Friday, May 8, 2009

I think I can, I think I can!

So, this weekend I'm going to a wedding shower for a friend of Paul's (she's Polish also, a couple years younger than Paul, but their families have known each other since before the kids were born), and I got the invitation a couple of weeks ago. It said that it's a hat party. Well, that should be fun, right? I have a few cute dresses to choose from.......but no hats to go with any of them. I LOVE hats, and have a TON of them, but none of them are "fancy" hats that would go with a dress.

Before I realized it, it was Thursday night and the shower is in two days! YIKES (at least I already have the gift! thankyouverymuch Macy's online!). So I decided rather than hunt various thirft stores for an overpriced hat that may or may not match one of my dresses (not to mention sometimes they're just a little musty smelling and "don't-touch-me-or-I'll-break-into-a-million-pieces" delicate, I'd make my own custom hat! Hat Couture (sorry, I know that was lame - 'hat'/'haute', you get it)

So off I went to JoAnns. Since I didn't have my dress with me, and wasn't even sure which one I'd wear (Depending on how fat or skinny I am, and the weather/temperature, and my mood), I got supplies for the hat in three different colors: forest green, navy, and dark taupe/beige.

I spent $20.75 on all the supplies. Here's what I used to create the hat:

-a kids sized foam visor: $1
-1 sheet of craft felt (eco-fi, made from recycled plastic bottles): $.72
-1/2 yard of shiny tulle (of which I used about 1/4 of): $.65
-a high temp glue gun (I only had a low temp one): $2.50
-a bag of mini glue sticks (I used 4): $2.50
-a fake Magnolia bloom (was 50% off): $2.50
-a fake cherry blossom bloom (or something like that, also 50% off): $1.99

Total price: $9.36 + tax (per hat, except of course the glue gun stuff you only buy once)

First I made a duplicate of the visor on some scratch card stock, so I could cut it up and play with how to make the actual hat form from the foam (say that 5 times fast).

Once I had figured out how I wanted the hat form to look, I used my template card stock to cut the foam, then glued it in place with my glue gun.

Then, I flipped it upside down and traced it on the wrong side of the felt, so I had a 1" boarder. I cut the felt out and used the glue gun to stretch, wrap, glue and repeat all the way around (of course doing the opposite ends first to avoid pulling and weird gathering). so then I had the basic hat form. (Save that scrap of left over felt for later, so you can cover the bottom side of the hat. you want it to look professional, right?)

Next, I cut out my tulle shapes. I wanted to do something a bit off center, with some body and volume, so I cut three different sized ovals, and gathered each one separately, (using the glue gun to "sew" at the gather. once the glue was dry, I had little veils). Then I sat in the mirror and played with positioning. After deciding on each one's position, I carefully glued it in place on the top side of the hat.

Once all three were complete, I grabbed my mag bloom, pulled it off the stem, cut the plastic part beneath it as short as possible, and then went back to the mirror to see where I wanted to position it. But FIRST, I pulled the big leaf off the stem and put that in place, so the flower had a base, and the hat had some contrasting color (otherwise it would be all white, cream and tan. blah!)

So, once you've got the mag (or other flower bloom) and leaf glued down, you can use your filler flower to fill in (duh) spots that either show a bit of glue, or show the base of your work. This way you add a pop of color, and some nice detailing that does double duty to cover your tracks!

Now, you're almost done. Take that left over felt, cover the bottom side of your, gluing it ALL OVER so that it really stays put. This is important because later you might need to use this as a base for bobby pins or a comb, to secure into your hair.

I however, took the stem from my filler flower, curved it into a headband, fit it to my head and cut it to the right length. It's already covered in floral tape, so it's a little sticky-ish, and it blends into most hair color (people are looking at the hat anyway, right?!) Then I sat in front of the mirror, AGAIN, and played with the position of the finished hat, atop the head band.

Once that was in place, I carefully took the hat with headband off, ran to the table. and traced the headband on the under side of the hat, so I can glue it later, if I decide to use the head band rather than bobby pins or a comb.

If you use bobby pins, then either get some that are going to blend in with your hat (you've done all this work, don't ruin the illusion with ugly bobby pins showing on the top of the hat) or you'll want to create little loops for the bobby pins to slide through using scraps of your felt on the bottom side of the hat.

Okay, without further ado, her are the pictures of the finished product (I promise to take more pictures when I'm wearing it, so you get the full effect):

This is the top view of the hat (above).

This is the back side of the hat....where most of the work would show, so I used my filler to cover it and act as a garnish to the major bloom (above).

This is the front/side of the hat (above). The tulle will sit over my left ear and side of my face. there are three layers of tulle, all in different positions and different sizes, you'll see when I post pics of me wearing it.

Okay, go and build!

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