Sunday, January 15, 2012


We love 18th century American history. This is the century in which our nation fought and won their independence from England. Since the early 1970s we have participated in Revolutionary War (Rev War) living history. We have managed to acquire (make) more than just a few pieces of period clothing to facilitate this unusual hobby. In the past we have participated in reenactments in some of the original colonies, to include the surrender at Yorktown, VA in 1982 which was the granddaddy of all reenactments. There were over 4,000 participants and was a really big deal. In addition, we have had the privilege of speaking to school groups, church groups, scouts and senior citizens about the role of the American soldier (and his wife) during the American Revolution. Along the way we have learned a great deal about our country's early history and the unbelievable odds and hardships that faced the men, and in some cases women, fighting for America's independence.

So. Hubby decided he wanted an all black hat. He has two hats trimmed in white, but decided he wanted the all black. I don't have a clue what uniform requires an all black hat. Anyway, these hat blanks are expensive and we are known for being frugal, so he had been shopping for a hat blank. We were in Target, of all places, and he found a black wool felt hat for under $20, so he bought it. It is a woman's hat, but it met all the requirements to be made into an 18th century military hat.

He had all these grand plans to turn that hat blank into a military style hat. Some how I managed to get involved in yet another one of his projects.

The first step he needed help with was putting wire around the edge of the hat so when it was cocked it would keep the desired shape. Then ribbon had to be hand sewn around the edge of the hat, a band placed inside to allow a perfect fit to his head and then a cockade made. All of this had to be done by hand, because using a modern sewing machine was just not appropriate for this particular project.

As I finished each phase of this hat project, I kept thinking he would complete the next step, but that didn't happen. I finally finished all the required hand work and he was ready to cock the hat, which I refused to do, because I didn't want to mess up the hat if I punched a hole in the wrong place, so I deferred that task to sweet Hubby. So he ties the hat in place and I thought the project was finished.

Oh no, now he wants a cockade to place under the cording on the hat. I didn't have a clue how to make a cockade, so Hubby Googles that subject and found instructions on the internet. He produces four pages of instructions consisting of mice type print with a few photos and expects me to follow the steps necessary to produce a cockade. It took me a couple of tries, but I did manage to made the cockade. It wasn't easy, but I did conquer that spool of black ribbon.

He now wants me to put one of my sewing tags in the hat, THEN the hat will be complete.


Sadie said...

Good thing you are so talented, Tee. I wouldn't have had the slightest idea how to even begin the project. If you were ever a Girl Scout, you need some type of hat making badge to add to your sash.

Tee and Hubby said...

I was never a Girl Scout, I'm sure I would have loved it, but my family couldn't afford for me to be in Scouts and the band, so I opted for the band.

The hat was easy, but the cockade was not.

HEATHER said...

That hat is gorgeous!

Anonymous said...

This looks terrific fun,Tee. I am so impressed by the hat thingies. Celia

Anonymous said...

Goes to show how much you love this guy.
You are very talented. :) B.