12 July 2011

One Cap, Two Cap, Gold Cap, Blue Cap

A couple of posts ago I reported on the fancy gold cap I was working on for a character in this Summer's Wizarding Event.* It turned out nicely, but was too small for the actor. So I trucked out to the local Goodwill stores to find some 'new' old drapery fabric to try again.  Other than an old blue dress which I could use as the lining fabric for one of the caps, I didn't have much luck. Fortunately, a local fabric shop was having their big summer sale and I was able to get some rather fancy stuff for the new gold cap as well as the "informal day cap" the character will be wearing when indoors.

Gold fabric pieces, braided piping, tassel, and pattern.

Blue fabric pieces (including checked lining), piping,
and faux eagle feathers for accent.

Before tackling the new versions, though, I redrew the pattern by tracing the commerical one and then altering the shapes a bit according to the feedback I got from the actor when he'd tried on the first version. 

And I made a test version of it using stuff I'd scrounged from the house rag basket and my stash of small fabric pieces (from earlier projects - too large to toss out).  I found a piece of a green cotton bedspread that was similar to the gold stuff in how soft and drapey it was; and a piece of upholstery material that was a little more stiff for the brim tryout.  The result was pretty fine, though I over compenstated and made it too large this time!

A Skype call with the actor came next.  My head is close to his size, so I modeled the cap and we talked about its shape and fit.  He like the beret-like floppiness and asked if the u-shaped opening in the front could be narrowed just a bit.  And as a nice outcome, we now have another hat for someone else to wear on the day!

I was nervous, though, when I began work on the final caps.  I have a kind of visual glitch, visual dyslexia I call it, where I find it very difficult to see how pattern shapes go together.  I know what is supposed to happen, but somehow I cannot translate that knowing to my hands when I do the actual work!

So I worked slowly - and fortunately had only one askew-error: I put the band on backwards so that the more shiny, and softer lining fabric is showing instead of the more elegant, slubby-textured upholstery gold.  The lining material is a little brighter, though, and actually looks ok.  Then I found a vintage, dark gold, metal button in my stash and used it to attach the tassel.

The final cap was all in blues to complement the blue, seersucker frockcoat that the actor is planning to sew himself for a sort of a Mark Twain-ish summer casual look. 

The cap fabric is elegant, given the status of his role as Headmaster, but a bit artsy as well.  The material was a little less stretchy than the gold stuff, though, which I didn't quite grok as I was working, so this cap will need to be worn a little higher on his head.

*  The Summer Wizarding Event is scheduled for late July.
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