While I was at the GAW Barbie convention last month, I visited with Pam Seeman of Paintbox Designs. She had some adorable hats for sale, which she said are made by her sister. I bought a couple hats for inspiration and proceeded to buy some supplies when I got home. Since then, I’ve made about 10 hats, and have learned to better manipulate hat straw to get the shapes I want … sometimes incorporating happy accidents. Took me about 8 hats before I realized there’s a thread in the straw you can pull to help shape it!
I remembered browsing a Barbie Bazaar magazine at GAW room sales that had instructions for making a variety of hats from hat straw, so I started looking up old issues on eBay and Etsy to find applicable articles and just received a few issues I purchased.
The February 1999 issue has the most detailed instructions, including where to purchase hat straw. The US supplier mentioned, Sandy’s Victorian Trims, still seems to be in business and has a website, sandyslace.com. I purchased hat straw on Etsy from grosgrainribbons.etsy.com and from a couple of eBay shops, so it seems to be readily available.
The April 2000 issue of Barbie Bazaar has more hat-making instructions, using a variety of materials and techniques.
I even found an article about using hat straw to make purses.
Here are some of the hats I’ve made so far.