Wednesday, August 6, 2008

Wired Mini Top Hat



I was in the process of knitting up another top hat when I had the inspiration to try using the wire I have in stock instead. I've made several masks using wire in previous months, and they all came out beautifully. Why I hadn't thought of using it before now, I'm not sure. But when inspiration knocks, I never say no.

I started with the wire frame shape of the hat I wanted. Basically, it's a stylized mini version of a top hat. From there, I twisted and looped it so that it would give the hat body and substance. I worked on it for two days until I got to this part. Now, I need to go to the store and purchase various knick-knacks to adore the brim with. I was thinking some ribbon and some feathers. Possibly, a flower if I find one that I like. We will see what's available.

I wish I knew how to sew these beauties. There's a woman I found that makes them the way I want to at Gypsy Junk Knits. I adore them tremendously and wish I knew how to make them for myself. But alas, I can find no tutorials and will have to figure it out for myself. I've read some craft blogs that use buckram for the base. Unfortunately, living in a small town has eliminated that. So my next alternative if stiff felt that I can find. Lord knows I have enough wire around here. So now, once I gather the materials, I will try my hand at it. Wish me luck!

11 comments:

Gypsy Junk Knits said...

that mini topper is absolutely adorable! I'm rather fascinated by the texture that all the little loops make, paired with the spaces that are able to be seen through the wire. On the tutorial front, I made up an old school one from back when I was using Stiffie. It's on a sidelink under tutorials on my blog, but that was like eons ago, and now seems totally out of place.
My process to making my mini toppers was taken from trial and error and a really good hat making class in our area.
The brim and top part of the hats are wired w/ millinery wire, to which I hand sew fabric, the brim is double sided. Then I attach a 1/4" bias tape To hide the stitches on the brim. The top is double sided as well, I sew the top of the hat onto a buckram base after figuring the size I want. Then I attach the buckram to the brim, trim the little bits off, and sew a lining into the inside. The outside fabric is the last thing on and I sew the top part starting at the back, a little to the side from the center so I can still manipulate things later. Making the two pieces meet in the back is the hardest part when there is a pattern, I usually angle the pieces of fabric, and pull things tight. I don't sew the bottom part down, but I do blind stitch the middle pieces together.
Wow there's the majority of my tricks. It's a rather fidgity process, and to make them look professional and not cheap (like mine originally were) I highly suggest using millinery products that you can find online. And when you go for the buckram, get something that's rather stiff. The lighter stuff is too flexible. You want rigid. There are still a few more tricks but I bet you can figure them out along the way.
Hope that helps, can't wait to see what else you come up with.
Best of luck!

Gabriel said...

Wow Dawn! That looks totally cool! I can't wait to see the fancied up version.

Supahenzi said...

Your just amazing, aren't you?

bkwormdeb said...

Firstly, that is the cutest top hat! I've been on a steampunk kick for the last few months, and that is a perfect hat.
Also, I surfed over to your blog from Damsel in this Dress after seeing your comments about the hats. I sold her the first one of those hats at OKRF. I use plastic canvas for mine. You can usually find it at any craft store, or at walmart. They work best if you have fabric to completely cover them, but the plastic won't melt if you get it wet, like buckram will. I have a passion for making hats, so if you ever have a question feel free to ask. bkwormdeb@yahoo.com :)
Good luck!

Anonymous said...

The mini top hat is beatiful!!!!

Dawning Dreams said...

Thank you all! I still have this displayed on my shelf. It really is a lovely piece.

mariah said...

Your hat is the most beautiful one that I have ever seen! What kind of wire did you use and where can I get some?

mariah said...

Your hat is the most beautiful one that I have ever seen!! What kind of wire did you use and where can I get some?

Dawning Dreams said...

I actually used 20 and 26 gauge black jewelry wire that I had purchased at Hobby Lobby. I used the heavier gauge for the frame and the lighter gauge for the detailing. : )

Dawning Dreams said...

I actually used 20 and 26 gauge black jewelry wire that I had purchased at Hobby Lobby. I used the heavier gauge for the frame and the lighter gauge for the detailing. : )

mariah said...

Thank you so much! Now I need to find a similar craft store in Canada. :)