I admit that it was perhaps not the sort of project I should have immediately latched onto.
I admit that I have no regrets about this project...:)
So I came across this Luna Lovegood hat on etsy...but they were selling it for $500. Yeah....no. Probably worth it....but no. (see, I have boundaries)
So I figured I would take a stab at making at least a facimile of it. First stumbling block was to figure out how to obtain a large foam block. Online? Expensive. Then I came up with taking a small cardboard box, lining it with a garbage sack, then filling it with a few cans of the 'great stuff' insulation foam. This turned out to be my cheapest option. I used a 12x12x18 box, which held about 2 cans worth.
Foam definitely puffed up after about an hour and fully filled the box. Then I left it alone for a few days to fully dry.
As an intermediary step, I should mention that towards the end of the drying process, there was some congealed...goo at the bottom that had become incased in the block. I lanced the bubble and allowed the goo to fall out and harden. This goo turned out to dry much harder than the foam and I ended up cutting most of it off.
So here's the block out of the box and the lining all pulled away. I drew some rough lines just to have some idea of where I wanted to cut, but mostly I attempted to follow the advice of Michelangelo:
"In every block of marble I see a statue as plain as though it stood before me, shaped and perfect in attitude and action. I have only to hew away rough walls that imprison the lovely apparition to reveal it to the other eyes as mine see it."
Looking a bit more like it's trying to be something. Okay, okay, it resembles a crocodile at this point, but fabric will help with this.
The hat portion of this was fairly important. I have a large head, and it was important that it would be able to withstand some jostling, so it needed to sit pretty firmly on my head. Plus, the more foam I took away, the lighter it became. May still pick a bit more at this, especially before adding fabric, as that might change the fit, but at this point, it has a nice feel to how it sits.
Cut out the fleece pieces and pinned them onto the foam form just to make sure that the whole thing was going to look vaguely lion-like. Very pleased with the result. What this also revealed however, is that the hat needs to be carved out a bit more--the fleece is a little thicker, and I'd like it to sit pretty securely on top of my head. Sarah also suggested that instead of sewing it together and doing a slipcover situation, I use hot glue and actually glue it down to the form. And possibly do some faux stitching on top. This might be an easier solution than what I was originally planning--though it doesn't allow for screwing up on it. So I need to make sure I have the order of operations settled before starting. I ordered the eyes last week so they should be here in a few days. In discussions we also came up with the idea of getting one of those plastic grid things for hooking rugs and use it to tie pieces of the main onto it--kind of a main hairpiece--the benefit being that it would add some needed height to the mane. I'll have to pick one up on my next Joann's run.
|Front slope x1|
|Underside cap brim|
|Skull cap inside|
Picked up a large plastic grid to attach the ribbons and fabric to to make it easier to then attach to the foam/hat. Also found some clearance ribbon of browns, reds and oranges. And then began the task of arduously adding on ALL the ribbon to the grid to make it bushier. As a tip--the first row I was making a knot on the back of the grid, but I quickly learned that it was a better option to weave through the ribbon/fabric with a large oversized needle, then make a knot in the "front", doubling the ribbon and making it much easier to do. I kept it pretty clustered and tight the first few rows, then started to space things out a bit more to stretch the ribbon/fabric a little more.
Next up is to attach it to the foam piece, then attach the fleece to the foam.
|Starting out--I cut the piece down to follow the shape of the back of the foam hat.|
|Lou burrowing into the ribbons and refusing to give them up.|
|Pretty full at this point|
Have completed the bulk of the hat. The pieces have been secured to the foam; the mane with cold hot glue, and the foam with hot glue on the hot setting. The eyes were glued and screwed into the foam, and most importantly, a weight was sewn into the front cap to counterbalance the weight of the thing so it wouldn't topple back (I ended up using an already owned sewing weight). Next I need to do the side pieces to secure it with velcro under my chin, as well as a few other pieces to cover the sides. Also, I finished out the rest of the mane--though wishing I had done a bit more full. But I can also add some triangle pieces towards the side which should cover it up a bit. Oh, also have to sew on some tiny felt teeth I made. They're pretty small, but any larger just looked a little silly.
FINALLY finished the hat today. I made the sides with velcro sewn on, attached them by hand sewing both back and front so that they would be secure. I also secured the two teeth on the front (felt pieces filled with a bit of fluff) The last big step was to attach small triangles of felt all along the sides, just to bulk up the mane, and decorate the head strap a bit. After that I just went over it with a needle and thread tying down any loose parts, or pulling together any gaps--just putting little finishing stitches anywhere I found them. The result is a hat I feel pretty secure wearing--it's a bit heavy, but not overly so. And definitely one worthy of Luna:)
Realized a little something was missing--whiskers! Grabbed some black wire and punctured a few holes to drive the wire in, then trimmed them a bit. NOW it's done.