Monday, April 3, 2017

FO: Medieval Gabled Hood (Medieval Garb For A Madrigal Feast Part 2)

I know - I said I would make this project 2 posts, but now it's turned into 3, lol. If you're not interested in construction of medieval hats, you may want to skip this one. But if you want to see me with a box on my head, read on...
Here's a little teaser shot of my costume - you'll see many more soon of the whole thing, but I wanted to give a proper post to my hat, because dang it if that thing wasn't a ton of work! My best estimate is that I spent about 10 hours just on the hat. Yeah. *sigh* Anyway, I've always loved this type of hat in movies. It's called a gabled hood (apparently - I didn't know until I wanted to make one, lol), and this hat was popular from 1500 to 1599. Granted, that's the end of the middle ages, but some of the other people in my group have aspects of the Tudor period in their costumes as well, so I just went for it.

I started out just searching for medieval hat tutorials and inspiration photos, which lead me to find the Hathaways of Hayworth website. Man, if you need to make a Tudor era costume, I highly recommend looking around her site. She has some pretty amazing costumes that she's made, and she shows the easiest way to produce them. I'll admit I was a little skeptical when I first read through the Easy Gabled Hood tutorial, but her hat did look awesome, so I went for it (and my emotions on the subject went very up and down, lol).
First, you construct a box out of corrugated cardboard, which lead to many Instragram photo ops. I used an obliging Amazon box that seemed big enough and started cutting. At first it stuck way off my head at that back, so I had to re-score and trim a few times before I liked the look from the side. It could still go a little closer to my head in the back, but I was really over cutting it and redoing it all at that point so I just kept it like this. You hold it all together with packing tape, and she advises you cover the entire thing in the tape (which I didn't exactly do, but I came close). The tape is what makes things more pliable, but I had a hell of a time trying to bend this closer to my face on the sides. The gabled hoods I always like angle toward the chin, but about this time is when I realized that I needed to be careful not to cover my ears completely since I needed to be able to hear to sing and not be off key - oops. So I tried to curve the sides a bit and then curve back out, which didn't really work and it mostly just looked like a regular box, lol. Ah well.
Next she tells you to "tack down lining material" on the inside. To do this I used hot glue to attach a large scrap of white bridal muslin to the upper front edge (with the fabric going down the back like a veil), then I flipped the fabric into the hat, covering the cardboard edge with the fabric. I had to pleat the fabric so it laid nicely at the corners (which was not fully necessary since this area was completely covered, but it made sewing the trim on easier). I kept the fabric taut in the back of the hat so my head didn't completely sink in, then I pleated the excess in the back so it looked nice, folded the bottom edge under and hot glued around the edge. I tried to keep this neat because you might be able to see it in the back (again, not necessary because my silk and veil covered everything, but still, lol). Next I took a large scrap of my green silk, folded the selvage under all the way down, and draped it over the hat. I pleated the silk so it laid nicely on the box frame, then sewed large darts with my sewing machine to keep the back nice and smooth. Then I hand sewed the green silk to the white lining all the way around. I wound up wrapping the excess silk around the bottom edge on the sides since you wouldn't be able to see this when worn and it made sewing it together much easier. I used a ladder stitch so the stitches are not visible at all. While all that was going on, I had to decide what trim would cover the front area framing my face. I wanted it to be interesting but also to match the rest of my outfit, so I decided to use the skinny scrap piece of embroidered quatre foil fabric that I used for my sash and put the same brown upholstery piping on either side. This was a challenge to figure out the final width, but I got there in the end. I machine sewed the piping to the fabric strip on both sides, then I had to make darts at all of the points so it would lay flat and each of these darts had to be sewn by hand since there was too much bulk to get under my machine foot.
My scraps of silk I used to cover the box were not quite long enough in the back. At this point I had not decided to add a veil and I wanted to make sure the back was nicely covered, so I used more scrap pieces and made a triangular piece of fabric to cover the area and still look nice on the back. I ladder stitched this in place as well, taking care to line up the point with the center seam for effect. This covered the last of the cardboard and kept everything completely sealed, which was nice :) I took a picture just to document how nice it looked since no one will see it like this now, lol. But I knew it looked nice!
Next came hand sewing all the way around the front to attach the trim piece. This was an interesting challenge. I used a ladder stitch to keep things invisible, and had to make sure everything stayed positioned correctly to line up at the corners. I also tried to curve the piping a bit on the lower sides to give more of the illusion of the whole piece curving. It worked a little.
Next I took the entire remaining piece of my brown floral poly organza I used for my sleeves (which you will see soon, lol), and made a veil. I kept the bottom straight and rounded the top to give the right shape. I did a narrow rolled hem all the way around this piece because I didn't want it to unravel and this stuff frayed like the Dickens. I gathered most of the top to give a good poof on the back, then hand sewed the veil in place. You can also see my sash here (which is what the trim fabric from the hat was originally used for). For the sash I used as much of my little fabric scrap as possible, angling to be slightly narrower at the top, and cutting beveled corners on the bottom to make it look fancier. This thing was super fiddly. I tried to be very careful with the print to make sure it was centered and even all the way down. Next I sewed my brown upholstery piping around the edges, then I sandwiched the whole thing with another scrap of the white bridal muslin to enclose everything on the back. It was really annoying to make (especially because I thought it would be such a quick thing to whip up), but I'm really happy with how it turned out and I think it really gave my outfit a more completed look. Since I want to be able to wear the skirt in a non-costume context, I just attached the sash with safety pins inside the edge of my waistband, so it's removable :)
The final design step on my hat was to add little white silk flaps. At this point I was really worried about looking like a medieval robot with a box on my head, lol, and I felt the flaps might give it more depth or something - a lot of the portraits I looked at had these white edges of the coif (a white cap that held their hair in place) sticking out from the sides, so I felt it might make it look more realistic. I was reaching for anything at that point, to be honest. I was extremely unsure about this thing I had just created. Anyway, these were extremely easy. I used scraps of the white silk from my top and cut squares, folded them in half and sewed the sides, flipped them right-side out and pressed, then folded the open side inward and top stitched it closed. Then I just had to position them and hand stitch them to the hat lining. After this the only remaining step was to sew in two clear hair combs at the front of the lining to keep the hat secure on my head as I moved around (which worked great).
Phew! You've lasted through my first ever millinery experience :) I'll be totally honest - I was still hesitant about my creation when I pulled up to the event. It's one of those bold statement pieces that you either feel super confident in or not, and I was definitely questioning my choices. Happily it looked great with everyone else's costumes. I was so worried I would stick out, being the only one with a box on my head, but it looked fine mixed with the other outfits and I felt much more confident about it. Anyone else ever have that happen? My husband even wore it after I finished, lol.

So that's the down low on my hat :) Next post will be all about the finished outfit and the event itself!

No comments:

Post a Comment

Thanks for joining in the conversation!