I always say it makes all the difference to a costume if you get the hat and shoes right. Many museums, heritage sites, re-enactment societies, schools and theatres are gearing up for WW1 centenary commemorations this year (and for the next four years).My Pinterest page here has lots of examples from historical pictures.
Disclaimer: This isn't a professional hat-making tutorial with wooden blocks and damp felt and all that specialist stuff!! Oh no, this is for mere mortals. If you were a professional hatter you wouldn't need this. And you'd be too busy having tea parties with Alice anyway...
What This Tutorial Does
This tutorial shows how to convert an ordinary cheap straw hat into one of those enormous Edwardian/WW1 hats, using fabric, cardboard and heaps of ingenuity. I've done it in two parts to allow time for Actual Real Life (mine as well as yours). So here goes:
Creating the Enormous Edwardian Hat shape
You need a reasonably stiff hat as a base, preferably one you can get a needle through. I used this cheap theatrical straw boater:
Then I drew around it on a sheet of card to create my new mega-sized brim (it was just a flattened-out cardboard box- but avoid the creases if you can). You need enough card to make two brims, but just draw on one for now.
Join up the marks to complete the template for the inner edge of the brim. Then mark out the new external brim edge- oval or circular is fine, but if it's not a symmetrical shape you'll need to remember where the front is supposed to be!
Cut out the inner circle and outer edge, then use this card as a template to make an identical second piece.
Tape the outer edges to hold them, then bind all the edges with duct tape all the way around.
Covering the Enormous Edwardian Hat
Cut a circle of your base fabric about 15cm larger than the hat.
See part two of the Enormous Edwardian Hat tutorial for the next stage.