The brim is complete and ready for another round of photos. Note that the opening of the hat is much smaller than a modern hat. It only allows for about 1~2 inches of the crown of my head to poke through. Balances OK for now, but now I understand why they had to wear chin straps on these types of hats.
Ready to add the top square piece. I knew what set of colors I wanted but wasn't sure what arrangement exactly I was going to use. What you don't see here is the three versions of this that I had to make. You'll see further down that after spending too much time "planning" I did it wrong anyway.
Clearly the color is wrong here. The red linen was supposed to be on the inside as support and structure. I stitched the whole darn thing together wrong. When I turned it inside out to have the silk on the outside I then realized I should have just went to bed. The gold silk ended up on the inside. Funny thing is that after making this boff, I started over again and did the same darn thing again. Yup. Should have went to bed. Not as big a deal when machine sewing. Took two hours to cut and assemble this and had to throw it away.... again!
Started over again and did it correctly this time. Next step figure out how to assemble the feathers onto the ha
Checking the spacing and layout over and over before I actually begin attaching them. I got all of these feathers for free so I was really worried about messing them up and having to go out and buy replacements to finish the hat. After much thought I determined that the best way to attach the feathers was sewing them on. I planned on tacking the tip of the feather down with some glue and wool felt, but the majority of the strength and structure would come from actually stitching them in place.
Stitching a feather onto a flat surface of silk backed with stiff cardboard turned out to be sort of tough. I ended up having to heat up a needle and bending it into a hook like shape. This made stitching easier. I used the hook to catch a small amount of fabric and then stitched over the feather. Each feather has 2~3 stitches to hold it in place. For the most part this worked well. There were only a few feathers which wanted to keep bending out of place. Those few required four stitches but other than that 2~3 held each feather in place well.
Before stitching and gluing I placed pins everywhere. I did a set of pins in an X position over each feather to hold it in place. I then placed a small amount of white glue on the tips of the feather and put a band of wool felt down on the tips. The glue held well to the wool and caused a small socket for the tips of the feathers to sit in. I let that dry for a day and then began my stitching. Toughest part of this one was trying to sew with this hat on my lap. To see better having it on my lap worked best. Down side was that there were a TON of pins poking through and I got stabbed more than a few times.
Band of felt glued into position.
After the first layer of feathers was completed I added another layer of slightly shorter feathers to fill in the gaps. This layer of feathers required no glue. These are held on only by thread stitched on as the last layer was done. here I have the purple/black top simply setting there to test the look before deciding how to attach them.
I wanted a bit of shiny shiny on the top of the hat and so I played around with some designs. This is the one that I settled on. I used two different gauges of brass wire to make these. Twisted them up with some jewelry pliers and then hammered them a bit to shape the way I wanted. They were then stitched in place using some gold wrapped silk thread.
Testing the placement. Yup. I like it!
Slightly larger versions of the same shape were made to use as attachments on the corners of the hat.
The four twists on the left are the ones I used at the corners to hold the square down. The rest were the center embellishments.
This final look is the one I was really designing this whole outfit around. I planned on wearing the hat on my back like this showing off the peacock tail. I am looking forward to this look with a coif and leather mask as I enter into the ball room for the grand masquerade ball.