In The Picture of Dorian Gray, Oscar Wilde’s modern butterfly, The Duchess of Monmouth, has good advice to follow on the hat front, inspired by the resourcefulness of her maid.
‘Why, she invents hats for me. You remember the one I wore at Lady Hilstone’s garden party? Well, she made it out of nothing. All good hats are made out of nothing.’
Here is: A Hat Made Out of Practically Nothing
A stiff hairband or a small hat foundation (found in a millinery supply shop) Gros-grain ribbon.
Large bloomed Pound-shop flowers
Little circles of felt, or a few flower petals
Needle & thread
* Wind the ribbon around the hairband, gluing in place as you go.
* Deadhead the pound-shop flowers. Discard the plastic bits.
* Re-construct the flowers by sewing them together.
* Glue the blooms to the hairband or hat foundation.
* On the underside of the headband, glue a petal to the back of the flower, to keep your bloom more firmly in place.
* Wait until the glue is REALLY DRY, and then put on the hairband.
*Measure enough of the milliners net to cover your eyes mysteriously, and add an extra centimetre or two for sewing room.
* Sew the net, with tiny neat stitches, to the ribbon.
* Apply some dark eyeliner.
Lovely Things to Make for Girls of Slender Means by Eithne Farry is out now.