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Donut Hat Improvement – pt. 1

Posted by on March 5, 2016
Houppelande as worn at the East Kingdom Fall Coronation 2015.

Houppelande as worn at the East Kingdom Fall Coronation 2015.

A shot time prior to the Fall Coronation here in the East Kingdom, I made a houppelande to wear for the occasion. It’s not my best work but I think it’s a good piece of work for a first attempt. The belt, collar, and lining and hat were all made from remnants and small pieces. That being said, it is rather plain. The donut hat in particular is very plain and I had been hoping to finish the half henin that I’m making but since it’s been taking a back seat to the garb upgrades and embroidery projects that I’ve had on deck for the past several months.

During my research on houppelandes I came across this picture to the right.  It shows a donut-type hat with some kind of flower and leaf motif twisting around it. I suppose it could have been embroidered or even woven into the material used but given the raised nature of the depiction I would like to think it was a separate band sewn on to the hat.

Let me back track a little bit. The donut itself is not difficult to make. The general consensus is that they are simple tubes of fabric stuffed and seen together. My rectangle was approximately 5 inches wide by 24 inches long, allowing for 1/2 in seam allowance on both edges. I stuffed it with left over scrap fabric since I didn’t have any batting and I’m all about recycling.

Jacopa della Quercia, c.1405 Ilaria del Carretto

Jacopa della Quercia, c.1405
Ilaria del Carretto

Note: If you choose to use scraps of fabric to stuff your roll or donut be aware that it will be a little harder to get an evenly stuffed look. If you are looking for perfection, this is not the stuffing material that you want to use. 

I’m not a huge flower person so I went looking through the box of trims and things that I have to see if I could come up with something that could work. What I found was some plain double fold burgundy bias tape and a length of  plastic crafting pearls. Not super great but enough to pass the 10-foot rule. I hand sewed them on since the machine stitching would have been glaringly obvious.


Craft pearls hand stitched on double fold bias tape.

Something else that will make this project a bit more difficult will be that my donut has been stuffed and the ends already sewn together. In retrospect this would have been much easier to do if it had not been stuffed and put together already. Since it is and I got it to fit just right I’m loath to take it apart to put trim on it. I think I may have to break out a curved needle for this.


I’ll try to post my progress a little later this week, though I think there will be a lot of cursing stitching this on.


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