Hmong Princess Hat :: Sequins & Beads

Hmong Princess Hat

Hi, everyone! Fresno New Year is finally here. Today, I’m sharing my princess hat. This has been highly requested since I’ve been teasing with pictures and videos of the tedious process of making my very own. Honestly, it took me about a little over a month to make. First my pattern was too small and my 2nd attempt it was going to be too large but on my 3rd try I made it just right. I guess the Goldilocks method works.

Unfortunately, I won’t be making more of this hat or selling this hat. There are other vendors out there that sell a sequin princess hat just with less sequins. Like I’ve stated before it’s not profitable for me to sell, and in the upcoming months I simply won’t have the time. Stay tuned for my Fresno Hmong New Year!

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But first, let’s take a couple of seconds to highlight this skirt. I special ordered this skirt from Nplias Lis Vaj because I wanted a tiered pleated maxi skirt with volume. Mostly for fun outfit ideas and on the rare occasions I want to wear something more modern even though deep down I prefer traditional.

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:: Princess Hat ::

Originally I wanted multiple colored flower cap beads to match the pattern of the sequins of my hat but I couldn’t find more colors of the flower cap beads. Asia Supermarket in Fresno only had blue, orange, and pink. So sadly, I settled for blue which is still a little bit of win in my book since blue is my favorite color.

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Princess Hats were popular in the late 80s and 90s. They usually consists of cross stitch embroidery, appliqué, and beads. I still have my childhood princess hat stored with some of my favorite outfits as child.

:: Basic Steps for Princess Hat ::

  1. Complete Embroidery
  2. Iron on interface
  3. (Apply sequins if needed)
  4. Bind the hat
  5. Sew trim on top
  6. Bead the hat
  7. Line the hat
  8. Sew the back of the hat shut
  9. Attach rows of beads in the middle of the hat if needed to help hat hold it’s shape

Also keep in mind the steps are more of a loose guideline. It’s how I made my hat but it’s not the only way. I forgot to take pictures of the entire process but here are a couple of closeups.

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After looking at some of the pictures, I might end up sewing the back a little bit more so the gap isn’t as big. Depends on if I have time before Hmong New Year.

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:: Outfit Details ::

Princess Hat

Necklace/ Xauv

Sash/ Hlab 

Hmong Skirt/ Tiab (36 X 36)

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Thank you for reading! As the year comes to a close, I want to acknowledge everyone who helped me with my various projects and those that gave me words of encouragement and criticism. I completed outfits while pushing some off to the distant future, and explored my sense of self. For me sewing is much more than making pretty things, it’s a form expression, an art form, and multiple opportunities for improvement. Documenting my journey is completely allows me to jog my memory so I don’t forget. Apparently, I’m not known to be minimalist. I might not be able to actively construct things but if there’s enough interest and content with my mediocre drawing skills- tutorials can continue. I still owe a couple pattern drafting tutorials as well. There will be a slight pause in Hmong Outfit Series posts.

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Hmong Outfit :: Red Appliqué & Zig Zags

Hmong Leng Sam Neua

Hi, everyone! I have an epiphanous realization that I have prepared too many outfits for Hmong New Year. Some outfits are a part of my Hmong Outfit Series and others are part of my creative outlet. As I type this post, I see that my fabric purchases don’t seem to be twindling. There’s a lot of outfits on my list and I’m trying to finish them during my break because I won’t be able to sew for a while. Today, I’m sharing an outfit that I made inspired by the Hmong Leng Sam Neua. It’s not completely traditional but contains most of the pieces of Hmong Leng from this region. 

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:: Hmong Leng Sam Neua ::

This group lives in Northeastern Laos near the Vietnam border in the province Sam Neua. They wear their hair in large hair buns like the Hmong Leng Dien Bien/ Lai Chau in Vietnam. I like the detail on the front of the shirt. The applique doesn’t run straight on both sides but zigzags on one side and the zig zag faces differently than the Hmong Leng of Thailand. It’s typically folded over, but I sewed mine flat on the front of the shirt. I opted to do this because I think it looks cleaner and I like it lying flat and flush against the shirt.

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The shirt has black cuffs instead of the dark blue cuff like the Hmong Leng of Xieng Khouang, and Hmoob Moos Pheeb. Typically the sleeve is a full length sleeve. I did the appliqué of the shirt by hand and that was a very tedious process. My appliqué skills are also quite basic so it doesn’t look very pretty up close. Usually, in the very middle of the appliqué row  there is embroidery or appliqué triangles. I chose to embroider stars.

