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Where Do My Hat Trim Ideas Come From?

Updated: Feb 17, 2023

Over the years clients, students and casual observers have asked not only how I make my hats but where I get my ideas for trims and embellishments. I try to be illuminating by describing my creative process and the evolution of my style over the 34 years I have been creating hats. A significant part is the observation, study and inspiration of vintage and historic hats as well as paintings, illustrations, hat books and magazines. The photos show my process of using the felt scrap to fashion a few leaves and pods to trim a beret.

A variation of a leaf or petal shape and the use of a hole punch to create additional texture for the trim on a burgundy beret.

Another insight is fairly obvious: The mottled black and brown dye work of this felt hat suggests the stains and silhouettes fallen fall leaves create on the sidewalk before fading away in the sun and rain. I cut leaf shapes in several colors to use as trim and referencing the mottled felt in my supplies.

Note the use of leaf themes in work by hat designers of the past as well as other industry designers past and present. To name a few - William Morris

and an interesting book for the design industry - Judith Miller The Style Sourcebook


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