I chose the Ottilie fascinator for my derby day hat. This one was a bit more involved to make as I made the sinamay base from scratch also. But it still wasn’t too hard to make.
Creating the base was the most involved part. Most of the base was made during my breaks at work over 4 or so days. Taping the wire ends was tricky. So if I make bases again, I will probably get someone to help out with holding the wire. I used masking tape and it worked but was a bit chunky. Floral tape will be better choice. I went with Mod Podge fabric stiffener. My base took 4 coats. I did this over 3 days on a Styrofoam head.
I had to create my own bias for the base and to make the bow. First thing I did was pulled out a calculator and see how long the circumference of the 5.5 inch base was. The 5.5 inch base needed less bias than I needed for the bow. To determine how much sinamay I needed, I used a 45 degree right triangle to figure the side length needed. In the end, I needed a 28 inch long piece of sinamay to make enough bias for the bow.
The instructions in the book for the birdcage veil were very well done. I understood what it wanted me to do but I was slow and it took me 15 minutes to completely gather the netting. The bow was easy to construct and I had it together in 30 minutes.
I have fine thin hair so that was not going to support the weight of a fascinator. I decided to go with a head band wrapped in embroidery floss to match my hair color. As it was the first head band I wrapped, the hot glue on the ends isn’t as neat as it could be.
Last year I picked up a couple of fascinator/ millinery books to look through. For the upcoming Kentucky Derby, I decided to make my mom and I a fascinator using Hannah Scheidig’s book “Fascinators: 25 Stylish Accessories to Top Off Your Look”.
The first fascinator was for my mom. As her derby dress is purple, I knew that the color would be hard to match so I decided on a black and white theme instead for it. I used the first pattern in the book, Mariella for her hat. Since it was to be my first hat, I decided to go easy and I bought the sinamay bias from an Etsy store.
The pictures in the instruction are well done. I used two colors so my Mariella fascinator came out similar but not exactly the same. I found that it was easier for me to make a complete loop then twist the loop into the figure eight and sew. After I had the larger white loop and the black interior one, I sewed them stacked together. The smallest white loop is the last piece put on. I overlapped the white bias and sew the overlap together.
The book suggest that this pattern is easy and will take about an hour to complete. The easy skill level is very accurate. However, the hour to complete may be very optimistic. I think I probably have been closer to 3 hours. Some of that is trying to determine if the loops look similar to the pattern and changing it from 1 color to 2 colors. Another part of it is deciding the best way to put it on one’s head. In the end, between the hair stylist, my mom and me, we decided her short curly hair could use a clip or bobby pins. In the end, I hand sewed a small piece of sinamay to the back to slide either a clip or bobby pins in.
Another sewing related item I did last year was to invest in nice hand sewing needles. I used a number 8 millinery needle from Tulip and that needle never bent at all.