What's New

Here on the What's New page I like to post any current events and happenings, as well as new ideas coming out of the shop. I don't get here as often as I like, so if you would like to see the very latest things, please check us out on Facebook and Instagram.


October 2019 

A World awaits!! 
When the Horde is on its way, you have to look your best.

This killer custom is will keep you looking sharp as you strut around Azeroth waiting for battle. 

What goes into a W.o.W. custom you ask? Well, a hand painted silk screen for the liner and a sexy Pinnacle Edge brim to be sure.


September 2018
Custom Design Highlight

 the Purple Reign

 They don't get much more custom than this. Commissioned as a tribute to the late musical artist Prince, this hat pulls out all the stops. 100 year old silk ribbon, swarovski crystal, fish leather and Love symbol #2 felt branding are just some of the exciting and unique details.
R.I.P. Prince



July 2018

Custom Variations

Since every hat here at Black Sheep Hat Works is built to order, we see a lot of custom variation on our standard styles. Here are two nice additions to that list of hats.

Moss green Constellation
Black cherry Meadowlark


May 2018

Custom Brim Press???

For those unfamiliar with a brim press, it is a set of boards employed to keep a flat brimmed hat flat. They are quite common for uniform hats and they do a great job.
Now most folks can order a stock one from various outlets, but when your head is a lofty size 8 ½, that's where we come in. Custom brim press to the rescue.....


November 2017
Sweatband Repair

Most collectors of vintage hats are quite familiar with the sad reality of stitch decay. It's a common occurrence in older sweatbands. The years of sweat and wear eventually just break down the thread and before you know it, poof! The hat comes off but the sweatband stays on your head.
Sadly there isn't alway an option to re-attach the original sweatband in many of these cases, but every so often we get lucky. 
This specimen is closing in on 100 years old. As luck would have it, the leather was still supple and we were lucky enough to have a reeded sweatband! That is rarely ever the case and the reed is really what makes this repair possible. I am happy to report that this hat is back up to snuff and ready for everyday wear again.


September 2017
Custom Design Highlight

Another great custom Esquire model
Shown here in steele felt and wine ribbon.


June 2017

New Ideas!

I am always on the hunt for beautiful fabrics to build hat liners, and the collection is alway changing. Recently we have been sourcing great vintage fabrics as well as small boutique yardage, and I couldn't be more happy about it. Here are a couple of great ones. The first is a wonderful vintage Kimono silk and the second, a two piece liner built from great Deco patterns.
If these don't make you stand out from the flock, I'm not sure what will?

I figured we should show off the second hat as well. It's a fabulous two-tone Constellation, so a two piece liner only seems appropriate.


May 2017

Custom Design Highlight

This is just a wonderful variation on our Esquire model.
Shown here in navy blue Sateen Finish beaver felt with hand folded puggaree band, Halo Trim and navy accent button.

December 2016

"Don't worry folks, it's all part of the show!"

Just one of the fun steps on the way to a great hat.


October 2016

Custom Design Highlight

Looking to stand out on a Friday night? Well you wouldn't be missed in this fiery custom!
Silverbelly felt is dressed out in a hand dyed crimson ribbon with Flying aces bow treatment. This one is a real head turner for sure!


September 2016

Custom Design Highlight

Here is a fun little custom number. A 5" topper in silver belly long hair with ranger style leather hatband.


August 2016

And the Duplex has it!

This summer not only brought us some beautiful weather, but here at the shop, we had a bunch of fun orders for Duplex variations. 
If you are unfamiliar, the Duplex style hat(sometime called the Two-tone) is the best of both worlds. Originating around 1910, this style melds the structure of a felt with the light breezy-ness of a straw. 
If you ordered one this year, you are in good company. Here are a few of the highlights.


The Black Sheep Hang Loop

What is it you ask? Well, that's simple, it is a thin loop built into the sweatband of each custom hat. It is there to provide a method of
easy hanging or storage while on the go.

