Mini Top Hat Tutorial

I have to admit, I’m not a big fan of mini top hats. Not because they aren’t cute or attractive, mind you, but because I feel they call too much attention to the fact that I’m tiny to begin with.

But for some (probably most) people, mini top hats are absolutely adorable. There’s plenty of people who are able to wear them with far more grace than myself. And for those people, I give you today’s tutorial for making mini top hats.

This tutorial featured on the Offbeat Bride blog is awesome because it features step by step instructions for making your own hat. The hats are really inexpensive to make, affording you the chance to make many hats for every possible outfit you desire, and decorate said hats in precisely your style of Steampunk.

Offbeat Bride gets lots of good points in my book, especially for their section dedicated to DIY projects for your wedding. So, if you happen to be planning for your big day, be sure to pay them a visit. And even if you aren’t, many of you will still be interested in some of their DIY projects like how to make a sewing pattern out of existing clothing or this one on how to make beaded flowers.

Bringing Back the Hat

The hat is one of those garments that seems to be going the way of corsets and stockings, onward to slow extinction. Wearing anything other than a baseball cap or a beanie is almost sure to turn heads and garner compliments. Paired with an anachronistic wardrobe, it’s sure to make a statement and set the wearer apart.

The case of men’s hats is a particularly interesting case. Many women still don hats for special occasions, but men have been largely ruled out of the hat scene. This wasn’t always the case. Back in the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries, a proper gentleman would not go anywhere without his hat.

Can you spot the guy who left his hat at home? Because I can't.

Thanks to our friends at The Art of Manliness, this no longer has to be the case. They’ve come up with a great article giving a comprehensive view of the gentleman’s option when it comes to head wear. Bringing Back the Hat is all about the reintroduction of the hat into today’s anachronistic gentlemen. There’s a wonderful overview of the different kinds of hats along with some illuminating history that will help the discerning man choose precisely the hat for him.

Most of these hats are more likely to appeal to Dieselpunks, but there’s plenty of opportunity for creativity when considering your next hat purchase!

Top Hats

Cut Out and Keep is another one of those Do It Yourself websites that attracts a lot of Steampunk projects. In May, I featured a fun project on Steampunking your composition notebooks. If you missed that post, you can check it out here. It’s absolutely worth looking at, especially for all those Steampunk students are out of school with time on their hands for the summer.

Another simple Steampunk project caught my eye on their site, and I thought you all might like it brought to your attention. This particular set of instructions features recommendations on how to create your own Steampunk Hat.

The directions are simple enough. Like any well executed project, the real work is in the planning.

What I really like about this particular page, however is the assortment of hats that the instructions have inspired that can be viewed below the instructions. Every one is markedly different from the others, giving a small glance into the personality of the owner and their personal flare of Steampunk.

So, if you don’t have a Steampunk hat yet, or are looking to dress yours up, this tutorial (but more so the pictures) might serve some inspiration! Happy modding!

Gypsy Lady Hats

If you have been reading Trial By Steam for any period of time, you are likely aware of how much I love Etsy and all the triumphs of artistry that it makes available to the discerning buyer. I’d like to share another marvelous experience that I had when I decided to order this:

That, my friends, is a top hat by the brilliantly talented Gypsy Lady Hats on Etsy. It’s made from brown crushed velvet and satin, with a coppery taffeta for the hat band and bow. It’s stunningly Steampunk and just enough over the top to embrace both the Steam and Punk aspects of our subculture.

I had a wonderful experience with the ladies at Gypsy Lady Hats, who took the time to consider all of the details and specifics of my particular case regarding concerns about my goggles. I was concerned about the weight of my goggles distorting or damaging the brim of the hat when I placed them there, but I was assured that the hats are very sturdily made, and that goggles weighing a pound would not be a problem. Now that I have the hat in hand, I have no doubts that it will be just fine. I would like to warn you all about one thing, however. The booming popularity of these finely made hats has made quite a waiting list, so do not expect that your hat will arrive soon after you purchase it. Mine took just over a month to arrive, but oh, was it worth the wait…

If you are looking for a top hat to put the finishing touches on your latest Steampunk attire, I highly recommend Gypsy Lady Hats as a great place to purchase it. Please, just do not buy it from Hot Topic. The Hot Topic brand has ripped off many of Gypsy Lady Hats’ designs and called it their own. Observe the evils of the corporate and the theft of an artistic design from an independent artist!

Gypsy Lady Hats' Top Hat

Hot Topic's Top Hat Rip-Off

This is precisely why I keep telling you all to buy from places like Etsy. Corporate America is just dying to get in on this new thing they’ve heard of called Steampunk, and would like to treat it like many of the other subcultures that they’ve entrapped through their mass produced but easily accessible garbage. If you can’t make and mod your own Steampunk clothes, do the right (and Steampunk) thing and buy from an independent artist who can.

If you want to learn more about Hot Topic’s theft of Gypsy Lady Hats’ designs, you can check out many of their other designs stolen by Hot Topic and read more about the situation on their Facebook page here.