The hat I started with was a very floppy wide brimmed 70s style sun hat I bought years ago very cheap and have never worn, as the floppiness makes it look stupid and its very hard to wear. Here is a (terrible-I really seem to be incapable of smiling normally in photographs!) picture of me wearing it before I started.
I didnt have a particular era in mind for the hat, but I wanted it to only have a brim at the front and to be asymmetric and pull down to cover one eye. (I think this is based on all the historical literature I have read where the feisty heroine always has a hat that seems to meet that general description!)
To get this effect, I basically cut the back half of the brim off, and put it over the front making two layers. I also put a small fold in the top layer at the highest point in the brim to add stiffness. I stuck them together with super glue and sewed through each layer with black thread, making sure the edges wouldn't fray and the whole thing wouldn't fall apart. I then weaved some thin wire through the under layer to make it stiffer. I think I should have put more wire in as it did tend to sag over the evening and I had to keep reshaping the brim so I could see!
Once I had done this I put a black ribbon round it, finishing the ends into a stylistic bow.
I wasn't at all sure it was going to work, but I love it! It is far less of a joke hat than I anticipated, and looks far less homemade. If I were to wear it agin (not to a joke hat party) I might have to do a little more finishing, and be a bit more brave, but it is definitely a possibility!