Can't find a coat hook or a hat check? No problem!
The hang loop allows you to hang your hat on just
about anything from a chair back to a thumb tack. 

Now standard on all custom made hats.


May 2016

Custom Design Highlight

Here is a charming little custom number that finds itself somewhere between styles. A bit of "Boss of the Plains" meets western bowler I suppose.

Pecan beaver felt with antique brass grommets and three ply ribbon.


December 2015


The Sliding Wind Trolley

Those of you familiar with vintage and custom hats are no doubt familiar with a wind trolley. It is commonly a small button fixed to a hat with a cord. The idea is to "un-button" it during high winds and attach the button to a lapel hole on a jacket, thus ensuring that your hat does not blow away. It also dresses up a hat nicely.

Our new "Sliding Wind Trolley" adds a twist on this classic feature. By employing a loop and sliding button, we have added two options for your attachment needs. The button can be affixed to your lapel in the standard way, or for those occasions without a lapel, the loop can be fixed to any button. 

So add a little class, a bit of security and a downright neat conversation piece to your hat.

Ask about available colors and styles


November 2015


Here at the Hat Works it is my constant goal not only to make a better hat, but to make the best hat these two hands can muster. So, with that in mind, I am proud to offer a new top of the line
 Mink felt blend, because you deserve the best!

These hat bodies mix a wonderfully soft hand touch with the lightweight durable feel of a true vintage hat body.

In a recent match up versus a 1930's clear beaver mercury felt (a creme de la creme of vintage felting),
these new felts held their own. In a blind test, most of our testers had to guess which hat was which, as they could not tell the difference. We think that speaks volumes.

So give us a call and treat yourself to the next step in luxury.


October 2015
Custom Design Highlight

Here is a hat that really highlights the custom process. Every detail of this hat was not only meticulously thought out, but each holds a special significance and meaning. It was a wonderful project that I am proud to have gotten a chance to work on.

Note the two finish felt process, the hand dyed cinnabar ribbon with five pleat bow and the very unique octagon cut brim. Each are unique and together are sure to make this hat Stand out from the Flock.


September 2015


Those who know hats are surely familiar with the classic Cavanagh edge or Mode edge. Once the finest edge treatment found on hats, the felted edge was lost in the annals of time due to cost and the decline of hat popularity.

Well, being the hat lover that I am, I couldn't just leave well enough alone. After many trials and tribulations I am finally happy to introduce my homage to the classic edge detail. The Black Sheep Hat Works Pinnacle Edge.


August 2015

We've got new colors available in heathered fur felts, and to celebrate,
why not have a sale!

Now, I know what you are thinking.
"Why would I order a furry hat when it is so hot outside?"

Well, the lead time here in the shop runs around 5-6 months on average. So that means, if you order a hat today, you'll get it smack dab
in the middle of winter. It makes perfect sense.

Heathered felts are available in short and long finishes
and in most dress styles.


June 2015

If you are like me, you have a hard time giving up your felt hats in the summer months. Well, why not make it just a little more comfortable by adding some crown ventilation to your next custom hat.
Not only is it a cool option, but it's just one more detail to make your hat
"Stand out from the flock."


April 2015

Here is a special treat.

This is the first of our fine velveteen 100% beaver finishes. The look is achieved by using 100 year old techniques and a great deal of hands on work. 

The hat is shown in steele felt with a hand dyed 2 1/4" ribbon, Halo trim, and for an added bonus, all natural calf skin sweatband with brocade liner.

I like this hat so much that we just might have to make it a standard offering. But that is just my opinion, what do you think?


February 2015

Looking for a partner out there on the river? One who doesn't talk much?
Well, how about letting your hat fill that void by adding a new
shearling hat band.
Not only will it keep your flies close at hand, but it is guaranteed not to blow your cover if that fish story gets a little too big.

