The "Accessorizing Head to Toe Challenge" looked like a great motivator for me, so I've decided to jump on the bandwagon! About two years ago I really realized the importance of accessories in making an authentic, realistic outfit, so I've been attempting to slowly improve myself in that regard. :-) I don't have a specific outfit in mind for the project, just whatever era(s) need attention. Since September's theme was hats, I had lots of grand plans! After a last-minute, week-long trip out of state, I was a week short on my initial expected-time-frame for the project, but that's why it's a challenge, right?? ;-)
· 18th Century ·
For our trip to Williamsburg this fall, I knew I needed to address my hat situation. I tend to get distracted by new jackets, dresses, etc. when it's time to gear up for Williamsburg, but I only have one hat to wear. As you can see, this situation was in dire need of rectification!
We had 3 hats that didn't meet my sartorial standards for trimming, so my challenge was to trim them acceptably. :-) I was rather overwhelmed by trimming these hats, because I didn't want to fall into the rut of making identically decorated hats. A Fashionable Frolick was a great one-stop resource for some quick ideas- thanks Rebecca and Ashley! :-) I wired the edge of both of the straw hats with 16 gauge wire- maybe a bit overkill, but I unexpectedly discovered it a couple years ago, and I love how it gives the brim enough weight so that it is not as easily caught by the wind! :-)
I covered one of the straw hats with silk, since I wanted a dressier hat, and then trimmed it with 2 inch wide ivory ribbon. Please don't look closely at this one. It was *ahem* a learning project. The next one will go better- right?? ;-)
(And, just in case you're thinking the same thing my family said.... I can assure you that all of the pleats are precisely even. OK, maybe there's a margin of 1/8" for one or two of them. The seams on the other hand....were not completely thought through first. :-P)
The felt hat was trimmed with 6 yards of coral ribbon. I love the prolific fluff. ;-)
The last hat....well. It's a glimpse into reality. ;-) I was packing supplies to sew the hats on a car trip and my initial idea for the third hat ended up being changed once I got inspiration from making the other two. The necessary silk organza and decorations were at home and unavailable before the deadline. So, instead I just did all the "grunt work" of sewing on the tying ribbons and the ribbon covering the wired edge. I'll do the fun, quicker decorations at a future date. :-)
The jury is still out on whether or not these hats will ultimately be deemed acceptable- I am notoriously difficult to please, and colonial hats tend to be the bane of my existence. I feel like I still don't know how to achieve the look I'm aiming for, but I hope I'll get there eventually and this challenge was a step in the right direction. :-)
· 1930s ·
I really love 1930s fashions, but finding appropriate hats is so much more difficult than for the 1950s! Add in the fact that I have a big head (literally, as well as figuratively. ;-) ), and finding affordable and available 30s hats to wear becomes frustratingly difficult. My hope is that I'll be able to make my own hats, so this was my first venture into previously uncharted territory. :-) I found this hat at an antique mall and after seeing all of Nabby's amazing re-makes, I thought it looked like the ideal candidate for reshaping! I soaked it for a few hours, and then put it on my head and pulled it into the shape I wanted. Super easy! I used my Sears' Everyday Fashions book as my source for inspiration, and used wave clips to hold the ridge on the crown in place while it dried. Those wave clips are just sooo handy!! After a few hours, the hat had completely dried and I stitched a length of grosgrain ribbon inside as a hat band, to help it keep its shape. I wired the edge and finished it off more cleanly than it was previously, and then attached the ribbon trimming to finish it off. And yes, I used hot glue for the decoration. I know- the horrors! But it was finished so quickly! Well, that is until I realized that I had made my hat band too small... So much for finally having a hat that fit my head. :-/ Soooo, off came all that ribbon and hot glue (which, incidentally, takes about 500 times longer to get out of all the nooks and crannies of the hat than it takes to put on. :-P) and on went the correctly sized hat band and all of the trimmings. The project was still done before 10:30 PM though, so I deem it a success. ;-)
· 1950s ·
I've known that I needed a lemon-trimmed hat since I first bought some lemon fabric 2 1/2 years ago. But, being the nit-picky and agonizing OCD person that I am, I never got around to it. So, this challenge was just the incentive I needed. :-) I had contemplated buying vintage millinery lemons on Etsy for over 2 years, but I never worked up the courage to hit "buy". When I went antique shopping in July and came across some identical ones, it seemed to be a sign. I wasn't sure what kind of hat I should put them on, as we didn't really have any that seemed to be quite right. I must have overlooked this hat somehow, as it seems to be ideally suited to the current trimmings. :-) The lemons didn't come with any leaves, so I commandeered some from a garland we had and then trimmed them to the appropriate shape. ;-) A little bit of leftover ribbon became the perfect finishing touch. I can't believe it took this long to get around to this- it's such a cute hat now!!