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Help creating "Captain Trips" Top Hat?

Discussion in 'PUBLIC Vintage Fashion - Ask Questions Get Answers' started by Midnight Cowboy, Oct 25, 2015.

  1. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    Ribbon turned out better than expected. Now just needs a good sewing!

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
    sewingmachinegirl likes this.
  2. sewingmachinegirl

    sewingmachinegirl Trade Member

    The Ribbon band looks perfect! Yeah! Now yes its just the sewing it on and painting bit to sort out ;)
    Gees its a pity I am in another country- I would have happily helped out with this for you.
     
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  3. Lucybelle

    Lucybelle Registered Guest

    I agree on just using acrylic paints - they will not be absorbed into the silk the way the fabric paints you purchased would. I would also avoid oil paints, they will soak in as well if you don't prime the surface first. Acrylics may be absorbed some as well, depending on consistency, but if you keep it thick enough the issue should be minimal. If it were me I would paint the whole hat white first and then add the red over.
     
  4. Midge

    Midge Trade Member

    I would also use acrylic - based on my exprience with them. Silk paints are too fluid and won't cover the black fabric - they're made to go onto white silk that hasn't been died, and are meant to flow.
     
  5. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    I agree with Karin, the silk paints you mentioned are the sort used for silk scarf painting, think water like flowing colours, with a similar working consistency.
    Gouache is a paint medium between oil paint and watercolours. It can also be applied thickly and give the result you show of the white being visible through the red paint. I would be good to test on some scrap fabric first as you say.
     
  6. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    I've been talking to a few fellow sewers around town and they've been telling me that the ribbon is not wide enough to sew together, that they would have to overlap the colors. They seem to think Jerry's hat band was not sewn together but a one piece ribbon. They recommend I use fabric glue to stick the ribbons together, that that would really be the only way. The ribbon itself is 2cm wide. I don't own a sewing machine myself (probably should get one), I should get some second opinions, I know it's not impossible.

    I guess I could get a large piece of fabric, sew each ribbon to it, then cut out the fabric into a band.
     
    Last edited: Nov 5, 2015
  7. Circa Vintage

    Circa Vintage Alumni +

    Jerry's hat ribbon is four rows of the tricolours, sewn together - you can see there's a little overlap between the red over the blue, so the blue row is narrower than the others. It could have been glued but personally I would sew.
     
  8. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    I think hand sewing it would be the best bet, I'll give it go!
     
  9. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    I agree, it's quite clear from the photo that it was machine sewn together - you could still do it by hand but it would be easier by machine if you know a sewer this wouldn't be very hard for them to do, just fidly.
     
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  10. Rue_de_la_Paix

    Rue_de_la_Paix Trade Member

    I agree that avoiding the use of glue is recommended. If you do find you need to use glue anywhere on the hat, perhaps to keep a loose or frayed end down, etc....be absolutely 100% sure to use ONLY a water based glue. A cardinal rule in hat making. And avoid hot glue guns and never ever use them on a hat.

    Keep in mind that unless a true millinery ribbon is used for a hatband, and the ribbon is swirled with an iron before sewing or placing it onto the hat, you will never get a ribbon or band to lay perfectly flat against the sides of the hat. The ribbon is flat, and the sideband of the hat is curved, which creates gaps when placing it on the hat. You can see gaps along the ribbon in Jerry's hat, so I would not get too frustrated if this happens. Sort of gives it authenticity!

    If you do try the idea of sewing the ribbons onto a length of fabric first, be sure the fabric band is cut on the bias, this will help it to lay flat against the sides of the hat.
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
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  11. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    I've heard of some paint being corrosive such as oil paint. Will the silk dye seeped into the bottom of the hat already be a problem later on, start to corrode the hat?
     
    Last edited: Nov 6, 2015
  12. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    What is the visual difference? What are the benefits of using a machine vs. doing it by hand other than that it will save you time. I guess I'm trying to look for an excuse to buy a sewing machine ;). Honestly though if I could get the same results by hand I would much rather do that.
     
    Last edited: Nov 7, 2015
  13. Pinkcoke

    Pinkcoke Alumni

    Well, the tension will be higher with machine sewing, the whole piece will become more rigid as each strip is added, hand sewing leaves a certain amount of slack in the thread between stitches as there isn't a tension regulator like the machine has.
    Visually, the machine stitching is a very straight and uniform line with only one thread on each side, as the machine has an upper and lower thread. To achieve the same look by hand you'd have to back stitch the row, which as you only hand sew with one thread, will involve going back over a stitch to complete the line, as the name suggests. Unless the braid is very soft I'd be doing this with a thimble as it may be hard going on the hands. You're more likely to want to tack over the edge with hand sewing, like you would taking a hem up.
    If you wanted to get a sewing machine to do projects like this if wouldn't be a bad idea to pick up an old hand cranked singer machine - they are dirt cheap as everyone ditched them for electric, but great for straight sewing (you only have one hand to steady the work mind) and particularly good for heavy duty work, as the all mechanical set up seems to punch through materials better. They also tend to have a lot more room around the sewing foot, which is good for sewing on things that may be bulky (not necessarily clothing).
     
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  14. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

  15. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    I am taking no shortcuts here. The hat is all primed up with PVA and my pigments are ready for mixing with my Walnut Oil. Luckily I found this wonderful art store 10 minutes away that carried everything you could think of. Oil paint takes 16 hours to dry before I can reapply a second coat so if I apply the white coat tonight I can finish the red tomorrow.

    As far as the sewing machine goes, crossing my fingers I still have this antique machine up in the attic. It's never been used so crossing my fingers again that it still works. I've had a hard time finding public sewing centers that will allow anyone off the streets to freely use or rent their machines

    The American flag is arriving in the Mail tomorrow.

    The kicker is the hat needs to be finished by this Tuesday Afternoon. We'll see if this can be pulled off!
     
  16. laurenm

    laurenm Registered Guest

    This is so fun....I want to make one!
    is this for a performance?
    You've got me thinking as I have a few 'imperfect' and way small top hats, bowlers etc....they could live again!
     
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  17. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    Oh no, I'll be seeing Dead & Company tuesday night and just had to bring this hat along!
     
  18. laurenm

    laurenm Registered Guest

    Have a great show!
    I'm jealous.
     
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  19. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    Hey thanks! Question for everyone, would you still recommend painting the entire hat white and applying the red as second coat, even with oil paint?
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015
  20. Midnight Cowboy

    Midnight Cowboy Registered Guest

    Now that's what's I'm talking about! Looks like oil paint is the way to go.

    [​IMG]

    Looking even closer at the original it seems the entire hat was not painted white beforehand. Looking at the arrow on the left you can see where red had to be painted over the white to make the line straight. The arrow on the right is pointing towards cracking paint where you can see black silk/felt showing. The original also very much yellowed with age, so it's safe to assume Linseed oil was used which is why I mixed my pigments with Walnut oil instead.

    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Nov 9, 2015

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