Thursday, July 24, 2014

Building a Fascinator, Part 2

There are a number of ways to put a fascinator together. You can just glue things together, stick a comb on the back and call it a day, or you can do a piece that encompasses the true art of millinery. I am no different than anyone else and there are times that I've gone the just stick it all together route, but since I am actually doing a tutorial, I thought we should take the time and make something special. For today's post, we will build the fascinator base.
In order to build the base, you will need some supplies. Millinery supplies aren't as easy to come by as they were at one time. When I first moved to Chicago, there were at least 3 suppliers, now there are none. Although, you can find a lot of the basic supplies at your local fabric store.
You will need;
1. buckrum, this is a heavily sized(basically glue) fabric used for making the frame.
2. millinery wire
3. crinoline, a plain weave fabric, lightly sized, used to cover the wire.
4. batting, I like wool batting, this is used to cover the frame and act as a buffer between the frame and the     fabric that will cover the outside of the frame.
5. Needles and thread

To begin, I have cut a 4" circle of buckrum. Of course this can be any size you like. 4" will be large enough for the base that I would like to have.
 At his point, the buckrum is just a flat disc, but I want it to fit the shape of my head, so I need to incorporate some roundness. To do this, fold the disc into fourths.
At each fold, cut a slit that is about an inch to an inch and a half long.
Because the buckrum is sized, applying heat will adhere the buckrum together when the sections are overlapped. Overlap each section just about a 1/4" and apply just a little heat with an iron.
 The disc will now have a rounded shape.
We need to add some stability to the cap and we will do this with the wire. Measure around the cap to determine how much you will need. I like to bend the wire into the shape that it will be before I begin to sew it to the cap.
Sew the wire to the cap and overlap the ends. You can purchase wire joiners, but it really isn't necessary for a project like this.
 You can see that the wire is sewn around the entire cap, just along the edge.
The next step will be to cover the wire with crinoline. I buy mine by the yard and then cut a bias strip that is 1" wide.
Fold the crinoline in half. Since the crinoline was cut on the bias, we can press the it into a rounded shape before we sew it to the cap.

To sew the crinoline to the cap, simply place it over the wire and then stitch it to the cap, right along the wire edge with a back stitch.
Once the crinoline has been attached, take your iron and steam the crinoline so that it will lay smoothly against the cap.
The crinoline is now laying smoothly against the cap.
Take a piece of batting, like I said, I like to use wool batting, cut a circle that is the same size as the cap.
This will not need to be stitched to the cap. Simply apply some steam and mold the batting to the shape of the cap.
Now take a piece of fashion fabric and cut a piece that will be large enough to have seam allowance.
Pin the fabric in place, making sure that there are no puckers on the top side of the cap.
Stitch the fabric to the buckrum being careful not to allow your stitches to go through to the front side. We will be lining this in time, so all of these stitches and the seam allowance will be covered up.
Now we have a pretty little cap that is ready to be decorated.
It seems like this is a lot of work, but it really isn't. Once you start, I think you'll be surprised by how quickly it all comes together. This is a great project to do in front of the television.
I've taken my flowers off the stem and I also took apart the feathers. Just for fun,I looped my ribbon and took a clump of the feathers and placed the flowers on the cap just to get an idea of how it might all go together.  I'm getting excited as I think it is going to be especially pretty. I like how the purple feathers pick up the color that is inside the center of the flower. I get excited about such small things sometimes!!!
Tomorrow I will show you how to make new stamens for the flowers and I will probably start assembling some of the components.
I did find a few links for millinery supplies in case you are interested in ordering buckrum and wire.
This site has buckrum.
You can find millinery wire on this site.
Be sure to check out your local fabric store as you might be pleasantly surprised by what they have in stock. I hope :)

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  1. You make such gorgeous things! Thank you so much for sharing your methods for this lovely hair ornament!

    1. Thanks! I hope it will be pretty once it's finished :)

  2. What a wonderful tutorial. I seriously want to go somewhere where I could wear a fascinator now

    1. Oh BeaJay, make it happen because you would look smashing!

  3. What a great tutorial, and the fascinator will be stunning when you're done! But I wonder, wouldn't it have been faster and easier to sew a running stitch around the fabric and then drawing it up on the buckram form before sewing it down, instead of pinning it?

    1. You know, I must be(actually, I know that I am)a creature of habit :) this is how I was taught to do this and so, that's how I do it. It actually took no time for me to pin to and stitch it down, so it would probably be a draw, but I think I'll give your idea a try next time. Thanks!

  4. Rhonda, thanks for the tutorial. I love making these. Your will be so lovely. The colours are fantastic. Here is a link to my friend's website. I thought that you might like it as she is a milliner (www.lehatnoir.com). Xx

    1. Thanks for the link. For some reason it doesn't want to come up on my phone so I'll have to bring it up on my laptop. As I was working on this piece yesterday I thought, "I should have been a milliner." I really enjoy putting hats, head pieces and fascinators together.