Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Milliners are underpaid (or "How to make a pill-box hat")

My in-laws celebrated 40 years of wedded bliss last weekend.  My mother-in-law, Donna, wanted a simple pill-box hat to match her dress.  Armed with the knowledge that everything that IS was made by someone, we set out to create our own.

We started with some lovely rose adornments found on clearance at Micheals, poster-board, the ends from a ribbon roll, 1 yard of satin and 1 yard of sparkle tulle.
First, I cut the band from poster-board.  I cut it 2 1/2 inches wide (tall) then trimmed it off roughly 1 1/2 inches longer than the ribbon end rolls ("top").  You could figure this out if you did a mathematical equation,.  But if you can do that, you probably aren't very crafty, so there!
Next, I cut 3 rounds of satin, about 2 inches larger than the top (1 inch on each side).  Note: I use the word "round" loosely:
And 2 lengths of satin about 2 1/2 times the size of the band:
Next, I used spray adhesive to sandwich the top between 2 of the satin rounds.  I used a generous coat of spray on each side.  I set it aside and let it dry a bit, and completely encased the band with one layer of satin, also using the spray adhesive.  It was tough to keep from having wrinkles in the fabric, but this was the underlayer, so I didn't stress too much.

Next, I used spray adhesive on the top, around the edges only (the overlapping satin) to attach the 3rd round of satin. This allowed the fabric to "float" across the top and not have any wrinkles.  At this point, here's what it looked like:
The next part was a little trickier.  I heated up the glue gun (is it possible to create anything without hot glue? Hmmm...) and used it to attach the outer layer of satin to the band.  I used the existing fold to create a nice edge.  What you see in this picture is the back (inside) of the band, with the finished edge to the right and what will be the top of the band to the bottom.  Confused?  Good!  Keep reading, it (might) make more sense later.
I pinched the fabric up a bit and glued it in place so that when I turned up the top edge (at the bottom of the picture) it would have a clean, un-bulky corner.
Caution:  Do this out of earshot of small children.  You will burn your fingers on the hot glue.  It will hurt.  You will say naughty words.  Unless you are blessed to have Plaid Hot Glue Gun Helper Tools
 (which I didn't!)

It helps to pull the fabric slightly as you glue it in place, to get a cleaner edge.
Once that was done, I had the finished edge of the back of the band:
Now, I clipped the edges of the top, so that it would be easier to attach to the band:
And hot glued that puppy to the band, starting with the UNFINISHED edge of the band:
Don't get in a hurry with this step.  Give each section time to dry before adding more glue.  Also, see Caution Statement above and route small children accordingly.

I found it was best to hold the top of the hat (round part) with my left hand, apply glue to the band in 2 inch sections, then grab the clipped part of the top with my right hand and pull it towards the back - while rolling the top onto the glue.

Here's what it looked like from the back:
Once I got to the end, I glued the finished part of the band to the place where I started, and violia! It looked like a hat!
Well, almost!  All that was left to do now was to glue the rest of the band to the inside, which would cover all those clipped parts of the top.  Starting with the unfinished part first, of course (see - it's all starting to make sense now, isn't it?)
And then, I had a pill box hat!
inside (kinda fun that you can still see the writing!)
And the fun part is always decorating!  We wanted to use birdcage veiling, but it was so expensive!  So, I improvised by using a narrow zig-zag stitch on the sewing machine to make my own.

It took FOREVER.  But, I am happy with how it turned out.  I finished the edge with a ribbon, then hand stitched the veil to the hat, along with a reclaimed pearl necklace, ribbons and the flowers:
as modeled by my lovely daughter

Happy 40th Wedding Anniversary Wayne and Donna!
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www.gopurplesavegreen.com William and Noel Giger Solavei Members


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