Thursday, November 11, 2010

Mini Top Hat How-To

Almost a year ago now I created a mini top hat for a quirky dance performance. This morning I was rummaging through my collection of photographs and discovered step by step pictures of the process and thought I should share them already!
4 pages of 8.5x11 cardstock
¼ yd fashion fabric
craft glue (I prefer FabriTac)
spray adhesive
paper and fabric scissors (one each, usually)

Printing Pattern:
Print two copies of the page with circular shapes and one copy of the rectangular shape page.

Cut out all pieces of cardstock with one exception. For the second large circle, do not cut out the center of the ‘doughnut’. This is your lower brim and will be left solid.

Glue the cardstock down to the back side of the fashion fabric using spray adhesive and then trim the pieces out. Leave yourself a little extra fabric around the edges of the long rectangular piece (the 'stove pipe').
 Use hot glue or fabri-Tac to join the edges of the 'stovepipe' piece into a cylinder. Notch the extra fabric around the bottom and top edge as shown below.
 Use an Xacto blade or scalpel to remove the extra fabric from the middle of the 'brim' piece.
 Fold in the cardstock tabs on the top of the hat and glue them inside the top of the 'stovepipe'. This part will likely require an additional tool like a popsicle stick or butter knife to slide between the top of the hat and the wall of the 'stovepipe' to press the tabs securely to the 'stovepipe' piece.

Next, slide the fabric-and-brim piece over the top of the hat and glue to lower 'stovepipe' tabs of fabric and cardstock. You will be glueing the two 'brim' pieces together as well as you can here.

 Glue down the fabric tabs at the top of the hat and cover with the fabric covered, tab-less top piece (remember, you have two of these?). Carefully trim the fabric that is hanging off the brim. Now would be a good time (while the glue is still super flexible) to start shaping the brim. I chose to finish the edges of my brim with some flexible ribbon stitched over the edge of the two brim pieces.
 At this point you can consider your hat done or go on to add embellishments such as net veils, hat bands and feathers. The best way I've found to keep the little fascinator hat on is with little combed snap clips stitched or glued to the bottom of the hat.

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

Ahoy Matey!

While working away on the Mord'Sith project for my halloween costume, I was also trying to put together a custom order for a good friend of mine. I was commissioned for the project ages ago but we were plagued by constant delays in obtaining materials so were left scrambling at the last minute. This is a modified version of one of my patterns. I had to change the shapes of the princess seams (and yes, they're called princess seams even in men's clothing) to reflect a masculine shape and the sleeves had to be redrafted and cuffs created. We stayed up til 1am the Thursday before Halloween weekend sewing and doing fittings. Then got up to finish buttonholes at 6am on Friday. The coat is 'coat weight' wool lined with dark sea green rayon lining material. We're probably going to revisit this project at a later date to add extra trim and such for further pirate foppery ;)