They say necessity is the mother of invention. It was the day before Kirin Stakes Day, the FOTF competition had an Embellishment theme and I didn’t have a hat. So, I decided to use an old coat hanger!
I know what you’re thinking… why can’t you just PLAN EARLY and save yourself the last-minute rush? A good question. The only reasonable explanation for this common occurrence is that maybe I’m just addicted to the last minute rush feeling?
Finding an Embellished Outfit
Now, it’s no secret that ‘embellishment’ is a favourite theme of mine; I LOVE to bead. I have thousands of beads at home and have been known to spend over 100 hours beading dresses. Adding that beaded touch of detail to an outfit can really give your overall look that extra pizzazz and sparkle.
Slightly panicked, the night before Stakes Day, I looked around my room for an outfit. An outfit that was already embellished. I found the perfect dress, my navy lace dress with billowing feature sleeves. The dress itself is already embellished, as the lace has been cut out and patched onto the dress.
What to do about a hat?
With a dress decided upon, the next most important part was the hat. What hat was I going to wear? Knowing I didn’t have time to hire a hat from Millinery Market and, after going through all the Autumn/Winter appropriate hats in my collection, I came to the conclusion.. I would have to make something. STAT!
Scrummaging around my sewing room like a squirrel on a nut hunt, I came across a padded coat hanger. Did I mention being desperate?
This padded coat hanger no longer looked like a mere coat hanger to me….to me it was a beautiful thick crown-like headpiece and I was going to wear it on my head! Why not?
A bit more scrummaging and I found some navy lace, then some navy lining.
Next was beads… I used to have a favourite costume jewellery store called Adorne. They always stocked beautiful stone and jewelled necklaces. A few times a year they would have a mega sale, and I would purchase a bunch of necklaces to use later, for the beads. This was one of those times when they came in handy.
Now to work out how to turn this old hanger into a bedazzled masterpiece…
The coat hanger had padding on the outside and a wooden stick inside. I removed the padding and added some wire inside for extra support.
The wire was a little thin, so I wrapped some foam around it.
I sewed the padded hanger together and covered it with the navy lining.
I cut out sections of the navy lace and patched them all over the headband. I was definitely very doubtful looking at this messy creation in front of me.
Once the lace was patched on, I thought I needed to jazz it up a little. With the handy new skills I had from attending the Rebecca Share workshop last week, I set out to make two swirls for my hat. I sprayed them with blue and black spray paint to get the desired colour, and added a jewel on either end of the wire.
Back to the headband, I beaded it with jewels.
Working out how to get the swirl to sit on the headband was tricky, but thanks to the wiring technique I learnt from Rebecca, I was able to attach it so it sat up on top of the headband and stayed in place.
The last step was to bead the dress. Once upon a time I would have spent all night beading until I had get ready for the race day. But in my old age, I’m a little more ‘f*ck it’ and at 1am put down my needle and thread and went to bed (only to get up again at 5:30).
The Finished Look
Thanks to my hair wizard Kirsten, my crown was secured in place and complemented with a beautiful up do. I was ready for my drive to Brisbane.
It was another beautiful sunny day, and quite a warm one at that!
A Look at the Amazing Outfits
All the ladies arrived in an array of sequined, shiny, poofy, floofy, textured, furry, fluffy, bedazzled and jewelled ensembles. A great turn out!
Sorry I didn’t get to photograph everyone’s outfits- it’s actually quite hard to do.
The FOTF Winners
The lady of the day went to Bianca @blahblahdesigns whose spectacular pants I couldn’t stop staring at all day- which she also made herself! They were just so funky and I LOVED the fabric!
Runner up was the lovely @aamelza in a beautiful white dress with puff sleeves and buttons, that her hubby embellished for her! What a gem!
I got a special mention from the judges and even the Real Housewives of Melbourne cast said they loved my dress and would love to own it! Woo hoo!
But of course my favourite part of the day was being able to rock a coat hanger as a hat! Haha.
Have you ever made your own hat out of everyday objects? Share a photo in the comments below!
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