style="text-align: center;">J’aime les chapeau.
When Princess Diana is your childhood hero you come by it honestly.
I love to wear hats and W-I-S-H they were a staple in woman’s wardrobe as they were in the not so distant past…
Alas…
I have been wanting to make Amélie a hat since my blogging friend Mandy of  A-la-Parisienne made one for her daughter two years ago.  (For her Marie Antoinette themed first birthday party no-less!)  Mandy is one of those people who… if we lived nearby each other, there might be a sort of nuclear glow seen from the sky…when we got together… a radiance of creative juices and love of all things beautiful.
When my S.I.L. Victoria emailed and said we should make hats for the girls’ for the wedding she couldn’t have read my mind more clear!
You should SEEEEEEEEEEEE the one she made my perfectly beautiful niece Sofia…
 OH-MY-GOODNESS!!!!!!
I have been designing the structure of this hat in my head as I fall asleep for the last couple days (having no idea how I was actually going to trick it out once the form was made!) and finally had the time to run to Michael’s for some crafty goodies… I sat down, channelled my inner Fanny Brawne and in less than four hours had it finished (that includes meals and four hundred interruptions from my curious Chickens)!  All the crazy ideas for melding a Marie Antoinette style hat with a little Regency influence came pouring out so fast I couldn’t keep up with myself!   I couldn’t believe it!  I wanted to run around the block screaming!  I wanted to open a hat boutique, attend millinery school… is there such a thing?  I think I sang, Johnny Fedora and Alice Blue Bonnet for the next two days!
So here is my silly, little tutorial.
If you can glean anything from it I will be amazed…
Materials:
Stiff felt
Soft felt
Ribbon
Touling (sp?)
A petit oiseau
Pre-made rosette ribbon
Thread
Glue sticks
Tools:
Sewing machine
Hot glue got
Pins
And whatever else I am forgetting 🙂
So, my idea was to go with what Victoria hat done and make a small top hat so I started by making a 5″ cylinder with the stiff felt.  Stitching it a couple times, I also stitched horizontally, three times, top, middle and bottom – this helped it keep more of a cylinder shape since the felt was thick and fighting what I was trying to do with it.
My intent at this point changed from stiff top hat style to a fun, romantic, floppy brim.  So I took the soft felt (these were 8×11″ pieces I was working with) and cut a large circle (8″ wide).  I could see this was not going to be a large enough circle to stitch around the base of my cylinder so I cut it open (seen on the left) and added about two inches there – I didn’t photograph it but you will see the results later if you look at the back of the hat.  Had I a large sheet of felt instead of some dinky craft aisle piece this piece mealing would not have been necessary.  But there was no way I was running back to the store.
I cut out the middle to be a bit smaller than the circumference of my cylinder, I attached my two inches (using the sewing machine), and then sewed my big circle (the brim) to my cylinder (crown) by wrapping the brim around the crown, right sides together.
I didn’t keep up with my step-by-step photos well – sorry.
I made the top of the hat with soft felt by cutting a circle a bit larger than my cylinder opening.  Turning the hat inside out and sewing it right sides together.  I knew Victoria had black and white on her hat so I needed to bring in a little black.
I found this netting in my cupboard, cut a square and manipulated it over the top and around the base of the hat, letting it double up around the base and gathering it at the back (where my two inch boo-boo was already).  I threw a couple stitches in by hand to hold it in place.
When I was at the store, I was just throwing pretty stuff in my cart, not knowing what i was going to do.  I grabbed one of these feathers knowing it HAD to come in handy.
The floppy felt brim was cute but it needed to be styled a bit to not look like a craft project (I hate things that look like a craft project!).  I glue a strip of glue near the shaft so that when I cut my piece little feathers wouldn’t fly all over the place.
I then took that piece and glued it to the brim of the hat, right near the crown (cylinder). Doing this all the way around the brim.  Using the longer feathers on the sides and back, (especially the side I would be focusing my rosettes on) and used the shorter feathers in the front.
Now it was beginning to get REALLY fun.
We have this gorgeous blue ribbon that is going to be used all over the wedding.  From the little girls dresses to the bouquets Mom and I will be constructing on Friday.  I had bought a couple pre-made pink rosettes for the hat but wanted to add some blue.  Never having made a rosette before and thought about Googling it but then figured, “How difficult can it be?!”  So, I started twisting and stitching.  Rather therapeutic.  I could have make a pile of them!
Attaching the rosette ribbon around the crown I added my hand made ribbon rosettes, another store bought one, a spray of feathers in the back, tucked in under the rosette ribbon and a little white bird.  (Remember the Bridal Shower?  We will have lots of birds at the wedding too!)  I attached a ribbon in the back with trailing streamers and a ribbon to each side of the hat, inside where there brim meets the crown – to be used to tie under the chin.
The hat was originally going to be for Juliette but my little Hoolie is too much of a pistol to keep it on even though you can tell she knows it’s special.  I made a smaller one for her I will post soon.   So, Amélie’s it is!  She LOVES it as you will see…
Here are a few more pics…
Now… I know it’s bad form to steal attention away from the bride but my LeeLee might not be able to help it she is so beautiful to me!
“You Johnny Fedora’s,
You Alice Blue Bonnets
Whenever you find yourself blue,
You know it’s June in December,
When you can remember,
That true love will come smiling through.”