating or two of some good coloring which may be
bought for the purpose. This can be procured in several colors, but must
be put on with a stiff brush and rubbed in well in order to produce an
even shade.

If the brim is rolling and is to be made flat, dampen it thoroughly,
press it down flat on a smooth surface, and cover with weights; leave
until dry, when a few coats of coloring may be applied. If the brim is
separate from the crown, the hat may be completely changed by slipping
the brim down over the crown, leaving it an inch or so from the bottom
on one side or in the back, making a bandeau which lends itself to
trimming of flowers, ribbons, or malines. In this case the bottom of the
crown would require a wire sewed on at the edge to keep it in shape. If
a high luster is desired, a coating of shellac may be applied the last
thing before trimming.

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Previous: Straw Shapes

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