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!make your own fascinator coat hanger hat

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.

navy and gold lace dress

Excuse my feet, I had to stand on the table to fit the dress in the photo, or am I secretly trying to pursue my foot model career…

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?

black white fabric covered padded coat hanger

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.

navy lace and silk

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.

bead jewels necklaces

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.

DIY crafts design fashion

The wire was a little thin, so I wrapped some foam around it.

white foam padding wrapped around wire

foam insert inside coat hanger home made fascinator

I sewed the padded hanger together and covered it with the navy lining.

sewing hand stitching needle thread

navy fabric covered headband headpiece

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.

make your own fascinator for races

homemade DIY fascinator

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.

navy swirl embellishment for hat millinery

Back to the headband, I beaded it with jewels.

beading embellishing a hat headband

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.

embellished millinery navy headband crown

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).

shiny gold lace needle thread DIY

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.

races hairstyle milano imai

It was another beautiful sunny day, and quite a warm one at that!

milano imai racing fashion blogger coat hanger hat

trackside marina boat yacht milano imai

Don’t mind me… just posing with my massive yacht in the Trackside Marina!

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!

colourful polka dot embellishments

stylish ladies at the races

pink and black leopard print suit for race day

beautiful flowing embellished dress for kirin stakes day

black beaded hat and sleeve detail fashion style

hair clip fashion trend and scarf

race day fashions on the field outfit details

blue transparent millinery cap pom pom tulle