I like making my hat brims out of the uber-modern material Fosshape. It feels like a heavy felt, but hardens up when heated. I find it holds shape perfectly for a hat brim. I didn't have any millinery wire, so I used a covered floral wire for the brim. I've used it before and been happy with the results. I was super down to the wire trying to get this finished for opening day, so the pictures of construction are limited.
The fosshape brim and crown pieces before covering
The covered brim
I had been planning on making the crown grey as well, but for some reason it wasn't working for me. So After rummaging through my stash, I found a large piece of poly velvet that looked rather nice when I pleated it down to the crown. I machine stitched the pleats to the crown, and a piece of velvet ribbon to the brim to tie the two fabrics together. Then I hand stitched the brim to the crown. Then I pinned the feathers and a painted brooch to the crown to make it a bit fancier.
My friend Jen (artandrhinos.com) takes the best photos of me
The Challenge: Toppers and Toes
Fabric: Fosshape, grey cotton sateen, black poly velvet
Notions: Velvet ribbon, white ostrich feathers, floral wire, and a painted brooch
How historically accurate is it? It's patterned after an Italian bonnet, but has a lot of modern construction.
Hours to complete: 4ish
First worn: Opening weekend, February 22nd!
Total cost: Hard to say, since I made it mostly from scraps I already had.
Bonus Hat: I made another one for a friend on cast, with a slightly different technique. This time I pleated the sides of the crown, stitched it down, and then added the top of the hat. I used more velvet ribbon to hide the stitches, and he added a lovely cockade with feathers to bring it all together. Another slight difference: I tried making the crown wider at the top than at the base, something I forgot to do on mine. Overall I was happy with both hats.
How on earth is it staying on his head?
AND THAT'S IT!!! No more Renaissance sewing for the rest of the year! I can finally venture into other time periods, and make things that don't have to survive sun, rain, dirt, somersaults, and weaponry. Thanks for bearing with me through my festival season. Soon I'll post some pictures of what these garments look like after seven weekends of all this.