My last post reminded me of an episode of How I Met your Mother. Friends it all started with a search for a fascinator. To catch you up.
- I was invited to tea with the theme of Fancy Hats.
- I was looking for “hat inspiration” when I saw Victoria Beckham in this dress from the Royal Wedding.
- That side tracked me from fascinators to dresses. Found a pattern. Made this dress.
- Back to fascinators.
- I was tempted to buy a hat … but I’m a maker.
I’ll spare you the details of the decision-making process. The conversation in my head went something like this.
I need a hat. Buy the hat.
I’m a maker. Make the hat. I don’t know how to make that hat. Research online.
Spend 5 + hours looking at fascinators online (How did that happen and how did I have 5 hours spare? – I have no clue. It was a Friday night. I sat in front of my computer with a bottle of Cab. 5 hours later I had a 2 Pinterest boards. I blame in on the Cabernet.)
Start a Pinterest board to keep up with all of the fascinator’s I’m finding.
How do I make a fascinator? That looks hard. Need special tools. Maybe I don’t need special tools? What are the rules? There are no rules? Make what I want. I’m making a fascinator.
I must say, I’m a hat girl. I love them. I own a lot of them. And I wear them fairly often. Heck – hats are the best way to cover up a bad hair day. Anyone that has ever been over to my place knows I love my hats.
Though no stranger to hats in general. I don’t know anything about fascinators. Growing up in a Southern Baptist church … they remind me of the hats women would wear to church on Sundays. Big. Elaborate. Works of art. Often matching to a “t” exactly the suit or dress they were wearing. We attended church suited up. Especially the women … gloves, pantyhose, and a hat were standard, regardless of the weather. I guess that’s why the idea of a fascinator isn’t foreign to me.
My research consisted of mostly pictures. Examples of what was possible. I also came across those bold brilliant Kentucky Derby Hats. From all those pictures, I learned there are no rules. I can do anything I want, from fabric, to flowers, to feathers. Any size I want. Large or small. Much like sewing … the opportunities are endless. If you’d like to check out what I found, check out the Pinterest boards I created here and here.
Before I go on I feel it necessary to say that this is not a tutorial. I’m sharing the process I used to create my fascinator. I thought about taking a class or investing in some of the equipment that milliners use, but in the end … unless my passions change … a hat maker I will not be. I did find resources along the way that assisted me throughout the process and if you’d like to make a fascinator … maybe they will help you as well.
With the knowledge that anything was possible … from hats, headbands, combs, etc. What was helpful to me, was first having a general understanding of the construction process and materials. I downloaded Adornments to my tablet. This helped me narrow down exactly what I wanted to make and how I would construct it.
I knew I wanted a true fascinator. Not a comb or headband. I also wanted feathers. With that, I needed supplies.
I needed a base for my hat. Etsy solved that problem. I purchased my sinamay base from KIMONOS Feathers. I ordered two of them just in case I jacked one up.
I had excess fabric left over from my dress and I decided to use that to cover my fascinator base. I used this tutorial on Threads Magazine to properly cover the sinamay. Because I purchased a base that was already shaped in wired (remember I didn’t want to invest in the tools to mold the sinmay). I only followed the instructions that applied to properly attaching the fabric to the base.
I personally struggled a bit with if I was going to use an elastic band or comb to hold the fascinator in place. I ultimately decided to use an elastic band.
Deciding on what I would use to adorn my base was probably one of the most difficult decisions I had to make. I knew I wanted feathers, but what kind? What size? What color? Something else came up while I was researching this and it was price point. When it comes to clothing, quality is a big factor, and it doesn’t take a lot for me to justify the price tag. Nothing excessive. I still have to live within my means. And though I wanted my fascinator to be nice, I was not prepared to spend $30 – $50 per feather to add to my base. So I had to tow a fine line here. I still wanted quality, but I didn’t want to spend a ton of money.
I finally came across Save On Crafts, and found quality feathers at a good price.
I elected to sew the flowers onto the base instead of gluing them. Though I didn’t spend a million dollars on my feathers, I didn’t want to destroy them with the glue. And by sewing them on, I can always repurpose them if I don’t wear the fascinator again.
Overall I’m very happy with the final result. If I could have a do-over, the only thing I would change would be adding height. I’d make it taller. Add drama. Make it pop. I consider my adventure into fascinators a success and I’m happy I decided to make my hat instead of purchasing one.
Do you ever have that “Do I purchase?” “Do I make?” debate? Where do you fall at the end of it?