The video I linked below shows a Hmong girl getting dressed in the Hmong Leng Sam Neua style.


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Like the various Hmong Leng groups of Laos their dab tsho is sewn face down. Instead of tying their sash, they wrap it around the waist multiple times. 

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:: Skirt ::

The skirt that I’m wearing is not exactly authentic. It’s the closest skirt that I had in my collection to the Hmong Leng Sam Neua skirt. Hmong Leng Sam Neua wear skirts with rows of red appliqué in between the spaces of the batik design. Straight lines, zig zags, and criss crossing lines are appliquéd on the middle of the skirt.

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Pictured below is an authentic skirt. My skirt lacks the red appliqué rectangles on the bottom of the skirt or the taw tiab/ taab tab. The bottom of the Hmong Leng Sam Neua skirt consists of cross stitch embroidery- usually yellow, orange, red, and white and appliqué. In-between the embroidery space is left to appliqué red rectangles.

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Maybe when I wear this outfit next year, I’ll take the time to put my hair up in a large hair bun.

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Traditionally, this outfit pairs with leg wraps or nrhoob. Long triangles of hemp fabric dyed indigo are wrapped around the legs. Inwards for the living and outwards for the dead. I added some red ribbon on the top for decoration.

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:: Outfit Details ::

Hmoob Leng Sam Neua Outfit

Sash/ Hlab 

Hmong Skirt/ Tiab (38 X 18)

Leg Wrap / Nrhoob

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:: Photography ::

Uncle Sai Photography

Thank you for reading! Merced New Year is here and I can’t wait for the grand finale of Fresno Hmong New year. It took me a while to decide which outfits to wear for Fresno Hmong New Year, but I’m proud to say I’m ready and no longer questioning my decisions. I can’t wait to share with you all my outfits for this year. If you want to see the outfits I wore last year click here. Next week, I’ll showcase my sequin princess hat!

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DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab

Hmong Hat Tutorial

Hi Everyone! I know I promised a mens shirt drafting tutorial but I might have to push until after Hmong New Year. Today I’m showcasing a little picture tutorial on a hat that I made. In a previous post I made a version that omitted the top flap so that I could have a huge bun  top. This headwrap has various names from Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab, Phuam Hmoob Lauj, and Phuam Ntswg.

:: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab ::

Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab is worn with a sev plooj outfit and also originated from the Lao province Luang Prabang. This headwrap however is different than the type that my family typically wears as show in this post. We wear phuam dai hlaws or (phuam dai paj which I didn’t grow up hearing as often).


Black Aida 14 Count cloth

Cotton  (You can also use more textured material)

Jersey Fabric


Pom Poms



Tutorial ::

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  1. I drew a little pattern on paper to trace out the shape on the foam. I think I made the highest peak a little high on mine. The pattern above is folded in half and based off my measurements. I left excess on the ends about 3 inches on each side.IMG_1428-e1544814072112-768x1024 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY
  2. You’ll need two pieces of embroidery. I used a pattern that would match my outfit.
  3. Cut out black fabric that will be wrapped about the hat and for the flap. For the wrap portion, the length is about 60 inches and width is about 5 inches. The flap should be about 15 inches long and 9 inches wide. IMG_1452-e1544814097250-768x1024 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY
  4. Sew embroidery onto black fabric and hand sew the back.
  5. Next, sew the black jersey fabric around the foam. I used a really thin foam about 1/4 of an inch. IMG_1453-1024x768 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY IMG_1454-e1544814231243-768x1024 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY
  6. Then, overlap the two ends of the hat and sew.
  7. Position one end of the flap in the middle of the front of the hat and sew onto the jersey fabric.IMG_1460-e1544814321915-768x1024 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY

Wrap the other piece around the hat so that the embroidery is centered across the forehead. Hand sew it onto the hat.IMG_1461-e1544814374367-768x1024 DIY :: Phuam Hmoob Haum Vaj Sab DIY 10. Now you are ready to decorate the hat with pom poms and tassels!

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Thank you for reading! The pom poms that I used were a little larger but I was too lazy to make new smaller pom poms. The other day I realized that I had too many outfits prepared for Hmong New Year this year but it’s okay I’m almost ready for next year. I can’t wait to wear this hat with the outfit that I’m making. So stay tuned for that outfit post in the next couple of months. Next week do you want to see my outfit based off of the Hmong Leng Sam Neua or my princess hat? Let me know in the comments below!


Posted in DIY