Making the accessories for this out was, by far, my FAVORITE part of this project! I had so much fun being creative, and It really brought me back to my childhood and first crafting experiences…
My first experiences in crafting were watching my mom create silk and dried flower arrangements, wreaths, swags, hats, ornaments, gifts, etc…I loved making my own little creations for my room. I still make stuff, but more for Christmas–wreaths, garlands, mantle pieces…When I was in seventh grade, the choir put the musical The Music Man and my mom volunteered to help with costumes. She made all the hats for the show (around 20, I think), and they were AWESOME! I still have the one I wore for that show and then again when I was a junior in the musical Hello, Dolly!
Ever since then, I’ve loved hats. So, when Jo said she wanted to wear a mini top hat, I was ecstatic–I would get to decorate it!!! And, anyone who knows me loves how much I love anything with straps, buckles, buttons, ties…I guess you’d classify those things as “hardware”…
wow, what does that say about me? so getting to make them was honestly, the high-light of the last few months just awesome ;).
Jo and I decided that we didn’t want to put too much on the corset because of the necklace she wanted to wear and that I knew I’d be putting a lot on the hat. Plus, she wanted to be able to wear the corset again, so I had to make sure I could get everything off. Those were the only guidelines I had 🙂
My mother-in-law (know from here on out as Mom O.) gave me an old coat to cut up, and it had these awesome buttons. The center part is just a plastic dot, but it looked coppery and the buttons are actually metal that looked brassy, plus they have a shank, so they’re perfect! I bought a pice of leather from Hobby Lobby and cut it into 2.25″x1″ strips. Using the smallest hole-puncher I could find, I punched two holes in one end of the leather strip the same distance apart as the holes on the hook-and-eyes. Then I used the high-melt glue gun and attached the other end of the leather strip to the back of the button
Using some heavier gauge copper jewelry wire, I attached the eyes and hooks to the straps by wrapping the wire through the holes three times.
I made sure both ends of the wire were in the back of the button, twisted the wire a few times, snipped the ends as close as I could, and put a little dollop of hot glue on it to keep it from untwisting and getting caught on the lace of the corset.
Since I wanted the straps, which I was so impressed with (
I’m not typically this creative it’s amazing what the thought, “There is NO WAY I’m sewing leather on my machine” can produce), to be the focal point of the corset, front and center was the best place. I positioned the first one under the bust-line and then spaced them out from there, being sure not to put them too low as to interfere with the apron overskirt. The little locket at the top was a 50% off coupon Joann’s purchase. It was pretty cool because the locket part looked almost like a magnifying glass–very Steampunk ;). I hand-sewed everything to the corset with silk thread so that it had a little bit of give to work with the corsetting but was strong enough to keep everything on.
Time for the hat! Here’s a photo of everything I had to work with. I did not take pictures of my entire process because, to be completely honest, I was so “in the zone” while doing it that I didn’t even think of taking pictures. I shall try to explain 🙂 I bought all the packaged gears from the scrapbooking section at Hobby Lobby. They were the ONLY store I found that had anything like this. I got the jewelry and vintage lady’s bust buttons at Joanns. I thought that Home Depot would have been more productive–all they had that I could use were brass nuts and notched washers that looked a little like gears.
Here is what I ended up with. I used the same copper wire I used for the straps to make a huge spring by wrapping it around a piece of dowel rod. I used 1 roll (5 yards) of 8″ wide tulle to create a HUGE puff on the back and added raven-colored (a deep, deep, bluish-black) goose biots sticking out all over. The gear collage was just a variety of the scrapbooking gears glued together with one of the vintage-looking woman bust buttons and a “gear” I made with one of the nuts and washers, some more copper wire, an old leftover button that had a brassy, vintage look, and a clock face.
The band around the hat is the same fabric from the corset. Around the top of the brim I used black velvet ribbon that I pinched and overlapped to look a bit like ruffles. The large black ostrich feather was one I had left over from my wedding (4 years ago) and I bought the peacock feather to bring out the blue in the the fabrics and because
I love peacock feathers and couldn’t get them out of my head with that blue corset fabric I found a lot of peacock feathers in my steampunk searches. Everything is hot-glued on. And that’s it!
I did not want to give this hat to Jo because I fell in love with it. Pictures just do not do it enough justice. I am soooooooo happy with how it came out!
The Steampunk Bridesmaid is done! I had the entire outfit done for the wedding on Friday, April 27th. It was such a cool wedding to see (I saw it in pictures)–people need to do more theme weddings!
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