melaniesuzanne: (Peacock me)
[personal profile] melaniesuzanne

This bad boy took about ten hours of construction. I started with a plain straw hat from Michael's Arts & Crafts and, using this tutorial as a jumping off place, I covered the crown, outer brim, and inner brim with cotton fabric left over from a waistcoat I'd made for my beau. I covered the joints around the base of the crown and just under the brim with braided gimp. I then sewed one side of the brim to the crown, hiding the stitches in the gimp.

That was an absolute pain in the keister, let me just say. There was SO MUCH dried glue that I had to sew through. I needed a thimble to push the needle in and then small pliers to pull the needle out on the other side.

Eventually, I felt that the connection was secure and moved on to lining the inside of the crown with scraps of black linen. I covered the transition join between linen and cotton with another length of gimp. At this point, I'd been working on the hat for about four hours and was too pooped to continue.

Feathers. Oh my goodness, so many feathers. I'm glad that I'd gone on a peacock feather buying spree on ebay a few months ago. I'm also glad that I spotted a couple of wreaths with peacock and filler feathers at Michael's and that I'd had coupons which allowed me to get those wreaths for half off (which was a SIGNIFICANT savings over what individual feather picks would have cost me). Feather placement was pretty straight-forward. The only difficulty I had was in keeping from poking my fingers in the glue. (I'm sporting a pretty gnarly blister on my right pinky finger thanks to an especially poor life choice during the construction.) The addition of a big sparkly pin at the nexus of the feathers hid all of the quill ends.


I wasn't happy with how bare the back of the hat looked and decided that, for Victorians anyway, more is MORE and whipped up a big poof bow out of black tulle.


I donned the hat... and realized that the upturned portion of the brim needed something.

None of my pins or regular geegaws looked right. I found a beautiful red rose and, while it was the right shape and size, it was not the right color. It will be perfect for another project, though, so I didn't want to paint it. Michael's finally let me down by not having any black roses and A.C. Moore almost failed me, but they had a dark blue rose which took black spray paint beautifully. The only challenge after that was figuring out how to securely attach the rose. There was way too much glue under the fabric to even hope to sew it on. Pins were useless, too. In the end, I gooped on a snotload of hot glue and pressed that sucker to the side of the hat for all it was worth, and earned myself a tiny little blister on my right index finger. Totally worth it!


And with that, my magnificent peacock hat was complete and will make its debut this Saturday at the Steampunk World's Fair.


Date: 2014-05-14 04:18 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]

Also, yes, sewing through glue.

Date: 2014-05-14 04:40 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I tell myself that I will plan out the next creation so that I can avoid sewing through glue as much as possible. We'll see how that works out.

Now I need to find a hat box tall enough to store this sucker. I need something at least 9.5" in all directions.

Date: 2014-05-18 10:30 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
I have some. It was designed as a wedding cake card deposit. The lids have an open area that needs to be covered with some posterboard but other wise they are very sturdy. I just want to get rid of them they are too big for what I need.

Date: 2014-05-15 03:00 am (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
A very nice hat, and the bottom photo is great. :)

Go to a place that sells cowboy hats for your hat box.

Date: 2014-05-15 07:47 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile]
<3 Love <3 I love peacocks and this hat is devine!


melaniesuzanne: (Default)
Mary F'ing Sunshine

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