Saturday, June 18, 2011

Decorating Hats: Not Just for Milliners Anymore - Part 1

I have been envious of all the lovely ladies' hats I see out there in the steampunk world, and that I see in all the old Victorian catalogues and photographs.  However, I don't have the money to spend on purchasing a plethora of hats, nor the funds and time to embark on learning hat-making, which is far more career than hobby - needing hatblocks, felts, and a skillset requiring training and time to learn.  So I determined to decorate existing hats - either thrifted hats or decent costume hats.  My job is made harder by the fact that many inexpensive hats sold for costuming are unspeakably cheap-looking (I'm thinking of those minihats that look like they're made out of paper).

I have decorated the one hat, as shown in an earlier post, but I wanted to show here what I was able to do with 2 entirely different hats, one a cheap costume hat and one a quality hat found at a second-hand store.

Hat Number One - Cheap Costume Hat to Smart 

I started with this $13 costume hat from Dressew in Vancouver.
And this assortment of ribbons etc.
I played with a few ideas.
I ultimately decided on using the brown ruffle from the infamous blouse which has provided me with trim for a bustle, a parasol, and now this hat, and a cheap dollar store hair elastic that had a flounce of sheer ribbons trimmed with rhinestones on the ribbon tips, and a ribbon rosette in the middle.
I sewed a stitch down the middle of the brown ruffle and pulled it to gather it a bit more, and then sewed the two ends together so it would fit over the hat.  For the hair elastic, I cut the elastic part, knotted it right against the rosette, and then sealed it with hotglue.  I then hotglued the rosette and dangly bits to the brown ribbon.  I then set the ribbon on the hat, and then worked to figure out which accent piece to put on the centre front. 
The keyhole and key seemed the obvious decision, and with its nice black-copper finish, blended nicely with the ribbon. I attached the key with a few links of copper chain, and then firmly sewed the keyhole to the ribbon.
And voila, the hat is done.
 And here is the hat, worn with two different outfits:
Thanks everyone!

Next article will be on Hat # 2, which I made the same evening as this hat.

1 comment:

  1. I love it! I've made a few steampunk hats out of the cheap party store hats. What did you use for the opticals attached to your glasses? I would love to do something like that as I have to wear my glasses or walk into walls!