I realized I'd never posted about this - back in January I attended a Steampunk Exhibition Ball at the Museum of History and Industry in Seattle. Part of the evening's festivities were fabulous hat and facial hair competitions. I decided I was going to make myself a new hat for the occasion. My wonderful friend Stephanie, who appropriately travels under the name Plaidbrat on LiveJournal was bravely tackling a dress-making project for me, with this wonderful black and white plaid I'd unearthed from the stash early last year. It had a velvet floral scrollwork pattern on one side. She did the jacket for me with this pattern out, but we decided it'd be just too busy for the whole outfit, so the plain plaid side is out for the skirt.
I didn't take enough pictures of the making in progress, I'm afraid, so bear with me.
For the hat, I wanted big. Really big. And I had these six fake crows that had been sitting around on top of my bits and bobs cabinet, staring at me accusingly for not having used them yet.
I started out using household items for my pattern, a ceramic serving dish for the brim and one of our salad plates for the crown.
I added another 3" around tracing the platter for the sides and back, and about 5" in the front. It's amazing, because I fail consistently trying to draw a straight line with a ruler, but managed to freehand an almost perfectly symmetrical oval. ???
The brim is made with two layers of buckram sandwiching a spiral of millinary wire, glued into place. I covered the entire hat, inside and out, with felt, and then covered it with the fabric. Then out came the flowers, birds, feathers, and maribou trim. Here's what I ended up with:
A friend of mine swore that the birds were staring at her whenever we talked.
And here's the whole outfit: