Monday, August 23, 2010

Before and After - Upcycling a Goodwill Hat


I started with what was probably a velour cap. It was a little dirty so I decided I wanted to wash it before blocking.

I washed the hat in the sink with hot water and a little dish washing soap. I then placed the hat on a hat block I carved our of styrofoam.

*tip: you can carve shapes out of styrofoam and then cover them with a plaster & gauze product called Rigid wrap. Once this dries you then also cover the block with plastic wrap so your hat material stays clean while drying.

Hat Block
Blocking the hat

After the velour was wet I placed it on the hat block and tied down the end with a small rope or shoestring. I also used large tacks to keep the rope in place and added a hair band around the top to encourage the material to take that shape. You then use your hands to press the fabric into shape. If there is wool in the fabric it will begin to shrink onto your hat block.

*tip: If you have trouble shaping the fabric you can use a hot iron with steam to apply more heat and hand press into the shape you desire.

Ironing and steaming the edge
my desired edge

To complete the shape I ironed along the edge of the hat where I had tied the rope to turn under. I then sewed the edge down and trimmed the extra material. This gave me a basic shape to trim.

Sewing the edge
To trim the hat I used a brown velvet ribbon to cover the edge of the hat and then curled, glued and sewed feathers wrapped in the same ribbon.

*tip: Curling feathers is super easy. You just use a curling iron to either 1) grab the end and curl in for smaller, or 2) place the iron in spots along the feather to make a larger curl.

*tip: Feather tips should always be covered. You can use ribbon or paint them, of you like.

If you have trouble finding feathers you like I have a great secret for you! Most sporting good stores that sell fishing supplies usually have some awesome, unusual feathers at low prices. Check it out!

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Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Hat Lovers - Don't Miss Project Runway Guest Philip Treacy

My Friends!

Don't miss guest designer Philip Treacy on this week's episode of Project Runway. One of the Millinery Guild of Souther California's members - Mondo - will be competing along with the other designers. I would love to hear back from anyone about which designer they like best! 

xoxox RedNosed Rabbit

Philip Treacy with one of his creations

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Thursday, August 12, 2010

Top 10 Hats Every Cool Chick Should Own

Hat Lovers, we live in hard times. For years I have been collecting hats but rarely wearing them out. As my friend Lynn likes to say "...and where do you plan to wear that?!" Well, I hate to admit it but while I love beautiful things like sparkly rings, gorgeous scarves and amazing hats I hardly ever wear them. But I think we all should look at making a change where hats are concerned!

All cool chicks need some basic hats in their arsenal to express their style and draw attention to their magnificence! I have a made a list for you to consider in regards to your own wardrobe.

Notice I didn't call this a "tea party" hat. (Damn those people for stealing that phrase!) Everyone should have some decadent hat to wear to tea. These fancy hats are usually made of felt or straw (sinamay) and covered in flowers. But, when choosing your tea hat, you should find one with a bit of whimsy. Here are some examples I like.

The Queen rockin' it in a trench and a Rachel Trevor-Morgan hat!

Beautiful Louise Green hat

This is a hat that needs to be functional and stylish. For me that means I want my ears to stay warm and my hair to stay dry. How you do that is a matter of taste!

Snowfall from Lock & Co.

Like the winter hat, the summer hat should also provide some protection. For me that means I want my face, shoulders and neck out of the sun! This does allow for some mystery, if you like. By hiding your face you also draw attention to yourself. See the floppy hippy below!

Juicy Couture
Okay, you've just got to have a cloche! It's so nice to wear one when you want to stand out in a crowd. Also the shape is good for all seasons of the year. The definition of cloche is "A close-fitting woman's hat with a bell-like shape." Cloche in French literally means bell. But you'll see from the examples that similar hats without the bell shape are considered cloches, as well.

Louise Brooks in 1927 wearing a cloche hatImage via Wikipedia

Marc Jacobs Fall 2010
Etsy seller, Liza Rietz

Well, I love France so it follows that I would love berets. But have you noticed how some can look very Scottish? Actually the Basque are credited with originating the look but I think the fact that they travel so easily made them good for the military, as well. However you like to sport the look they are a great go to hat for cold weather or bad hair days.

Beautiful Louise Green Beret

Slouchy is big with the kids

If you want to grab attention without yelling or having a wardrobe malfunction then wear a fascinator! The fascinator I believe is anything from a gorgeous hairclip to a headband to a cocktail hat. And they range from small & tasteful to large and shiny! Here are some great examples of the latter.

SJP in a Philip Treacy

Etsy Seller JanineBasil


Celebs love the floppy hat! Just yesterday Hat Life ran a short article about all the celebs hiding behind their hats including Chelsea Clinton on the way to her wedding. Like fascinators they draw attention but by hiding your face instead of highlighting it!

Classic Bridgit Bardot
Vanessa Hudgins & her floppy hat

I am not crazy about fedoras but fedoras won't care - because everyone else is crazy about them. They are the hipster craze and look great on men & women, young & old. Plus, Mad Men's style hasn't hurt with bringing back the look. My favorite is on the head of my teenage crush -- Indiana Jones!
The jaunty fedora


Harrison Ford and the manly fedora
I hate to admit it but this is probably the type of hat I wear the most. While many people prefer baseball caps because it allows them to show their team spirit I turn to this hat wear on sunny days when my hair needs to be hidden or I am painting a room. I notice a lot of them in the Goodwill bins and there's a variety of messages being displayed - you just have to pick what you want to say!

Jennifer Aniston

Don't you think everyone deserves a crown? It reminds you that you are the ruler of your domain! And, as they say in the movie The Little Princess - all girls are princesses. I think we should go home every night and spend the final hours of the day sporting a crown to remind us of our royal nature!

Princess Diana
Swedish Crown Princess Victoria
Etsy RoseoftheMire's Grecian Goddess Crown

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Monday, August 9, 2010

Upcyclying! Or how to build hats with Goodwill supplies!

This was a church lady hat!!!
I remember the days when I would go into a thrift shop and see tons of mashed up old lady hats! I never had any idea what a wealth of material they were until now. So, of course, now old felt hats are really hard to find. But there are plenty of small, shapeless felt hats made in China with almost no shape which is fine. They sell for around $3.99 and can be re-blocked into cocktail hats or rebuilt into something with shape and style.

This was a small round hat that read "China" on the label.

This crazy hat was already an amazing felt piece but it had no shape. I blocked it on a bucket shaped block and extended the brim with purple felt I removed from the next hat pictured.

See! No brim!

BEFORE: These are the next two hats I will re-block soon. When I get them into shape I'll post the AFTER pictures.

This was a dirty cowboy hat.
This was an old man's hat!
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