This classic band is built from 100% pure shearling sheep skin with antler button detail.
Currently priced at $40 plus shipping.
Available in a variety of colors.


December 2014


After much trial and error, sweat and strain and more rabbit and beaver hair coating the shop than I care to admit, I am finally proud to introduce a full line of long hair finishes available here at the Hat Works.

Those of you who have followed us in the past will recognize at least one old favorite, the heathered rabbit felt, but there are some new additions to the line up.


   The shortest of our long hairs, this finish most closely resembles that of the classic velours. Hand finished here in the shop and now available in both 100% Pure Beaver and Rabbit Fur Felt in the full range of colors.

Sateen   This is the next a step up in length, a "short long hair" if you will. The even length of the fibers, as well as some good old fashioned hatter magic, bring a wonderful silky luster to this finish. Also produced here in house and available in both 100% Pure beaver and Rabbit Fur Felt in the full range of colors.


Long Hair    The longest of our in house finishes. It may sound simple but a good long hair is a hat of distinction, to be sure. Also now alailable in both 100% Pure beaver and Rabbit Fur Felt, in the full range of colors.



Heathered Fur Felt     This has long been a favorite here at the Hat Works. These hat bodies are very light weight. The mottled coloring adds a special appeal only found in heathered felts. Available only in Rabbit Fur Felt in the following colors: Black, Charcoal, Arctic Grey, Brown (shown below), Navy, Loden Green & Lichen.


Introducing "Halo" Trim 
This is another of our new options available on most custom hats.  Halo trim, while being a stitch, has the appearance of being the smallest edge binding you've ever seen. It also works great with additional stitch designs and is shown here on our Constellation model as a "Halo plus 1", referring to the extra row of stitching.



For those of you who are unfamiliar with the term, a Tip Liner is a small piece of material placed in the top of a hat crown in lieu of a full fabric liner. The purpose is to cut down on overall weight and warmth of a hat. Up until now, we have offered tip liners in satin and brocade fabrics but I am now happy to be able to add one more option to the bunch:

The Impermeable Tip Shield

The Impermeable Tip Shield is crafted from a densly woven fabric featuring micro polyurethane coating and a DNR (durable water repellant) finish.  This waterproof, breathable fabric is perfect at providing a protective barrier between your head and the felt. It also has a soft fabric feel and is hand sewn to the hat the good ol' fashioned way. It is so light and thin, you will forget it's even there.

And as a side note, all of our satin, brocade and impermeable tip liners can be substituted into any hat at no extra charge.

November 2014

This little fella is a recent, custom-built hat based on one worn by famed architect Frank Lloyd Wright.

I dare say that there is quite an eye-catching curl on this brim!


Did you know that you can find and enjoy more of Black Sheep Hat Works on Facebook? If you are a bit wary of social media (as am I), have no fear! Stop on by to find a plethora of interesting styles and new combinations. Remember, you don't have to be a member of Facebook to look through our photos, so if you like what you see here and are itching to see more, go check it out. Click below to view our most recent custom-made hats.


September 2013

Greetings from your traveling Hatter!
I just wanted to say a quick hello and thank you for everyones support of  my big journey along the Continental Divide. It was one amazing adventure and it was nice to hear all of your comments of encouragement along the way. For those of you who are interested, here is the video I have put together of my trek, I hope you enjoy it.

So, with that being said, the hat shop is back in action! I am still in the process of getting some things re-organized and sorting out orders but I hope to have the first hats rolling out this week.
I also would like to thank all of you who placed an order while I was away, it was incredible to come home and see so many orders and such hat enthusiasm. You guys are the best!

Thanks again,


January 2013

To my dear valued customers,

We are writing today to let you know about the upcoming year of change here at Black Sheep Hat Works.

