Monday, April 9, 2012

Mini Top Hat Tutorial

One of my obsessions right now is making mini top hats. They are SO cute! i just love them, and are making some for my upsoming Etsy store so stay tuned! But for now- here is my take based on a few different tutorials and research I have found.

Here is what you need:
light cardboard
exacto knife
pen/or marker
hot glue gun and sticks
2 small paper/plastic cups (1is for template)
embellishments (jewels, pearls, ribbon, feathers etc)
something to attach hat to head ie. comb, sturdy bobby pins, in this case a metal headband
and something round for a template slightly bigger than your cups for the brim

First, I cut the bottom out of one cup to use as a template, you can save this to make more hats if that is your plan. I trace a circle using the inside of the cup holding down firmly onto a piece of cardboard. This is the top of your hat. You can label it with the pen to know confuse yourself with pieces. (sometimes i am a dodo head)

Second, I use something bigger than the top of my cup for my brim, in my case, a wide mug, and I trace a circle onto another piece of cardboard. Cut both circles out.

Use the cardboard pieces now as your templates to trace circles and cut out felt. One felt circle for each cardboard. Use the cardboard again to trace circles on your hat fabric, only you will need two pieces for the brim and when cutting out, make your cut 1/4 inch bigger than the cardboard tracing(for wrapping allowance), except for one of the brim pieces will be cut exactly to the tracing. Set aside for now.

Your other cup will be used for the body of your hat. Place cup over felt and mark top and bottom, roll as smooth as possible in one direction just a bit and makr top & bottom again and continue until you have maked enough fabric to go around the entire cup. (note: this whole step may not be neccessary depending on your fabric but i think it makes it lay more neatly) Now connect your dashes to create your template or if your are confident with a steady hand you can just cut out felt straight from the dashes!

Wrap around cup and secure. You can use hot glue, I usually do. However this time I used tape.I dont know why. Sometimes there is just no explaining why I do things. . . seriously. :) Trim off excess felt with scissors to make flush with cup. This cup has a ridge on the top. so I matched felt up with that to be flush.

Now you take your fabric, roll the cup similar to how you did in the felt to make sure your piece is big enough, nothing more frustrating to cut it out beforehand and realize you are short! Once you are certain you have enough, place the cup down and run a ribbon of glue slong the cup and slowly roll that are onto the fabric, very carefully repeat. Lay glue, slowly roll onto fabric, making sure fabric is taught and smooth on cup before the glue dries and you continue on.

Once cup is covered, leave just enough for a tiny overlap, cut and glue down. Trim off excess on top of cup leaving enough to cover over the edge and glue to the inside of cup.

Trim excess of bottom also, about an 1/2 extra to glue to bottom.

Okay, pull out those cardboard and felt circles, place the one for the top into the top of the cup to ensure it fits. Depending on fabric being used, you may need more wiggle room. My fabric is thick, so I need it a bit smaller to accomodate for the fabric still needing to be added, so I trim the circle and felt accordingly. Now I can glue my felt onto the circle.

  Take the fabric circles, see how they are bigger than the cardboad? Place with the right side down and drop lay glue around the edge of cardboard a section at a time until edge is covered. You will do this to the top, and the brim using the larger circle only right now.

Place your top piece onto the top of your body and press gently all the way around to secure.  
Almost there! Woo! This is looking good! :) Now ribbon the glue on the bottom of the cup and attach you your brim with the uncovered side down making sure to leave the seam of the fabric on one of the sides. If you want a curved brim, I hold the brim in my hand and curl my hand gently into a "C" shape being carful not to bend the cardboard.

At this point, I would decorate. But for the sake of this tutorial, I wanted to get assembly out of the way, so I will do that later. Try to conceal seam. use a feather, or you can glue ribbon or lace up the seam, maybe around the top and/or brim. Beads, pearls, maybe a sparly brooch or a mix of buttons along the base of the body would all be great! Let your creativity fly!

Lastly, you take the smaller fabric circle, and in this case my headband (I have found this to be the most secure for me anyhow) and lay them onto the brim of the hat, uncovered side up. I place the headband in the middle of the brim and set the headband more to one side than in the middle, mark where the headband leaves the base with pen.

Cut slits into the fabric on marks with exacto knife and thread farbric thru with right side facing the legs of headband.

Glue headband and surrounding fabric to the brim and allow to dry.

Oh snap! Someone has a fancy new Mini Top Hat!

Thanks for visiting my page. I would love to see how yours come out! :)

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