Have you every made a hat or fascinator to wear with a dress or outfit that you made? I’ve made a few hats on my sewing machine but not for any particular garments. I just made them because I liked the hat pattern. This year, for the first time, I actually made a fascinator to go with a dress. In April I participated in the Spring for Cotton sewalong hosted by Rochelle of Lucky Lucille. Besides making a cotton dress from a vintage pattern, I also made a fascinator and fabric belt to go with the dress.
I bought this interesting little feathered headpiece from All Things Vintage in Oakland. This gem of a shop has lovely vintage clothes and hats. Nearly every time I go, I buy another vintage hat (or two). I guess you could say that I’m a hat addict. I can’t stop buying them. And I’m especially fond of vintage hats. This feathered piece wasn’t attached to anything. The ladies at All Things Vintage suggested putting it on top of a pill box, which seemed like an intriguing idea.
I actually started to make a pillbox – I bought a buckram pillbox frame from Lacis and some solid blue fabric from Britex Fabrics but I didn’t have enough time to finish it. There’s a lot of hand sewing involved and I got a late start on the dress, which needed to be photographed by April 30. I didn’t start sewing the dress with my fashion fabric until the last week of April.
But I had a backup plan – attach the feather piece to a headband, which I also got at Lacis. But before I did that I decided to cover the somewhat faded center circle of feathers with the eyelet fabric leftover from my dress. I sewed it directly on top of the feathered circle.
Then I covered a plastic hair band with black Petersham ribbon and attached it to the hairband. I dabbed a small bit of fabric glue on the end of the headband and then wound it around the headband until I reached the other end and put a little fabric glue on that end, waited for it to dry and trimmed off the excess ribbon. Here’s a detail of the ends of the headband.
Some people call Petersham grosgrain. Petersham is the ribbon that has tiny ridges on both sides. Grosgrain has straight edges. Petersham has a bit more give to it and will curve more easily than grosgrain. That’s why it’s used in millinery – to trim a hat and to go on the inside of hats as a sweat band. Grosgrain will curve a little with some heat as long as it’s not 100 percent synthetic.
I didn’t want to attach the feathered piece directly to the Petersham ribbon so I sewed a piece of black double-sided fleece to the Petersham. Then I sewed the feather piece to the fleece.
And here’s the finished fascinator!
I positioned it a bit off-center. I like to wear hats slightly cocked to the side so I thought I’d do something similar with the fascinator.
And here’s the complete ensemble!