Tuesday, July 5, 2011

Neo Victorian Hat Makover

I just finished tailoring my Steampunk formal outfit and needed a proper hat to top it off. I have an extensive hat collection AND craft supplies. So this hat was basically a freebie. (If I've owned the supplies for more than a year the cost is counted as FREE!....Gotta have some delusions.) And now for the cast of characters....

I found this hat at a garage sale 2 years ago. (Back of hat.)....I love hats and will buy pretty much every one I see with a wide brim, in decent condition, and cheap. I think I paid $1 for this one and its one of my favorites. The detailing on the top is fabulous, but not the funky white buckram calla lilies...The white bias tape on the brim was a bright white and stood out unattractively. I didn't want to do the work to replace it and couldn't just eliminate it because the straw is unfinished underneath...(This is the front.)... Well, I'm not one to shy away from a project so I ripped off the braided hat band, ugly calla lilies, and funky muslin rosette. This left me a lovely plain straw hat with glaring white trim and globs of hot glue. First, I got a hair dryer to soften the glue then scraped it off using my fingernail, heated, scraped, heated, scraped. I didn't bother with the glue where the hat band was as I planned for a new hat band. I just removed the huge globs on the back where I wasn't sure I'd place anything new. The glaring white bias tape was remedied with coffee. I made up some instant coffee and just used my finger to slop it onto the trim. I wiped it off the straw so it wouldn't change the color of that and it was the perfect solution. The trim actually ended up the exact color of the straw and is nearly invisible now. Hmmm, what to put on this hat?......

I made these rose fascinators last year and decided they wanted to take up residence on this hat....I had a lot more of the feathers originally used on the fascinators, and lots of fabric scraps from my brown taffeta skirt. I was determined to use all the scraps from the costume and was pleasantly surprised to find cool looking thinly cut trimmings. I decided these could look sort of nest like and I liked the juxtaposition of the raw edged trim vs the finished Neo Victorian look of the outfit. The hat band is a strip of the fabric that had the orange fringe selvage on one side. (Not that you can see it in the pictures, but it peeks out here and there upon close inspection.) That was first to go on. The next step was looping, twisting, and gluing the thin trim on the back of the hat. I made several small bows from the scraps. Some are finished and proper and some have raw edges. These went on the back. There is also one bow and a scrunched piece of fabric on the top of the hat in the back, nestled in the feathers behind the front bow. (Also more visible in real life.) (Back of hat.)...The front was less work. I glued the two fascinators on first with a gap between them for a large brown bow made from the largest scrap piece I had. Then I added the feathers. These were Christmas picks I got at JoAnn Fabrics on clearance about 4 years ago...I think they were 25 cents each. I used 7 or 8 picks. (Left side of hat.)...The front was finished off with more loops of the thin trim tucked in here and there, and VOILA! A finished hat.(Front of hat.)...I like to add little surprises to my creations when I can. There is a tiny bow on one of the large roses in this next picture. The bow tucked in the feathers in the back is the other surprise.
(Right side of hat.)...This kind of project is relaxing and a lot of fun. I loved creating this one.

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