Thursday, March 26, 2009

The taco.

I've finally done it, I've tackled my first victorian hat. I made it so fast, I didn't really have time to think, oh my god im making one of the most intricate and decorated hats in history; A late 1800s 'taco hat' because I dont know the real name for it. It was actually incredibly easy!! The only thing I has problems with was figuring out how to decorate it, but the wise words of my partner in crime and mentor: let the hat decorate itself. Oh and it did, and I'm still not done.

So this is what I started with; a plain circle of needlepoint plastic, with some give to it, not hard. I then wrapped and whip stitched the hell out of some copper wire around the edges so that i could mold it into a specific shape.

Then I had the fun and kind of painful job of sewing the outer fabric and inner fabric overlapping one another. This was just the inside fabric.

Then came the fun part of deciding what shape. In this case, a taco seemed fitting, as I found many examples and they looked very nice, with an organized chaos of stuffings, feathers, birds, beads, flowers, anything you can think of.

With this hat I had to sew these lines in the front and back corner to hold the taco shape a little better, as it wasnt as tight as I wanted, and I couldnt keep it that way unless I had the stitches. After that was all in order, I began trimming it out. I decided to use the same braid hat is all over my jacket and was suprised I had just enough to go all the way around. After that was sewn on, I scrounged up some lace from my dickens dress bought originally for my blue and gold gown. Its amazing how things can get reused and reused and reused. I also found a little white bow used on my dickens gown, and threw that on the back, why not? It worked. I also threw a flowe on there but now it is really superfluous as one cannot see it anymore. It worked at the time.

The night before all of this was done, Lauren and I went on an adventure to Michaels on our bikes post nommy coffee time to get some hat mats, specifically feathers. After freezing our butts off and wearing ourselves down, we were successful. I also picked up a but little blueish bird that I feel I need to put on there, and an AMAZING little birdcage pendant...I really want to find a place for that but well not on this costume. It will find a use, probably for ren fair at the end of a chain. So, feather, and feathers, and feathers. Pre bunched, of course. Here was my selection for my hat.

I couldnt use all of them of course, so I ended up just sticking with these.

So after some hot glue, some patience, and some channeling my innter hat-maker, this is what i finally came out with! Behold!! The intense taco hat.

It's almost done, I only have a couple more things to do, like find and make the centerpiece to go on the front of the hat out of some watch and clock gears or something, sew or glue a couple of bobby pins to the bottom and do a couple of touch ups here and there, possibly have the bird as well, or more flowers. Opinions would be greatly appreciated!




  2. I'm betting that what you've modeled this off of is one of the little perching hats of the '70s and '80s - You can't see it, but it's actually got a crown under all those feathers. You'll get a decent idea of the shape if you think of a top hat, then bring the crown down and slope the front of the crown in severely, so the top of the crown is maybe three inches up from the brim and three inches (roughly) circular. Then take the brim and give it the wicked curve up on the sides and down in front and back, and you've got it.

    Or, you could look at a picture like... the one I can't find... Alright, I guess this is the closest I'm going to get.
    The lady on the right, but you could slope the front of the crown back even further. Then you just bury everything in feathers and lace and dead birds, and you're there.

  3. Thats really what I was going for, unfortunately, I didn't quite have the materials or know how, or time really i sort of just mashed some things together to get the correct shape and style, or as close as i could, and somehow it worked!
    Thank you for the fantastic tips!