Monday, 19 October 2015

Fudging it: or how to create a late Edwardian hat in less than 30 minutes

Today was Election Day.  A number of acquaintances through the local steampunk/costumers group had advanced the idea of voting whilst attired in full suffragette kit.  As someone whose initiation into the history of the women's suffrage movement came through Mrs. Banks in Mary Poppins and biographies of the Famous Five, this struck me as a wonderful idea.  And then it hit me.  The stereotypical woman's conundrum.  "I have nothing to wear!"

Or at least, nothing truly Edwardian, which was the historically notorious period of the militant suffragettes under Emmeline Pankhurst.

The organizers of the event had suggested a long skirt and suit jacket as a suitable imitation of Edwardian wear, so I reached into my closet for a green 1890s skirt and petticoat (from this outfit), then added a pale purple tailored shirt and black suit jacket from my everyday wardrobe.  The  green-and-burgundy tie was lifted from my brother's wardrobe many years ago.  Thus, all I needed was a period-appropriate hat.  I took inspiration from bicycling costumes of the period such as this one and from images of shopgirls of the period.

A trip to the local thrift store provided a boater-like imitation straw hat (paper and polyester, for anyone who's interested).  Michael's provided the 1.5-inch brown grosgrain ribbon and a pair of barred pheasant feathers.  I also picked up a fall garland of imitation leaves and berries from a dollar store, but those will probably be later additions.

I don't know if you can see, but I covered the existing black grosgrain band with brown, cut another piece for streamers,  and folded the remainder into a multi-looped bow.  Once I get a good photo of the back, I will add it.  I then stuck the feathers into the side of the stitching holding the bow in place.  They will probably get attached more securely as the design of the ornamentation on the hat evolves.

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