We're so close to being done (or as done as these things ever are) with the Blue Bee dresses!
We've also come to the thing that I have been dreading the most - hats. In the past, hats have been Rachel's thing, so it was kinda my turn now. We looked at so many pictures of hats, but mostly took our inspiration from hats like these:
I knew from the beginning that I wanted to start with a proper buckram frame from a milinry supply store. In the past, we've managed to make head pieces with what we already had, but for the crisp lines of the kinds of hats we'd been looking at, I knew the expense of a buckram hat frame would be worth it.
From there, making the pattern to cover the frame is not unlike making an upholstery pattern, just in miniature. I turned the hat upside down and carefully traced around the top edge, then went back and added seam allowance. For the sides, I found the dress trim to be almost perfect in width. I trimmed off the gold edges of the trim, then cut lining pieces for the top and sides out of the cream dupioni silk lining of the coat.
With the outer pieces sewn together, I whip stitched/basted the edges down, just covering the metal hat band in the bottom of the buckram frame and hiding most of my stitches in the edges of the gold trim on the outside. I didn't have to worry about it being too pretty inside, as it would be covered by the lining.
Being a Renaissance hat, I added a large grey ostrich feather from Rachel. I had been making the coif and hat at the same time, so you can see it here on Ms. Foame with the plain coif. I ended up covering the end of the feather with a large button made of blue linen and a tree-of-life charm, but alas I didn't get a good picture of it here.
One more thing was definitely needed to secure the hats - a hat pin. I searched online to see if there were ones I could purchase - and there were. Except they were art pieces, or set with precious gems, or antiques. So, kind of at the last minute, I ordered supplies to make my own. Plus - hey another place to have a bee! I used glass beads in blue and yellow, a bee charm, and bits and pieces left over from other jewelry projects, all secured with E6000 glue. I also added a little chain swag to the side of the hat, just for that little bit of extra oomph.
The pin up close. I think it turned out great!
Full disclosure - I put this on Ms. Foame after the faire to take a picture to add to the bottom of this post. The day of the faire, the court asked us to bling out our garb as much as possible, so Rachel and I threw on our tiaras from our green German dresses. And although I wouldn't have come up with it on my own, I do think it's just the right amount of theatricality. I can't wait for you to see the whole show that is the Blue Bee Dress all together in the next post!
I can't seem to help myself. Even with dresses that are already designed and done I want to tweak them. The mind of a creative person is never at rest, I guess. The September Great Plains Renaissance Festival will be my first with a baby in tow, so I knew I didn't have time for a whole new outfit for myself, but I wanted to make a few hat updates FOR LEGITIMATE REASONS, I promise!
Kate and I decided on the Always Winter Never Christmas dresses and the Falling Leaves dresses for the fall time - the colors seemed to be begging for it. And while I LOVED the hats I made for the Always Winter dresses, wearing a stuffed tube around my head got hot quickly. After looking at paintings and with some linen Kate found on sale, we decided on a simple wrapped style with a feather pin for an accent.
The other dresses we reserved for fall have some seriously awesome hats. They are my favorite out of the 5 I've attempted to sew or worn with outfits. The research was great, and before this we'd been wearing the steuchleins from under the hats for our green dresses. It was fine, but no where else did our outfits have white fabric.
On top of that I had attempted to purchase yet another vintage silk sari in a neutral color to use for another project. The neutral beige this time turned out much darker than I anticipated, and the finish of the fabric was thicker and smoother than I wanted.
There was more than enough for Kate and I, and adding the ties to the rectangle of fabric was easy too. It's a small addition, but to me it makes a big difference.
Twins each with half a brain in reality; the other half displayed here!