One of the things I love doing, is designing hats that are not available to the public in any other way. There are many Victorian Festivals around this country and the world and I wanted to design for the woman who really wants to stand out while wearing her special costume. This is a new pattern that I spent this past week working on and the result is a perch style riding hat fit for any Victorian lady.
I wanted to make a wild show of peacock and curled peacock sword feathers, so I decided this hat would be covered in several shades of green, trimmed in gold to brighten the green colors.
I first covered the top of the crown and both the upper and under brim with bottle green cotton velvet. To cover the vamp I used some soft crimp pleated velvet in a lighter shade of green with gold flecks. The band around the hat is an olive shade of green ribbon with gold edges and a gold buckle with the ribbon through it for the front. This may sound like an odd collection of green colors but when you study both peacock and peacock sword feathers they have many shades of greens, so it all worked quite well together. On the edge of the under brim I used bottle green French braid with gold edging and it made the brim edge stand out to go with the other small gold areas of trim.
Here you can see the bottle green on top of the hat with the vamp green and gold fabric against it, offset by the group of peacock feathers. I also used some curled biot feathers that were a bright green and I dipped them in a black dye and they became the perfect shade to go with the peacock feathers.
I made a really large feather pad using three peacock feathers, five peacock swords that I curled and eight curled biot feathers to hang out both sides of the pad and give the display more elegance. I then added a vintage pin (broach) at the bottom that was the perfect combination of colors and aging. At the base of the brim I made a small feather pad using coque feathers so that they would hang down off the back dip of the brim. This adds more interest to the back.
This close-up shows you the varying greens of the feathers and the colors of rhinestones in the broach all of which worked beautifully together.
This side view shows you how feathers move and curl in many directions around the hat. It also shows you how the hat brim is shaped with the front to a point slightly deeper than the sides and back. Only the back of the side of the brim turns up, leaving most of the front of the brim flat.
I always think that designing a feather pad is like flower arranging because you have to see something interesting from every side.
Here you can see the hat a bit further away and how interesting it is from the back. This hat is not for a wallflower, but for a woman who loves attention. Please contact me if you are interested in purchasing this hat.
The pattern with photo tutorial to make this hat is for sale for $19.95 as an email down load. There are 56 photos and full explanation as to how to make, cover and line the hat. Please contact me