Sunday, 14 April 2013

The silly hat is done!

Silly is actually an understatement.

"Ridiculous" is a better word.
I changed my mind about the design. I realized that my sketch was a lot worse looking than the original because I was trying to give it the colour scheme of the jacket and petticoat I'm going to make. It wasn't going to work at all, so I just copied the inspiration picture.

Journal de luxus, 1789 (source)

It's pretty heavy. It kept slipping back on my head because my hedgehog wasn't sturdy enough. That's why the front of my hair looks so weird. Without a poofy hairdo it completely swallows up my head.
I'm probably over six feet tall like this.
Here's the list of facts.

The challenge: #7, Accessorize.

Fabric: An unknown fraction of a white cotton sheet (stash). A few small pieces of white silk something that feels like taffeta but is also kind of slubby (stash). A few small pieces of pink silk that is thin and crispy but probably not organza (stash). (I really must learn more about identifying fabrics.) Some even smaller scraps of green dupioni (stash). A really slippery square white silk scarf (stash). That fabric that's used for cross stitch, I bought 1m for $ 12 and used half of it. It was the only thing that was stiff enough for the top, Fabricville doesn't carry buckram.

Pattern: Drafted by me.

Year: 1789

Notions: That mesh stuff (stash). A few pieces of thin wire (stash) A piece of round cane (stash).

How historically accurate is it?  Maybe 50%. The only accurate materials in it are the silk and cane, and I don't even know if cane was used in this kind of hat. I can safely say that my cobbled together construction method is not accurate either. It looks an awful lot like the one in the fashion plate, but those were often exaggerated. I may have taken this one too literally. It is 100% hand sewn though.

Hours to complete: A lot. I didn't count. Probably more than 50.

First worn: Today for photos, I still haven't worn any of this outside.

Total cost: $ 12 (Canadian)

More information on the construction to follow. I just wanted to post this as soon as possible since it's already 6 days late.

Since I don't have a complete set of clothes yet, I haven't gone outside with any of this on and I'm eager to see how people will react to it when I do. I wonder if anyone will take me seriously in this hat.


  1. I have to say that your hat looks great for only $12. 00 although I'm sure that the hat maker of the time had the right material to work with. You did a great job.

    If I saw you walking on the street dressed like that, I would probably take a second gland and think that you are on your way to a play or costume party.
    It unusual and interesting.


    1. Thank you. Twelve dollars is a pretty good price for a hat.

      If I was wearing this on the street then I probably would be on my way to a costume party, or some costumed event. Not that I wouldn't like to wear historical clothes without such an occasion, but this is just a bit too impractical for everyday. It would be good for blocking the sun though.

  2. I think it's fantastic! From looking at portraits and non-satirical drawings, I'd say it's quite realistic for a high-fashion persona. Not exaggerated at all. Just work on the hair so you can hold it right! ;)

    1. Thank you, that's great! I was worried that it was a bit too big. The thought that it's not exaggerated at all is hilarious.

      I wanted to get the pictures taken before the sun went down, so there wasn't much time to get the hair right. Also the rats were ones I made for the 1770s pouf shape so they weren't suited to hedgehogs at all. I need to make some more rats and find some good hair tutorials. Then maybe I can get this thing to sit at the right angle. I always seem to have trouble with hairdos.

  3. That hat is epically ridiculous and AWESOME. I love it, great job!

    1. Thank you! And thanks for the marvelous rose tutorial, I found it very easy to follow.
      I love the hat too, but at the same time I can see how ridiculous it is. The 1780s are funny that way.

  4. Oh my goodness, what a hat! I propose a high fashion picnic once the weather warms up and we can see just how the 21st century reacts to such style. I seem to be okay at fashioning hairdos, perhaps I could help with that?

    looks great!

    1. Sula? Hello! What a delightful name you've chosen!

      A picnic sounds like a wonderful thing. But historical costumes get less and less comfortable the more the weather warms up, it would be nicer to wait for a cool day. I also don't have anything except accessories and underwear, so it may be a while before I'm "decent". It will be much more fun for both of us to dress up, as Lauren from American Duchess said, "One person is a geek, but two people are a club."