Mad Hattery

I mentioned recently that the majority of my DragonCon costuming work is complete.  Huzzah!  However, I am still working on some minor side projects.

For instance, this week, I sewed myself a mini top hat for my Steampunk costume.  I used this tutorial as a starting point.  I did the Medium top hat, sewing version.  With some modifications.  I still had leftover extra firm interfacing from Project Breyna’s shoulder and head piece, so I substituted that for the posterboard the tutorial calls for.  I also used heat and bond on the fabric pieces to give them just a little bit of extra stability.  My fabric choice?  The burgundy moleskin that I used for the pants of the costume.  Here is everything I started with, in terms of items I planned to sew.  I have already attached heat and bond and the interfacing at this point.

You’ll notice some silver trim in the top left and a nice scalloped black lace on the side piece.  I bought lots of other goodies to decorate the hat, too.  I will totally admit I was much more excited about the decorating process than I was about the sewing of the hat.

The sewing began with me attaching the black lace and the silver trim.  I left space for seam allowances, and even trimmed the interfacing prior to ironing it onto the heat & bond pieces so that my seams would not be crazy thick.

Then I folded this piece right sides together and stitched along the straight seam.  I wound up with a cylindrical shape that I now had to attach to the top piece of the hat.

Sewing this together was a freaking nightmare.  I found myself scrunching as much of the hat down with my left hand as I possibly could, while my right hand guided the machine in a circle.

After the first attempt, I had to seam rip the top off the sides of the hat.  The side piece had a larger circumference than the top of the hat, and I had leftover when I got close to closing the seam.  Bleh.  The seam ripping was interesting, just like the sewing.  Very odd trying to do it with a three dimensional piece.  Fred bit me during this process.  It was not very nice.

I wound up restitching the side seam to make the circumference of the hat smaller.  Then I reattached the top more successfully.  I stitched the outer seam of the hat brim, and then turned the brim piece right side out.  I attached the brim to the hat along the inner circle of the brim, which sucked just as much as attaching the top of the hat.  Let me just say that I understand why the tutorial suggests that you not insert the posterboard until all the pieces are connected.  Anyway, its a bit wonky looking, but it is a hat.  It’s got character … which I hope to drown in so much decoration that nobody notices the slightly less than perfect shape of the hat.

After some time with some tulle, more silver trim, decorative flowers, fabric glue, cute little silver ball doo-dads, and a nifty red jeweled brooch, this was the result.

I attached a barrette to the underside of the brim, to hold the hat in either my own hair or the white wig I am contemplating wearing with this costume.  If it goes in my own hair, it could look something like this.

All in all, I am pleased with this hat.  I don’t know that I am necessarily eager to make another hat such as this, but it was a relatively quick project that I finished in a single evening.  Last year before DragonCon, I attempted to make a hat like this out of foam.  It didn’t look bad, but I could not get it to stay on my head and wound up not wearing it at all.  This year the hat is a significant improvement 🙂


5 comments for “Mad Hattery

  1. July 19, 2012 at 7:43 am

    Hooray for hats that stay on your head! It’s adorable, bud. Congrats on conquering the hat.

  2. July 19, 2012 at 8:07 am

    That looks really spiffy! How you have the patience do that stuff I will never know. You get my super duper awesome gold star

    • jadesabre9
      July 19, 2012 at 7:31 pm

      Thanks 🙂 I think I overcome the patience with obsessiveness. Not sure when I caught the costuming bug, but I love it.

  3. Jill F.
    July 26, 2012 at 9:35 am

    What a charming twee hat! Small-space sewing on the machine (think child-sized armholes) makes me crazy so I would have just hand-stitched the whole thing. Again, you are good. 🙂

    • jadesabre9
      July 26, 2012 at 9:51 am

      Thanks! And yeah wee armholes for munchkins sounds hard. Guess its a good thing I have no kids yet, I don’t need a new sewing challenge like that!


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