To style a bergère

If you like history or costuming – or the two combined, you know that a lady never ever leaves her house without something on her head.

Different eras calls for different headwear but it has always been present, and can easily make or break any historical outfit.

Since I’ve been sewing so much 18th century costumes lately, I needed to make myself a hat – preferebly one that could be used with several different outfits.

So today I give you the Bergère:


“A bergère (French for shepherdess) hat is a flat-brimmed straw hat with a shallow crown, usually trimmed with ribbon and flowers. It could be worn in various ways with the brim folded back or turned up or down at whim. It is also sometimes called a milkmaid hat. It was widely worn in the mid-18th Century.

It has been suggested that the hat was named after Madame Bergeret,who is certainly holding a shepherdess-style hat in a Boucher portrait painted c.1766″ (from Wikipedia).


And here are a few other versions of the hat.


vigee-lebrun,_self_portrait_in_straw_hat_BVigée Le Brun in a selfportrait

lamballe-miniaturePrincess Lamballe (and my inspiration for “the Chemise a la Reine”)


straw-hatsPicture from the movie “The Duchess” with Keira Knightley

It is a pretty simple hat to make on your own, but I will not go into details as The Dreamstress have this wonderful tutorial which really says it all, and which I used to make my own version.

Some pics of my hat in the making.

catalogueImageAn ordinary straw hat.

2013-06-11 17.50.10Cut, reshape and glue the crown back on.

2013-06-11 17.48.35Trimming

2013-06-11 17.48.56For the trim I used the pre-quilted leftovers from “The green Quilted Petticoat”

So far I’ve used this hat for three different dresses and re-trimmed it once.

“The Anglaise of satin trouble”IMG_2325


“The green Quilted Petticoat” and “The Flowery Jacket”DSC_0091


New trimming with feathers and ribbons for…DSC_0524… “The Chemise a Lamballe”DSC_0389



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