Tag Archives: victorian

DIY Steampunk Tophat Tutorial

As promised, here’s the step-by-step to my mini steampunk tophat!

Tadaa! The finished product.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I looked at several different tutorials (check out threadbanger.com for a great start,) then made my own frankentutorial based on supplies I already had to make my hat.

What You’ll Need:

A plastic cup that is slightly graduated in shape (smaller at the bottom, larger at the top)

Scrap of foam board or cardboard

Ribbon and/or trim

Feathers

Lace

Buttons and trinkets

1 or 2 hair clips

Low-temp hot glue gun & glue sticks

Electrical or masking tape

Sturdy wire

Good scissors

Wire cutters

Feathers

Fabric scraps

How To Make It

1.) Take your plastic cup and place it upside down on your piece of foam board or cardboard. Trace the opening of the cup onto the board, then cut out on the inside of the line you just drew. The idea is for the round piece to fit snugly in the opening of the cup after both the cup and the circle are covered in fabric.

2.) Place your circle on the fabric of your choice. (I chose velvet to coordinate with the gold and red silk I used for the tall part of my hat.) Trace the circle onto your fabric, then draw another circle about an inch out from the original circle onto your fabric.

3.) Cut slits in your circle from the outside edge nearly to the edge of the inside circle you traced. Cut several slits around the circle so that your fabric will lay flat when you cover your circle.

4.) Place your foamboard/cardboard circle back on the fabric you just cut slits in, and start folding the fabric “tabs” you created when cutting onto the circle, and glue them down with hot glue. Go slowly, doing one tab at a time, and stretching your fabric over the circle so that it lays flat. (FYI, your tabs will probably overlap. That’s good! It means the fabric will be smooth on the opposite side.)

5.) Place your plastic cup on its side on top of the “wrong” side of the fabric of your choice. (Be sure there’s enough fabric so that you have at least an inch of overlap at the top and bottom of your cup. Place a short line of hot glue on the top and bottom edges of the cup (the opening and the base of the cup,) and begin to roll your cup onto the back side of the fabric. Repeat until you’ve rolled the cup all the way around, at which point the sides of the cup should be covered in fabric. Again, go slowly, making sure your glue adheres, and tighten the fabric so that it lays flat on your cup.

6.) When you’ve covered the cup, cut a straight line at the end of your fabric, and fold it over to create a seam. Glue the fabric seam down, then glue the neat edge of your fabric onto the cup.

7.) Using the same technique you used to cover your foam board/cardboard circle, cut slits in the fabric that overlaps the top and bottom of your cup. Glue the tabs you create inside the cup, and onto the bottom of the cup.

8.) Quickly create a ring of glue about 1/2 inch inside the opening of your cup, and place your covered foam board/cardboard circle inside to secure. The base for your tophat is finished.

9.) Stand your cup upright, and, taking your wire, create a circle around the base, at least a few inches out from the edge of the cup. This will be the base for the brim of your hat, so you can make it as small or as large as you like. Cut the wire with about 1/2 inch to spare when you’ve found the right length.

10.) Overlap the two ends of your wire and connect by covering with electric or masking tape to create a circle. Try not to get too bulky with your tape, since you’ll be covering the wire with fabric.

11.) Using the same technique you used to cover your foam board/cardboard circle, trace a circle around your wire about 1/2 inch from the edge of the wire. You may or may not need to cut slits in your fabric for this step, since you’ll be gluing your fabric directly to the edge of the wire. Glue your fabric down and cut off any excess fabric around the inside edge.

12.) To attach your brim to your hat, apply a liberal amount of glue around the edge of the bottom of your cup, and place in the center of the finished side of your circular brim. (The side without raw fabric edges showing.) Now stitch the fabric to the bottom of the cup. This doesn’t have to look pretty – you’ll finish your brim and hide any stitches you make.

14.) Cut another circle of fabric, this time the same size as your wire circle, to cover the unfinished side of your brim. You can either fold the edges of this fabric over and glue down to creat a seam, or just glue the circle down, raw edges and all, then cover the edge by gluing down a pretty trim. Your brim is finished.

15.) Bend the wire of your brim any way you like to create an authentic tophat look.

16.) Stitch hair clips and/or ribbon to the bottom center of your brim to secure to your head. If you choose to use ribbon, wrap the ribbon around your head like a headband, then cut lots of extra ribbon to tie a pretty bow. (You could also tie the ribbon under your chin.)

17.) Now you can add your embellishments! You can add feathers by cutting them to the desired length, then taping together and gluing onto the hat. Metal buttons and beads, gears, and pretty baubles can be stitched onto your ribbon and glued around the bottom of your tophat to hide the tape on your feathers. I created a pretty lace pinwheel by cutting a length of lace ribbon, then making a running stich along the edge to pull and gather the lace. Using a matching thread, stitch the raw edges of the lace together to create a circle, and sew a button in the center to finish. I also added some organza ribbon to give the illusion of a prize ribbon. You can get really creative here, adding any kind of embellishments you choose. Just be careful not to make the hat too heavy!

Back view of the hat. Notice the "seam" and various trinkets sewn to the ribbon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Now, wear your hat with steampunk pride! Stay tuned for more fun and simple steampunk tutorials.