As many of you may know, I am an avid backpacker.  This year I have decided to chase a long time dream and attempt to hike the entirety of America’s great Continental Divide.  This path leads from the Mexican border in New Mexico and follows the Continental Divide through the Rocky Mountains to the border of Canada in Montana.  I will also be adding the Pacific Northwest Trail to my travels, and will be hiking back home from Montana to the Pacific Northwest. The total trip will be somewhere around 4100 miles and I am allotting myself 9 months to complete the journey.

As this trek will take the better part of 2013, come January 22nd, 2013 we will not be accepting any new hat orders for some time.  2012 has been our busiest year to date thanks to you, our loyal customer. I have decided to stop orders on January 22nd to give myself ample time to compete all of your hats that are on order before I leave the shop.

This journey is sure to be a hard one and some of you may be wondering why, when business is good, would I choose now?

I have found that the time for chasing dreams never really presents itself; most often you have to make the time. Choosing to go into hat making was such a decision. It was hard and seemed daunting. It certainly did not fit into our lives at the time, but it has proved to be one of the most rewarding choices I have ever made. My joy in it has taught me to reach more for the things I would like to accomplish. I hope you will understand.

In the mean time, for those of you who are interested, Alex plans to follow the trek with updates on our Black Sheep Facebook page and the website. I will also be building two hats for the trip, one straw and one packable felt and plan on putting them though serious testing. I figure that there is no better way to test a hat than 20 miles a day in the most rugged and remote wilderness in America. So that should be fun.

I would like to thank you all for your understanding. I do hope that wherever you are in life, you can make time to chase after your dreams. Remember, there is no time like the present.


 Your hat maker,
Bob Jessee


August 2014

As some of you may know, we are always on the hunt for new things to add a special touch to your custom hat. We recently acquired some beautiful brocade fabrics for hat liners and here are just a few.

If you need one in your next hat, just let us know and remember,
Stand out from the flock.


The country seems to be burning up with heat, but here in the Northwest summer has only just arrived.
To celebrate, I decided to dry some freshly blocked hats in the open air. 
If you find yourself questioning the sunbathing of new hats, I respond with... Why Not?
All articles of our wardrobe should start their lives in such a relaxing manor.

Ferburary 2014

We were happy to again be a part of the annual Valentine's Day gala and auction for the Boys and Girls Club.

The evening was a smash, complete with a barbershop quartet, clowns, a classic movie and, of course, a great auction to benefit the kids. 

As for these hats in action? 
Only moments after this lucky fellow scored the winning bid on a new   Tel One, he scored these two lovely members of the Flock, both in their own Black Sheep hats. 
A great evening for sure, mark your calendars for next year!

Get a bombshell under your lid!
New pin-up liners are available. We only have a limited amount of this fabric so be sure to ask your favorite out before someone else gets her.

These liners feature cotton tops with plastic overlay and black satin sides.

January 2014

Don't forget to mark the date.
National hat day falls on January 15th each and every year. No better way to show off than in a hat from Black Sheep Hat Works.


These two fine specimens were spotted at the 1st annual Geoduck Festival in Allyn, WA.

Not only do they look good, but these hats helped keep the sun out of the eyes of the above couple as they attempted to shuck their way to greatness during the Oyster Shuckin' Competition.

We are not sure how they ended up placing, but the hats look sharp.

If you're not from the Northwest, you may be curious as to what a geoduck is. Well, this link will lead the way to an answer. 

Happy shucking!


September 2013

Need we say more......

...well maybe just a bit. The Copperpot is another awesome customer designed hat. It has more character than you can shake a stick at. Long hair finish, wily hand curled brim with pencil roll and a 6" open crown with a reverse slant.

If you see this hat coming, step aside and give a nod. The owner of the Copperpot deserves some respect.

July 2013

We were recently asked to build a hat befitting an extraordinary character, Allan Quartermain. 

This lofty safari hat boasts 5 inches of brim and will not only protect from the blazing hot African sun, but is sure to shield its new owner from the evil of the world as well.

