The 90s are back, right? What do I remember of the 90s? Well, I remember leggings (though skin tight jeans were popular in the 80s, there were no leggings until the 90s where I lived), bodysuits, deconstruction (clothes that looked all ripped and bleached), silk shirts and scarves, and hats.

The hat thing… well, I remember them from the 80s as well. It may have been that I caught that particular fashion at the end of the curve because it wasn’t until the 90s that I had an income and freedom to buy whatever I wanted. And now… all through the 00s we’ve had all manner or knitted hats go in and out of fashion but, like with scarves, there’s a shift away from knitting to fabric and other materials (perhaps helped along by steampunk fashion ‘going mainstream’). So not only have I whipped out the silk scarves, but dusted off the remains of my hat collection.

And when I say dusted, I mean it quite literally.

A few years back we had our bathroom done, and it involved considerable sledgehammering of the concrete slab floor, and tradesmen who weren’t very considerate when it came to keeping doors closed. My hat collection, stored on my hat rack, got very, very dusty.

I was too scared to wash some of the older pieces in case they dried distorted, or fell apart, and brushing never really got them clean enough. The whole thing made me a bit depressed, so I packed them away. When I brought them out again, I noticed that this old favourite was not only still a bit dirty, but the tape around it had ingrained dust and the stitching faded almost to white.

But I’d also just popped a bit of tape exactly like that into my sewing box, having recycled it from some parcel Paul had received. I decided to see if I could recondition the hat, steeling myself against the possibility it would fall to pieces and I’d have to say goodbye to an old friend.

First I unpicked the old ribbon, then I vacuumed the felt base thoroughly. I tried sewing the new ribbon around the brim with the machine, but it looked terrible – the ribbon was inclined to bunch up. I had to hand sew it on instead, which isn’t as neat as the original machine stitching but I kept my stitches as even as possible and I don’t mind the hand-done result.

Then I fashioned and stitched on a new ‘bow’ and band. Here’s the final result:

Which, though hand done, looks a lot smarter than it did when it was all dusty and faded. I can feel my old love of hats stirring back into life, and for something equally as fun to collect: hat pins!

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