Saturday, March 6, 2010

Tiny Top Hats

Every year, the world of fashion and design gets inspired by one movie. This year’s style influence is Alice in Wonderland. Just look at all the tea pots, heart/diamond/spade/club jewellery, blue dresses and headbands decorated with cute little bows! In honour of this trend, I present my own creation, the Tiny Top Hat Barrette.

Tiny Top Hats by Gwenyver

These are not like your usual mini top hats: they are tiny (14 centimetres in diameter) AND they are made from recycled material, including fabric leftover from my numerous costume projects. Can you guess which?

(For the answer, click on the colours: Purple - Green - Pink)

One day, if I get enough requests, I might open an Etsy store and sell some.

In the mean time, because I love you so much (and because, if you’re reading this, you like me would rather make your own than pay for someone to make it for you), here is a detailed, fully illustrated, step-by step guide to making your own.

You will need:

  • A cardboard toilet paper roll;
  • A piece of cardboard (I used a frozen pizza box, so really, anything goes);
  • Fabric scissors;
  • Paper scissors;
  • A ruler;
  • White crafters' glue;
  • A hot glue gun and some glue sticks;
  • Fabric scraps;
  • Felt;
  • Ribbon;
  • An old button;
  • Feathers;
  • Anything else you can think of to use as decoration.

1. Begin by cutting your cardboard toilet paper roll in half.

2. Using your half cardboard toilet paper roll, trace its circumference twice on the cardboard. Add one centimetre all around one of your circles to create the brim.

3. Cut a rectangular piece of fabric which is wider than the height of your half cardboard toilet paper roll (you want to be able to fold the edges to keep them hidden) and longer than its circumference so you have enough to make a nice hem.

4. Apply white glue to your half cardboard toilet paper roll. Roll it on the fabric starting at one end of the rectangle until the roll is covered.

5. Use the extra fabric to make a hem: apply a line of white glue and fold the edge on it.

6. Once that is dry, apply another line of white glue you your hem and stick it to the fabric covered roll.

7. Apply a line of glue to the inside of your roll and fold the extra fabric over it to get a nice edge.

8. Place your cardboard circle on the fabric, trace one centimetre fold allowance and cut your fabric. Repeat for the second one.

9. Using white glue, fix your cardboard circle to the centre of your fabric circle. Apply white glue to the top side of your cardboard circle and stick the fabric's edge to it. Use cloth pins to keep it in place while it dries.

10. Using hot glue, stick a circle of felt to hide the raw edge of fabric on the underside of your brim. Still using hot glue, stick the top of your hat to one end of the tube and the whole thing to the brim piece.

11. Sew a barrette, hair clip or comb to the felt. You could also fix it to a headband, but in that case, I recommend gluing the felt over the headband to sandwich it between the felt and the cardboard.

12. Decorate as you like!

Gwenyver wearing the Hunter Green Tiny Top Hat

See how cute it looks? It is perfect for Alice, Gothic Lolita or even Steampunk wear. I especially suggest wearing it to one side of your head, with pigtails of course, for added cuteness.

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