Posts Tagged ‘hat’

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New Hat Project

July 30, 2012

Cut this out intending to work on it during the Salt City Steamfest. I managed to bevel the edges, but that was it. Last night I managed to get back at it and punched holes for stitching and dyed it. As well as starting to paint in the symbol that will be on the front of the hat.

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Custom Leather Indiana Jones Hat

June 21, 2010

In the past I have done my crafting posts off on a separate blog. But I don’t tend to do them often enough to really justify the second space. As such, I’m planning to start just adding in the occasional post about my other bits of creativity here as well.

To start this off, newest leather hat!

Leather Indiana Jones Hat

It is, of course, based off of the classic Indiana Jones hat. It was requested done in leather, with a little bit taken off of the height.

After spending way too much time researching the dimensions and styling of the hat. It was a style of hat called The Poet. They changed out the ribbon to emphasize the height. They also left it unfinished so that the brim had more adjustability on the fly. (Hence why it occasionally looks like a different style of hat at different points in the movie.)

Once I had some measurements, both of the eventual recipient’s head and the original hat, I used those to build myself a pattern from cardboard. I’ve become a big fan of the cardboard mock-up as a way to work out some of the kinks in an initial pattern. The brim has narrower sides and is a bit longer in front and back. Which was done to assist with having it on camera.

I went with an undyed leather to start and cut out the brim, top piece and side piece using my patterns, a pencil for tracing, then an exacto knife with a fresh blade. I used a French-beveler on the edges of the brim and the side-wall of the hat.

Fore dye I went with a color called Bison Brown in an eco-dye. Because I like to not die from the fumes. And I inevitably end up with dye on me. The color turned out a little darker then I initially was looking for, so I did a top coat on all of the pieces with a mixture of the Bison Brown and a much lighter brown I had left over from a previous project. That got me the end result color, which I was much happier with.

I settled on eyelets for the side seem to give the hat a little bit of breathing and because I like how they look. I went with the antiqued brass for those. I also left myself some extra length in the internal leather in case I had to adjust the size, since I didn’t have an actual head measurement, just one off of another hat. Which I later found out didn’t fit him quite as well as I might have hoped.

For stitching, I first punched the holes I would need using an awl. Then stitched the brim to the side-wall with a waxed brown thread. I also set a strip of pig-skin lining leather into this seem so it could be folded up as a sweat-band. It took a little fiddling at the meet-up to get the brim to sit right, which is something I have found on past hats as well.

Initially I had planned to pick up a hat-shaper to do the shaping piece, but they were running behind and I am silly and impatient. So instead I just went ahead and wet-shaped it by hand while looking at photos.

This is a picture I took while I was working on it. Brim is still unshaped. And the hat still needed a little more shaping in general.

Once I had the shape right there, I folded down the top edge of the hat about a quarter of an inch for stitching the top piece into. I reworked the initial piece to better fit the shaped top and touched up dye on the edges. I punched holes and stitching in that piece with the reworking to get the shape I was after.

Then there was brim shaping, checking with the client, some touch up shaping and adding the hat-band. I managed to find a grosgrain ribbon in brown locally, which was nice.  It is hand stitched together and then slid onto the hat.

Of course, when I actually handed off the hat, there was the revelation of it being small, because the fabric hat I measured fit not so well and he stretched it some when he wore it. I did a little stretching with a hat stretcher, then eventually unstitched the brim, opened up the side and re-fit it before stitching it all back together.

All in all, it was a fun project. Looking forward to other potential hat projects in the future. If I don’t pick up any custom orders at the event this weekend, the next hat project I have in mind is probably a new bowler for myself, which I do in fact have a shaper for.