You can flirt with a fan in your hand. You can flirt holding a cigarette, too. But a woman can really flirt with a hat. (Dolores Foster)
I love hats. I especially love vintage hats. You would never know this by looking at my vintage accessory collection. Scarves, gloves, purses and jewelry oh my — and a sparse few hats and no vintage shoes. In the case of shoes, most are made with leather and I won’t buy items made with leather or any other animal part/product. Recently, I have found a couple companies that don’t use leather and I’m sure that my closet will be filled with many pairs of vintage inspired shoes soon. But hats you ask, why so few. Why? Oh, Why? Oh, my.
A couple years ago, my fella bought me a stunning winter hat and though not vintage, it was fashioned after a 1930s brimmed hat. I had only worn it a few times, sadly, winters are blustery here and I could never keep the hat on my head. In the summer it is also an issue with my big floppy, Miss Fisheresque straw hats. Then, my good friend gave me two stunning 1950s, black velvet hats. The kind you wear to the side of your head. I had a small and growing collection, which I found surprising considering I rarely look at hats when thrifting or at vintages shows. Why? Along with the beautiful hat, my fella bought me, I could never get them to stay put.
The solution is very simple. Very simple indeed. Keep your hat in place with either a hatpin, hat elastic, a comb or bobby pins. (If you want to watch a tutorial on how to use all of these, check out Evelyn Woods tutorial) I tried sewing combs into my hats, but that didn’t feel right for me. I have tried bobby pins for the straw hats but found them too short and the hat elastics bug me and are uncomfortable. This, of course, leaves hatpins.
I love hatpins and have alway found them to be the most beautiful pieces of art one can wear. I may also be a little bit in love with the fact that they can be used as a weapon. Did you know that in 1908, laws were passed in America that limited the length of hatpins? There was a concern they might be used by suffragettes as weapons. In 1910 laws were also passed, requiring hatpin tips to be covered to prevent injuring people accidentally.
I have been on the search for hatpins for a while now and I will be completely honest, still, couldn’t find ones that I liked or in many cases, could afford. If you have a vintage hat, you want a vintage hat pin. I have completely abandoned my search. I still want to find vintage hatpins, I also want to keep my hat on my head and because of this, decided, why not make your own vintage inspired hatpins. So I am or rather have.
Living in an urban centre I have lots of access to jewelry making supplies such as beads, sequins, a variety of stones, wires, clasps, earring posts, pendant frames, glue… everything except for the shaft needed to make a hatpin. I searched many brick and mortar, eventually giving up and looking on line. I found a few online stores that have the hatpin shaft, but nothing that was within Canada. It was back to pavement pounding for me. Eventually, I found some, however, the store only had a few left and likely won’t be ordering any more. They aren’t a popular item. If this has been 1917 instead of 2017 then I’m sure there would have been an over abundance of them. I’m considering selling them in my Etsy store, stay tuned for that.
I had a lot of fun making the hatpins. Some will be given as gifts and the others are for me. I am already dreaming up many designs for the hatpins and am going to take inspiration from other vintage hatpins as I design my own. The more I am reading about them, the more excited I am getting about making other Victorian inspired jewelry.