Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Sprucing up Mrs. Claus

This year I picked a new fall for my hair, and I made a new hat to go with the gown.   The hat is not quite what I wanted but it worked well.  I had not intended to make the hat until the fall of 2017, but a friend offered to do a Christmas photo shoot so that we had updated shots for the DH's Santa visits and I had good shots of my gown.

I had seen the fall at  Celtic Christmas at the Texas Renaissance Festival in 2015. At the time I couldn't afford to purchase it but I liked it.  This year when we visited I picked it up.  The only issue we found with it was that it was slightly darker than my natural hair.  I looked great with it and loved it but I got a couple comments that the slight difference was just enough to say "fake" to them.  That isn't a bad thing, but I wanted it at least in the ballpark of 'natural'.  That left me with two options.  A)  I take the fall to a beautician who knew what they were doing and had them color the fall so it matched my hair.  That would have been very expensive.  OR B)  I make a hat or hair ornament to bridge the gap so that the difference wasn't obvious.   I went with option B.

I had a late victorian era hat/hair ornament pattern made by Butterick.  I used it as guidance but only used the pattern piece to make the hat base shape correctly.  Historically you would use buckram, I tend to use plastic canvas when I make hats that we need to take abuse.  This recommendation came from the head of the millinery department of the National Ballet of New Zealand.  I think his recommendations on hat structure are sound.  I covered the base with the same red cotton as my dress.  I hand tacked with thread a holy floral arrangement along the front.  As it was the holiday season there were clearance floral decorating items everywhere.  I had intended to put a poofy red bow in the back instead I looked at the dress and tried to make the hat seem like an extension of the dress.  I added a white frill in the back, and white and gold cord for decoration, and then a ribbon drape down the back.  All of the decorative items I had in my stash as small scraps left over from other projects.  I still feel I need more but not sure what.

I hope to add more upgrades to Mrs. Claus this year namely a new corset (be it made by me or my friend CC) and new ball gown bodice. If I have time I might even have time to make a new chamiselet to go with it as well. Let's see what this new year holds.