Getting the chance to dress a hat in this hand folded puggaree band was a blast. Customers with this much moxie are what custom hat making is all about. 


No, your eyes are not playing tricks, that is a double tear drop, and I am planning to offer it full time. This is also a preview of the soon to be offered Hand Dyed Colors.
Look for this one on the men's hat page as the Seabreeze.


February 2013 

Who needs an Austrian hunt to have all the fun? Classics like this are meant to be worn wherever your trek takes you.
If you're interested, please be sure to ask about our velour felt options.


December 2012 


Some times even those with an eclectic personality need a black hat.
Enter Mr. Stripey.
Bold ribbon treatment keeps this fedora from being just another black hat.
And if the ribbon doesn't say different to you, just check out the liner.


August 2012

Found this poor soul, down and out and feeling at the end of his days.

But now after just a few short days with us here at the hat works spa and recreation center, this lad is back at the top of his game. Sharp as a tack and ready for action!


I have to admit that even I am shocked by this one.
I found this hat in a thrift store "hat bin" with a whole bunch of costume hats. It was completely flat in the bottom of the bin and was hardly recognizable as a hat. To my suprise and horror, it turned out to have started its life as a Stetson Stratoliner!
After some serious cleaning, re-blocking inside out and re-pouncing, I think we saved it. I also gave it some serious new looks.  Now sporting a 4 1/2" crown, 2 1/8" brim, 2" hand dyed ribbon with back bow and a reverse diamond crease, this hat is not for the faint of heart.
I am so happy with the outcome that I am going to offer this crease as The Ninety-Five



I was recently lucky enough to aquire a roll of vintage ebony 3/4" six ply ribbon. This is definitely something unique these days. Ply ribbon is most often used on western hats and is usually only seen in two and three ply, but it also makes a very beautiful fedora dressing.
I can gladly use this on any style you like but please remember supply is very limited, so the amount of hats we can build with it will be as well.

March 2012

Here again is the newest hat. I have had many inquires about bowlers and derbies, and yes we would be glad to build you one in any color or dimensions. The western derby, although not as popular today is essentially the same hat just larger. Please see the bottom of the gallery for an example.
I recently built this hat to compete in the North American Beard and Mustache Competition. As I sport an Edwardian style handlebar mustache, I felt the proper hat was a necessity. The event was great fun. The Kitsap Sun wrote a nice article with photo highlights. Should you care to view it click here

August 2011

From the home of the worlds greatest cephalopods comes the dazzling, the beautiful, the awe inspiring "CHAPEAU PIEUVRE" the Octopus hat. Inspired by the giant octopi that reside here in the
Puget Sound, the Chapeau Pieuvre's eight arms of grace are poised delicately to frame your beautiful face the way only an invertebrate can.

We are happy to say that this hat was chosen as one of the finalists in the first annual Judith M millinery competition. Although we did not win, this hat will never cease to put a smile on my face. I hope you get as big a kick out of it as I do.

I found this hat at a local antique store. It was three sizes too small and had a few stains, but the color was so nice I just had to see what I could do with it. The top of the hat was a bit sun faded while the underside still looked brand new.
So, I had a crazy idea to turn the whole thing inside out. I am happy to say that it was definatly the way to go. What you see now used to be the inside of the hat and the underside of the brim. Even the ribbon has been reworked from the origional, turned over as well. This hat has changed my whole view of looking at vintage hats and I can't wait to find another diamond in the rough.

July 2010

This half cloche is built from velvet soft doublesided kiwi velour felt. Adorned with freshwater pearls and vintage horsehair ribbon provided from the customer's own collection. A second view of this hat can be seen in the Gallery.
February 2010
In the NEWS!

 If you'd like to learn more about our business, check out this story featured in our local paper, the Kitsap Sun.  I would like to thank writer Tammy Adamson-McMullen and photographer Meegan Reid for doing such a nice job. To see the article click on the picture below.


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