Get Ready for Autumn with a 1928 Tam Pattern from Anita Page

Anita Page was, of course, one of the popular actresses of the Flaming Youth set and was one of the last surviving grownup silent stars before her death in 2008. Like all stars of the era, she participated (or her studio participated for her) in fan magazine items designed to showcase her talents outside the movies.

In this case, it’s needlework. Specifically, a pattern for the perennially popular tam, a hat that has never really been out of style that I can remember. Whether or not you believe that Anita herself provided the pattern is, of course, up to you. I like to cheerfully go along with the illusion but also keep my grain of salt handy.

Here is the tam pattern:

These are pretty basic but I will say that if you are new to sewing, felt is infinitely easier to handle than velvet and will cut down on finishing difficulties too. I recommend using another tam as your template to determine the size and don’t forget about seam allowances!

If you’re experienced with sewing, this will be a piece of cake and you won’t need any help from me! Here is the finished product modeled by Page:

And here’s another example:

Clara Bow wore a modified tam in Mantrap and Dorothy Gish was another passionate wearer of tams. If you want a more 1910s look, you will want a broader, floppier tam but by 1928, women’s hats were teensy-weensy.

Have fun and do share your results if you tackle this project!


You can look up lots of swell clippings like these at the Media History Digital Library.


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