Monday, February 3, 2014

Writing a Top Hat Tutorial

Ever since I took a course on costume construction at our local community college, I've been wanting to write a tutorial on how to make a top hat, but doing a traditional version using traditional techniques seemed like, well, old hat. 
 Felt Top Hat
Recently, I tried using one of my top hat patterns with old felted wool and cashmere sweaters. I gifted the first to a friend, kept the second for myself, and then there's the third one pictured here. I really love these hats. 
Felt Top Hat
Warm and fancy without being over the top (like, maybe, my fur hats with ears and horns). I've been taking careful notes of my process and drawing lots of little pictures. I typed up my notes, printed them out, and made another hat.  I've redrawn all of my little sketches at least once.  Now, I'm well on my way through a tutorial on how to draft a pattern and make top hats with felted wool and cashmere sweaters that will fit adult heads from XS to XL.
Felt Top Hat
If you like top hats, but aren't the crafty type, check out which hats I currently have for sale. If you are the crafty type, well, I hope you'll look out for my tutorial, so you can enjoy making and wearing these as much as I do. 
Cashmere Lining


  1. Replies
    1. I like your Wonka hats very much! The first Willy Wonka movie is my favorite. I've seen it nearly a dozen times! I've recently been gathering materials for making hats as well. I've found that old clothing is a valuable resource since cloth can be expensive. I have bought a few felt hoods to use with hat blocks. You may already be aware of this but hat blocks are insanely expensive! I am a sculptor, and wood is a favorite material for me, so I've taken advantage of the downed trees from the bad ice storm we've had on the East coast to make my own hat blocks. Thank you for this blog, now I have another style of hat to add my list of projects!

    2. The Wonka hats look very nice! I am researching and material sourcing for making hats and came across an image of your Wonka hat while doing an image search for traditional Spanish hats funny enough. Recycling sweaters seems a great idea! I have bought a few felt hoods and capelines to use with hat blocks, but now I'm wondering if an old felt sweater or something would not work as well and be possibly cheaper. The felt hoods are 16$ and higher, and hat blocks are insanely expensive. As far as the blocks go, I've taken advantage of the downed trees from the ice storms recently to gather wood to make my own blocks. I am a sculptor, and wood is one of my favorite materials to work so I think it will be a fun project. At least it will be cheaper than buying a block! Thanks for the blog! Good luck with your hats!


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