Wednesday, May 18, 2016
White Rabbit - Wire Frame Mini Tophat
So the project outline was really open-ended: you had to make a wire frame hat, cover it with sheer fabric and decorate it to represent a theme/character. We were given the option of doing a mini top hat or boater that she had patterns for, or we could design our own hat shape. I picked the mini top hat because I didn't have time to pattern a new shape.
After going fabric shopping to get ideas, I found this really cool sheer blue-grey fabric. It had almost a paper-like quality to it. I thought it might make an interesting take on the White Rabbit. Since I have learned from theatre--stage lights wash out fabrics and make them look whiter, perhaps I could design a white rabbit while hardly using any white?
I won't go into too much detail on how the frame was constructed. All the pieces of wire were carefully cut to length and bent into shape. I used quilting thread to tightly wrap the joints and then strengthened the bond with a mixture of white glue and water.
The brim and crown were not attached until after I covered it. It makes covering the pieces way easier.
For the crown I cut 2 circles overlayed, I draped these over the top holding them in place with pins. Then I pleated the fabric along the bottom edge to conform it to the shape of the crown. I basted this in place, attaching it to the frame. I cut off some of the excess fabric, but the rest would be tucked into the inside.
The brim was done in a similar way. I cut 2 long rectangles that measured the same as the outer circumference of the brim. These were each sewn into a long loop and folded in half over the edge. Then I pleated and basted them to the frame.
All of my cool accent pieces--laser cut clock, clock hands--were picked up from Michael's art store. It has a great selection of weird crafting bits. I got the clock hands in the DIY clock section, for example.
The gold fabric I used to make a hat band was leftover from my Steampunk Corset (I really did buy way too much fabric for that).
Next was the hat band and decoration. I sewed the hat band on, the sewed the decorations on. Before attaching the clock hands I sponged on some gold acrylic paint and sprayed them with a gloss finish sealer. This was to help them match the costume better.
Lastly, I sewed a felt circle to the bottom to cover the hole and seal it shut. Then I sewed a headband to it (which I also painted gold). I think later I will swap out the headband for alligator clips, but for now (and for handing it it) it was fine.
I'm really happy with how the hat turned out and I am in the process of completing a full design for the costume. I'm thinking I would really like to complete the outfit in the future...