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Topic: burlesque tophat (tutorial)  (Read 6207 times)
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Sminking_of_gin
« on: October 30, 2008 01:23:21 PM »

So, I'm brand new to posting here at Craftster (been watching a long time though).
Anyway, a quick bit about me;  I'm a burlesque performer.  I also am obsessed with the 1960s, needless to say that's my lil niche in our show.  I'm the psychedelic/60s/Beatles girl.  I should also mention I'm obsessed with The Beatles (which you'll see more as I post).  Even my own mother thinks I was born in the wrong decade.

Anyway, on the topic of burlesque...I had planned to debut a new number to the Rolling Stones "Sympathy for the Devil" I had the costume plotted out...except one thing I didn't have was a decent top hat.  I searched and searched.  They were all 50-100 dollars and with the economy being what it is, that's not feesible!
So, I decided "screw it!  I'm making one"

Well, I have never made a top hat.  I decided felt would be a good base and here's how I did it.
mind you, I also don't know how to sew well...so this was all done using glue guns (I had the burns to prove it!)

first, I took some stiffer felt and made the main part of the top hat
1.

I cut a circular base out of softer, more flexible felt
2.

After the 2 main peices were cut, I made sure they looked ok together and marked how tall I wanted the hat.
3.

Here's where I got stuck, so I put the project down for the night as my brain was fried from various other things I was working on, woke up in the morning and had it figured out.  I took the top of the top hat, cut to the line I'd drawn out, a few lil cuts here and there (unfortunatly I didn't get a photo of that), then folded them toward the middle, one at a time, gluing the next peice to the previous.  it wound up looking like this when I was done
4.

next, I took the base and measured the circumfrance of the top part.  after I did this, I made a small hole in the middle of that and began cutting so that I was making triangles outward from the middle. and it looked like this
5.

next I took the base and started gluing those triangle cuts to the inside of the bottom of the top part (really it makes sense somehow).
6.

So, I had my top and base glued together, but the sides needed to be a little curled up to be a proper hat.
7.

I grabbed some fabric stiffener, curled those edges up and sprayed away!  I let the hat sit for about an hour and this was the result.
8.

Now my base of the hat was done, but it needed to look a little less rough.  Somehow I had some random black satin I hadn't realized I bought (love it when that happens!).
9.

So, with the fact I do almost all 1960's numbers, I'm always looking for psychedelic fabric to work into things.  Since I was doing a number where I'd be portraying a devil, I needed red.  I found a very interesting fabric and bought as much of it as I could.  here's the fabric and my dog testing it out.
10.

The first thing I did with the fabric was I cut out a hat band and attached it to the hat.
11.

So, I had also bought some feathers.  It seems like feathers are some of the greatest accessories to any burlesque dancer!
I attached those to the right side of the hat.
12.

Finally, I attached some elastic to the inside of the hat as a fascinator and I was done.  Here's multiple views of the finished product (yes, there is an Abbey Road purse in some shots...my friends give me crap that that bag is everywhere I am).









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Nesse
« Reply #1 on: October 31, 2008 08:01:11 AM »

Awesome! Thanks for the tut!
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Sminking_of_gin
« Reply #2 on: November 11, 2008 04:06:12 PM »

no problem! Cheesy
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IHeartMstrChief
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« Reply #3 on: December 02, 2008 11:41:39 AM »

I think you just saved me a bajillion dollars on not having to go to a haberdashery to make a top hat for my mad hatter costume...my costume is so loud, I want a normal sized hat instead of a ridiculously huge one...

Anywho...thank you for the tutorial! It gives me something to go on as well as hope! I'll try to get pictures up whenever it gets done!

Thanks!
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steph.reads
« Reply #4 on: December 02, 2008 06:52:58 PM »

Oh too cute! I want to see a picture of the hat on your head! Seriously, its adorable!
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KMOM13
« Reply #5 on: December 02, 2008 07:20:25 PM »

You've got great improv skills - it is really cool. 
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pjhamel
« Reply #6 on: January 09, 2009 03:40:29 PM »

Awesome. I am totally going to try it. The only hat I've made so far is a pirate hat for halloween. This one looks promising.
Does your dog like to lay on fabric whenever you spread it out? My dog always makes herself comfortable as soon as I start sewing.
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Fetus
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« Reply #7 on: January 09, 2009 04:16:33 PM »

NIIICE!
Love the psychedelic fabric, and great tute, is it a full sized top hat?
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Sminking_of_gin
« Reply #8 on: February 13, 2009 02:55:20 PM »

Awesome. I am totally going to try it. The only hat I've made so far is a pirate hat for halloween. This one looks promising.
Does your dog like to lay on fabric whenever you spread it out? My dog always makes herself comfortable as soon as I start sewing.

So, I go a couple months without checking craftster....ooops.

Anyway, yep my dog and cat do that to just about every fabric I spread out.  makes it a little hard to cut!
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You may be a lover, but you ain't no dancer
Sminking_of_gin
« Reply #9 on: February 13, 2009 02:57:03 PM »

NIIICE!
Love the psychedelic fabric, and great tute, is it a full sized top hat?

It's actually medium/mini.  it attaches with the lil elastic (I've worn it for a few different shows and it's worked fab!)
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You may be a lover, but you ain't no dancer
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