Feature

DIY Melbourne Cup headpiece

Make your own vintage-style headpiece that looks authentically 1950s, however it's actually millinery at its most magical – don't tell anyone, but it's made out of a cereal box! The perfect fix for any Melbourne Cup emergency.

Click through the arrows on the top of this image to see step-by-step photos of how to make your vintage-style hat.

TO MAKE THE HEADPIECE, Step 1: Open out your cereal packet and mark four 46 cm x 3.5 cm strips on to the unprinted cardboard.

Cut out, and glue each pair of strips together (if you’re using a pale fabric, glue together the printed sides). Allow to dry thoroughly.

Step 2: Mark out two 46 cm x 9 cm strips on to your fabric on the bias. Cut out and fold each in half lengthways with right sides together and press gently with the iron. Put a few pins in place to help hold the fabric together and then sew down the long raw edge of each strip with a 0.5 cm seam allowance.

Step 3: Take your first card strip and pull the first tube of fabric over it. Don’t worry if it’s a bit baggy. Now machine sew one end of the strip going through both fabric and card.

Step 4: Pull the fabric taut, hold it in place with your fingers and machine sew up the other end. Do the same with the second card strip.

Step 5: Take your comb and hand sew it into place as shown on to one of the loops, sewing only the central portion of the comb down so it can move around a little. Now glue the second loop in place on top of the first.

TO MAKE THE BOW, Step 1: Cut a strip of fabric 85 cm x 14 cm. Fold in half right sides together and chop the ends on the diagonal. Pin to hold the fabric in place and sew around the seams leaving one end open.

Step 2: Thread up a needle with a double thread and put a knot at the end. Fold a loop into the bow about 14 cm from the end. Put a little tuck into the fabric from left to right and hold the tuck in place with a couple of tiny stitches. Bring your needle out at the back. Now fold another loop (a little larger) on top of the first, pushing this loop slightly to the right. Again put in a little tuck and hold with a couple of tiny stitches. Bring your needle out at the front. Tuck the remaining tail over to the back, pushing both the tails to the left and the loops to the right. Stab stitch to hold this position.

Finally, fold over the side of the top loop and hold with a stab stitch. Glue gun the bow into position as shown with the loops and tails facing forwards.

This is an excerpt from The Modern Girl's Guide to Hatmaking, $29.99, published by Simon and Schuster.

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YOU WILL NEED:
Large cereal packet
Pencil, chalk and ruler
Scissors, pins, thimble, needle and thread
Carpet adhesive glue
Fabric remnant – large enough to cut out wide strips on the bias to cover your card
An iron
Knitting needle
Sewing machine
A comb to sew to the hat
Clothes peg
Contrasting fabric for bow trim
Glue gun

TO MAKE THE HEADPIECE:

1. Open out your cereal packet and mark four 46 cm x 3.5 cm strips on to the unprinted cardboard. Cut out, and glue each pair of strips together (if you’re using a pale fabric, glue together the printed sides). Allow to dry thoroughly. Make sure you don’t stick the folds in the cardboard on top of each other to minimise their effect. Once the strips are dry, run them between your fingers to encourage them to curve nicely. This is important as it will help create a smooth shape.

2. Mark out two 46 cm x 9 cm strips on to your fabric on the bias. Cut out and fold each in half lengthways with right sides together and press gently with the iron (be careful not to stretch the fabric as you do so or you’ll make it too narrow). Put a few pins in place to help hold the fabric together and then sew down the long raw edge of each strip with a 0.5 cm seam allowance. Be very careful with this seam – you’re going to need to push the card strips down through the tubes you’re making so take care not to make these tubes too narrow. Turn the tubes the right way out, using a knitting needle to help you.

3. Take your first card strip and pull the first tube of fabric over it. Don’t worry if it’s a bit baggy. Try and line up the seam with the edge of the card if you can – it’s just a bit neater. Now machine sew one end of the strip going through both fabric and card. The machine should do this happily but use a slightly longer stitch than normal. Trim to neaten.

4. Pull the fabric taut, hold it in place with your fingers and machine sew up the other end. Trim again to neaten. Do the same with the second card strip. You’ll find the strips naturally curve one way, so use this natural curve to create two separate loops, holding each in place by machine sewing the ends down. (You can also glue the ends together if you prefer.)

5. Take your comb and hand sew it into place as shown on to one of the loops, sewing only the central portion of the comb down so it can move around a little. Now glue the second loop in place on top of the first. Hold the two pieces together, with a clothes peg if need be, until completely dry.

TO MAKE THE BOW:

1. Cut a strip of fabric (don’t worry about the bias) 85 x 14 cm. Fold in half right sides together and chop the ends on the diagonal. Pin to hold the fabric in place and sew around the seams leaving one end open. Now trim and clip the seam at the corners, then use a knitting needle to help you turn the tube the right way out. Press "at and sew up the open end neatly by hand using slip stitch.

2. Thread up a needle with a double thread and put a knot at the end. Fold a loop into the bow about 14 cm from the end (the loop is about 20 cm long in total). Put a little tuck into the fabric from left to right and hold the tuck in place with a couple of tiny stitches. Bring your needle out at the back. Now fold another loop (a little larger) on top of the first, pushing this loop slightly to the right. Again put in a little tuck and hold with a couple of tiny stitches. Bring your needle out at the front. Tuck the remaining tail over to the back, pushing both the tails to the left and the loops to the right. Stab stitch to hold this position. Finally, fold over the side of the top loop and hold with a stab stitch. Glue gun the bow into position as shown with the loops and tails facing forwards.

- When wearing this headpiece you need to push the comb forward into your hair. It will probably work best with up-do’s.

This is an excerpt from The Modern Girl's Guide to Hatmaking, $29.99, published by Simon and Schuster.