Fyaren back again with another sewing project for my new Renaissance-inspired Kender Paladin kit–a doofy hat! In my mundane life I really love to wear hats, but it’s always brought on me a certain agony…how could I possibly ever cover my majestic topknot!? Well, most people don’t know this, but Kender can wear many varieties of hairstyles and hats! I had some fabric left over from my Italian Surcoat, so I searched online for a suitable hat to make from wool, with a wide brim–re-used from my rustic-upcycle fantasy rice paddy hat.
It’s a pretty sweet hat: shady, colorful and rustic! This new hat will work like a “cover” and be completely removable!
I wanted the new hat to have a flattish silhouette, like a Saxon Tellerbarett with the underside of the brim worn facing outward like a halo around my head. However, I also wanted a two-color look, like the German “starfish” hat (I can’t remember the name at the moment) to compliment my surcoat.
In the end, I settled for a design which moved the “stripe” look of the starfish hat to the gathered tellerbarett bottom, but with the starfish mini-hat on top.
In fact, I juuust about re-hashed a hat I found later (while writing this post) by the extremely talented Ercc Glaison.
Here’s how I put the hat together:
Assemble two strips of fabric that are as long as your base hat/board is around, and as wide as needed to cover most of the hat. My checkered piece will be the bottom brim, which will be visible from the front when wearing the hat.
Sew the long strips together, and fold the outside edges under to create two drawstring channels to gather the cloth onto the hat. This is the key difference between my hat and Ercc Glaison’s hat I linked above: both sides are gathered to the desired width and are removable from the base hat.
Thread a drawstring into each channel and cinch the fabric shell over your base. The top (white) we will cover later, but keep the bottom (striped) hole small as well. This hat is worn perched high on the head. I want to point out that the bottom (striped) layer curls around to the top side of the hat, to give continuity around the brim, especially when viewed from the front.
Sew a double-sided square, roughly twice as large as you want the final mini-hat to be. Then, flip the outside corners in–the ones you want facing up on the final hat. Feel free to slash or otherwise embellish here…I added a round gold pin at the top.
Attach your feathers to a double-sided donut of fabric (I used a combination of hot glue and stitching). This will be sandwiched between your two hats, but I attached it only to the mini-hat for easier disassembly and repair.
Attach your mini-hat (with feather ring sewn on) to your larger hat. You can do this with hand-stitching, snaps, eyelets and lace…really, any way you want to.
Add strapping to hold the hat taut and high to the head. Since I used a rice paddy hat as the base, I wove a thick, homemade leather lace through the inside framework and poked it out the head hole on the bottom. I recommend attaching your straps to the stiff base instead of one of the fabric layers. I embellished the edges of the straps with embroidery floss and hand-hammered aluminum cuffs.
And there you have it! Hats are a great way to take your kit to the next level and create a signature look for your character. They can also keep the sun off your head, neck and shoulders to keep you cool and your skin healthy at summer events. This hat is monstrous (I was afraid it would be too small at first–ha!) and very sturdily lashed onto my head. Now to find a place to store it…
Good luck with your next hat!