Share the Love,

Chelsea

 

Advertisements

Leave a comment

Filed under Make It Monday

Are You Going To Scarborough Faire? (Thoughts on Renaissance Steampunkery)

This year, Tom and I are continuing our tradition of a trip to Scarborough Faire, the renaissance festival in our area. Last year, we dressed up as a fairy and a pirate (our first trip to the faire in costume,) and this year we’ve decided to join the costume contest! You may be thinking,  “You’ve seen one renaissance costume, you’ve seen them all,” which is generally accurate, but not always true:

I was delightfully surprised by this lady jester last year!

This year, we were so excited to discover that the faire is having a time travelers costume contest, which can be anything from Dr. Who to driving up in a Delorean a la “Back to the Future.” Of course, if you’re familiar with the territory, this also means steampunk!

Now you may be saying to yourself, “I really don’t get that steampunk thing,” and rightfully so. It’s a broad genre of style. So, let me try to clear things up for you. Here are the best definitions I’ve come across so far.

Steampunk (noun): A sub-genre mixing Victorian and Edwardian styles with science fiction, often based on characters inspired by literary figures such as H.G. Wells.

Steampunk (noun):  A style that gives the illusion of living in a past in which the future came too soon.

Steampunk (noun): When goths discover the color brown.

See also steampunkery (noun,) steampunk-ify (verb,) and steampunker (noun.)

Okay, so that last one is just funny, but it’s true to an extent! Basically,  I’ve found that there are 5 identifiable categories within the steampunk sub-genre.

1) One has a more gothic, dark tone, often inspired by Tim Burton characters with lots of black, red, and black and white stripes, and even some dead or zombie makeup elements. Also incorporates some “carnivale” style.

Vistual example of goth steampunk.

2) Another has more of a fantasy tone (fairies and elves dressed in steampunk garb.)

A visual example of a steampunk fairy.

3) Yet another has more of a sci-fi tone (human time travelers and other sci-fi creatures in steampunk garb.)

A visual example of sci-fi steampunk.

4) Then you have the costume hackers, who “hack” existing characters from other genres (superheros, comic book characters, movie characters, etc.) and steampunk-ify them.

Visual example of a steampunk hacker costume. Iron Man, a natural choice.

5) The last style is simply made of a group of steampunk purists who enjoy creating historically accurate costumes mixed with scientifically functional machinery, and who usually have knowledge and appreciation of the literature that inspires the style.

Steampunk Lincoln says it's hard to find a picture of historically accurate steampunk costumes, but they're out there!

Also, you must know that there are people who do steampunk cos-play (costume play,) and there are people who dress in steampunk style every day. Those who have adopted the style as their own in their daily life sometimes don’t know how to respond to those who call it “costume,” but I say please don’t be offended! Costuming is all about transforming yourself into someone (or something) you’re not. When someone takes the time and effort to make or buy and assemble a costume emulating your style, that means they want to be, well, you. That’s a pretty big compliment. (Even with all the steampunk fails out there.)

Not so much with the steampunk tag. You probably violated the Etsy TOUs trying to get more views for your item, but I'll give you the benefit of the doubt.

So, I hope that breaks things down for you if you’ve been unfamiliar with all things steampunk until now. Steampunk expert? Tell me what you think of my list in the comments below! Did I miss a category?

I’ll be posting pics for next week’s Make It Monday with tutorials on how you can make your own steampunk garb, including pics of the steampunk mini tophat I just finished! I’ve never done steampunk before (or made a mini tophat, for that matter,) so I’m pretty excited. I’ll also share other elements of our costumes just for your viewing pleasure.

Share the Love,

Chelsea

Leave a comment

Filed under Thoughtful Thursday

Tuesday’s Treasure – Bills & Frills

Happy Tuesday, Friends! Here’s one of the latest treasuries we’ve been featured in. Very romantic and spring-y:

Where The Roses Kiss The Sky by Melony

On a totally different note, I can’t wait until we’re done paying out our previous lease! Just a few more months now, and Tom will hopefully be able to quit his job to focus on school and our work here at the Tri C. This has been such a huge transition for us, and it’ll be nice to be able to simplify our schedule.

Share the Love,

Chelsea

Leave a comment

Filed under Tuesday's Treasure

Friday’s Favorites

This week, these are a few of our favorite things:

Lady With Ship Hat Silk Screened Canvas by utilitarianfranchise

Vintage Petit Point Needlepoint Ring Rose by TidBitz

Turbaned Lady Wire Art by ZipTieART

Cute Vintage Strawberry Hook by littlevintageviolet

Have a wonderful weekend!

Share the Love,

Chelsea

Leave a comment

Filed under Friday's Favorites

Weird Wednesday – I Hit The Weird Jackpot

Okay, so I hit the weird jackpot today when I saw new listings by TillyBloom. I may never need to post another Weird Wednesday again – I think she’s got it covered!

Smile Necklace

Curtsy Brooch

Heart Cufflinks

TillyBloom, I’m sorry I haven’t noticed your delightfully crazy work before now, because I think I’m in love.

Go check out her shop for some more of the really surreal!

Share the Love,

Chelsea 

Leave a comment

Filed under Weird Wednesday