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Greetings and salutations!

I'm about to get started creating a Mad Hatter costume to wear to Disney's new Alice in Wonderland movie when it comes out in March (much to my sister's dismay.)  To my delight, Threadbanger released an excellent video showing how to make both the hat and the rest of the costume.

I decided to write the hat steps out so I won't have to keep rewinding the video to check each part while I'm working on it, and thought I'd share.

First, please watch the video (below the cut) so you can see each step I refer to.  There's an ad, then the hat instructions, another ad, and then the rest of the costume.  Warning: the video autoplays.  

Materials You'll Need

Masking tape
Hot glue
Base fabric
Lace fabric (Optional)
Spray Paint
Large beads
Crimping beads
Peacock feathers


Building the body

1.  Cut a piece of posterboard ten inches high and big enough around to fit your head, plus a bit extra for the wig if you're wearing one.
2.  Roll that piece into a cylinder and tape the seams down.  You might also staple around the overlapping areas to keep them together.
3.  Cut a circle from the foamboard that has a six inch radius. 
4.  Place the cylinder exactly in the center of the circle and tape down at 12, 3, 6 and 9.
5.  Hot glue all the way around where the two meet.

Wrapping it with fabric

6.  Cut a piece of the base fabric wide enough to wrap completely around the circle cylindrically (is that a word?) and long enough to extend past the end of the cylinder.
7.  Glue the base fabric to the edge of the circle all the way around.
8.  When you get back to where you started, fold the end under a bit and glue it down over the start of the fabric.
9.  Stretch the other end of the fabric down into the cylinder and glue.  It might help to glue down opposite edges of the fabric to keep everything aligned properly.  Make sure to pull as taut as you can.
10.  Cut a circle of the base fabric that's just a bit larger than the foam circle.
11.  Glue it down onto the circle top.
12.  Cut off any excess.
13.  Repeat steps 6-12 with the lace fabric if you're using it.

Making the brim

14.  Spread out more of the base material, place the cylinder in the center and trace around it.
15.  Cut the center out of the circle, leaving a couple inches from the hole to the circle.
16.  Cut slits from the hole in the center to the circle outline that you traced, about one per inch or inch and a half.
17.  Make a ring of wire that has a radius of about 3 inches more than the circle outline.
18.  Tape the ends of the wire together.
19.  Cut a rough circle out of the base fabric, large enough to fit over the wire and leave seam allowance.

Attaching the brim

20.  Place the fabric over the open part of the cylinder, lining up the circle you traced with the edge.  Hot glue each tab down inside.
21.  Lay the wire circle on a flat surface and center the fabric over it.  Pin the fabric just inside the wire, pulling as taut as you can. 
22.  Sew completely around the inside of the wire and cut off any extra fabric from underneath.

Decoration and finishing

23.  Spray paint the entire hat with various colors, if the base and lace fabrics don't already provide the look you're after.
The Threadbanger video suggests Black, Dark Green and metallic Gold.  Let dry completely.

24.  Gently bend the wire to give the hat an upswoop on the sides.  Take a look at this picture of the actual hat to give you an idea of how those curves go.
25.  Make the band from whatever color and texture of fabric you like.  The one in the movie is salmon colored with yellow flowers on the ends, and is long enough to hit about mid-back.
26.  Make the "In this style 10/6" tag with burned edges.
26.  Make some faux hat pins by gluing or crimping large beads onto the ends of 3 or 4 wires.
27.  Trim the peacock feathers so they're long enough to be tucked into the band and extend as high up the hat as you like.
28.  Attach the pins and feathers, which might need dots of hot glue to help hold them in place, then wrap and tie the band, and tuck in the 10/6 tag.

For the dedicated among you, this image of the actual hat shows additional detail, like patches and stichery in places.

Here's a Threadbanger blog post with pictures of the hats and costumes that Thread Heads have made after watching the video.  My favorite is Rachel Wase's, because that color mixture is just fantastic.

I'd also love to see pictures of whatever you guys come up with if you choose to make one of these costumes too.  Please do share!


( 2 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 1st, 2011 04:34 pm (UTC)
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Jan. 18th, 2011 12:49 pm (UTC)
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( 2 comments — Leave a comment )