Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Walk Softly and Wear a Big Hat

Part one of what I'm hoping will be two entries for the Tops and Toes challenge was a fairly simple hat re-make with big impact. To complete my Fairytale Edwardian ensemble I was dreaming of a huge hat. I bought felt and wire and all the trimmings fully expecting to struggle through trying to make up my own pattern. An impromptu trip to the mall provided me with a much easier alternative however. I walked into a clothing store and there on the display right in the doorway was a small straw boater style hat that had the perfect base shape.

I forgot to take a picture before I started covering it in the black felt, but you get the basic idea of the original hat here.

I went quick n' dirty with this remake as I was falling slowly behind on sewing my dress. I glued the felt to the crown of the hat and used some decorative trim to hide the raw edges. I sandwiched two large circles of felt together and sewed around the edges to create the brim. I pleated some purple satin over the bottom of the brim as decoration and to help tie the hat into the full outfit. There's wire in the edge of the brim to keep it held out but the base hat provides the rest of the support.

The brim is attached to the hat on the inside where I attached it to the brim tape of the original hat. Since the flowers and feathers I planned to add would hide where the brim attached to the crown I didn't bother sewing it down on that side, it holds together quite nicely without it.

I chose the small white flowers because they reminded me of the cascading decorations Geisha sometimes wear in their hair. I wanted to tie the Japanese influence into all of the costume. I tried to place them to cascade over the edge gracefully, and they do to a certain degree but I could have gone even further I think.

I chose the orchids mostly because of the stunning shade of purple and because of how high quality they were. Most flowers my local craft stores carry are the very cheap, very obviously fake kind. These flowers you can barely tell are fake at first glance. I paid a pretty penny for them but I think it was definitely worth it!

In the end I couldn't be more pleased with the hat! I got so many compliments when I wore it to the opening. Now I just need more excuses to wear it out!

The Challenge: #7 Tops & Toes

Fabric: Less than a yard of black felt, 1/2 yard purple satin

Pattern: None

Year: 1910's

Notions: Trim, Flowers, Feathers, Wire, Thread

How Historically Accurate is it? Only aesthetically, materials and methods are all modern.

Hours to Complete: Maybe 4 or 5

First Worn: To a gallery opening April 2nd

Total Cost: $12 for the base hat, $5 each for felt, satin and trim, $25 for flowers and the feathers were stash so that brings us to $52 (yikes, I thought this was one of my cheaper projects!)

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