August 1, 2011

Sewing Challege: Western

At first when I heard the theme was Western, I was at a loss.  My fiancĂ© loves westerns, but I don’t nearly love them as much.  Then I realized one of my favorite shows was a Western! 

This is for my fiancĂ© .  He goes crazy when he just rides one of the buses with ads on them for Montana...

Deadwood, for those who haven’t seen it, was a tv show on HBO from 2004-2006.  It was set in the 1870s in Deadwood, South Dakota.  The show had lots of fantastic actors, an amazing script and set, and really good looking costumes.  The show combined true characters and events with fictional elements.  Though using the female characters for inspiration limited me to prostitutes, drunks, and one widow. 

Wild Bill Hickok: You know the sound of thunder, Mrs. Garret?
Alma Garret: Of course.
Wild Bill Hickok: Can you imagine that sound if I asked you to?
Alma Garret: Yes, I can, Mr. Hickok.
Wild Bill Hickok: Your husband and me had this talk, and I told him to head home to avoid a dark result. But I didn't say it in thunder. Ma'am, listen to the thunder.

While I love Trixie, I didn’t want to have to go out and buy a bunch of supplies to make a corset… though I could have made some fantastic striped stockings…

I thought it would be fun to branch out from my usual sewing and try my hand at a hat.  I don’t really have much use for a hat, but I’ve always loved the hats that Joanie wears.  After looking at some photos, I guess it's just one hat, but it's so much fun.

Joanie Stubbs: Will you keep a girl company?
Ellsworth: I will, but I'm expensive.

It's hard to find good quotes to use from the show.  The writing is fantastic, kind of Shakesperian in it's delivery, but hard to understand out of context.

As an added bonus I thought I’d make some gloves too.  I didn’t have a pattern for any of these items, so it was all done freehand, but I think they turned out pretty well.

Top Hat Tutorial:

What you will need…
- 2-3 pieces of plastic canvas (the stuff used for cross stich)
- Strong thread
- ½-1 yard of fabric approx. (for hat itself)- I used scraps I had around
- 1-2 yards of sheer fabric- I used scraps I had around
- Brooch

Cut the canvas into the pieces for your hat.  These include: a long piece about 6-8 inches tall and wide enough to go around your head; a small circle that will fit in the top, and a large circle for the brim.  You can easily cut out the small circle from the middle of the large one and it will be the perfect size.

Then you will sew together your canvas pieces with the strong thread.  You will want strong thread so that you hat stays together.  To make mine, I used a double strand of thread.  Once your hat is together you will add the fabric to it.  I unfortunately forgot to take a photo at this point to show you what it looks like.  But it will look like a plastic canvas top hat.

Next, cut your fabric for the hat into pieces to cover the canvas.  The circle on top needs to be larger than your canvas.  And don’t forget that the brim needs to be covered on both sides (top and bottom). 

Sew the top circle to the canvas by sewing through the holes on the side.  Try to keep the top as flat as possible.

Sew the sides on.  I did this by turning about ¼ of an inch under and slipstitching it to the hat at the top.  You can also sew the bottom, but it not necessary as fabric will be covering it.

Then you sew the brim on.  Take your two pieces (two since you need a top and bottom), and sew them together on your machine.  Turn it inside out.  Slip over the hat.  You will most likely need to bend the hat a bit to get it on.  Try not to break any stitching, particularly the stitching holding the canvas hat together.  If the brim will not lay flat within the fabric, don’t worry.  Mine didn’t since I didn’t cut them in perfect circles.  This just makes the brim bend a bit and I think it looks cooler.

Next, sew the fabric underneath to the hat.  You will need to cut the fabric so it lays flat on the inside. 

Now the main part of the hat is done.  Next you will use the sheer fabric.  You can cut it in ½ long ways so it isn’t such a wide piece.  If you want to you can hem the edges so they don’t fray, but I liked the frayed look so I left mine bare.  Wrap it around the base of the hat and tie it in a knot in the back.  Sew around the edges, hiding your stitches so the knot stays in place. 

Add a brooch to the front of the hat.

Stand back and admire your work!!!

1 comment:

  1. It looks lovely, my dear!! Thank you for sharing your method of making this awesome hat!