Derby Hats 101: Making a Hat

 

Making a Hat 1

So now, you’ve read part one and have decided between a hat or fascinator. I’m sure you also might have an idea of what colors you will look for. Annnd we’re off! (Derby joke)

Step one, find a hat. I’ve gotten hats everywhere. Dee’s Crafts in Louisville, KY, is my go-to when I’m there. And if you’re in the area after Derby, you can get a hat for the next Derby at a huge discount!!

But just about any hat can become a Derby hat. My hat for this year I got a Target! It’s just a large brim sunhat but it fit well and has so much potential. If you are going the fascinator route, I suggest a wider headband in the base color you want. (The best headband that I used was wrapped in ribbon so I could just pin my fabric flowers on)

Step two, is heading to the craft store and looking around for something that jumps at you. Sometimes I go thinking I want flowers, then I see feathers I can’t do without or vice versa. Decide if you want to permanently attach things to your hat or headband or maybe look for things that you can attach with pins so you can remove it later.

Once you have everything you think you’ll want, do a mock set up to make sure you like it all together and the placement of items before you go gluing and possibly permanently create something you don’t like.

Below are a couple of my hats and how I put them together.

Derby Hat 2010

This hat above is one of my favorites. I spent countless hours on this one. I tacked the ribbon to the crown and then hot glued all of the feathers and silk flowers to the hat. The hat, in plain black, I had purchased the previous year after Derby and got it for next to nothing. I usually try to include a peacock feather whenever I can since they are thought to be lucky. I also wanted a signature theme for my hats.

h1.jpgThese feathers are my favorite to work with and are featured in the 2010 hat. The small ones on the left are individual strands that come in a bunch. They stand straight and you can manipulate them fairly easily.

The other, on the right, you can build off of and lay it flat on the brim of the hat as I did or even on the side of the hat so they stand up. The one on the right has a felt half moon that you could glue more feathers or flowers to and then add a pin to the back so you could make a removable hat clip or fascinator.

Derby 2012 Fascinator.jpg

Derby 2012 I decided on the fascinator. This was the only year that I bought a dress first. Let me tell you, never again! Finally, I did find a white tulle flower clip (also with pin) at Hobby Lobby and hot glued white and green feathers to to make it more extravagant. The feathers were straight so I followed this tutorial from Dee’s Crafts on how to curl feathers! It’s much easier than you’d think!

Derby 2014 Hat.jpg

Last, but certainly not least, Derby 2014. This is another hat that I was lucky to find at Dee’s after the 2013 Derby. I really liked it because it was more of a sheer fabric, but had a great wire brim so I could mold it to fit how I wanted. It also has a drawstring at the crown so you can adjust the size!

It came with the white and black sheer bow and band already attached. I found the two pink fabric flowers at a craft store for 50% off! They have a pin and clip on the back so reusing them (or the hat) will be really easy.

If you’re getting ready for the 142nd Run for the Roses, visit Kentucky Derby Party DIY for some easy crafts and foods to make your party a winner! For more ideas and hat etiquette for ladies and gents check out my post Etiquette & Style. Or you can see a full Tutorial for my 2016 Derby Hat!

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Derby Hat 101: Etiquette & Style

Etiquette and Style.jpg

The question is as classic as, which came first the chicken or the egg? That question is which do you choose first, the dress or the hat?

Personally, I like to make my hat first. It’s easier to find a dress that will work. Although, if you are having your hat made, then it’s 6 of one and half a dozen of the other. Here are some tips from MAGGIE HEELY in an article for Louisville.com.

Etiquette

First things first, lets talk etiquette. Yes ladies, there is a proper way to wear your Derby hat. This is from the Louisville.com article:

-Women’s hats should be worn on the top of the head, not tilted back, but shadowing over one eye, preferably with the embellishments showing towards the tilt.

-Embellishments go directly to the front center or just off center in the front of the hat.

-The bigger the better.

-Your hair should be worn completely off your face, either pulled back, or if worn down it should be behind your ears…some people even poo poo bangs showing.

Men, this goes for you too! Here are tips for the gentlemen from The Art of Manliness (you can also find some great styles there too):

-Wear your hat pushed back to seem more open and accessible
-Tilt your hat over your eyes to seem mysterious and intimidating
-Tilt your hat up 1 inch from completely straight to project an all-business attitude

-Promptly remove your hat upon entering an elevator, restaurant, or someone’s        home. Never wear your hat during a meal.
-Touch the brim of your hat lightly when greeting a friend.
-Raise the hat by the crown when meeting a female friend in public.
-Remove your hat during the national anthem and place it over your heart.

Style

Now that we have that out-of-the-way. Here is a link to my Pinterest board of Derby Hat Ideas. There are so many different styles you can choose from. Popular now are fascinators. They are headbands or hair combs with a beautiful “mini hat” style and are great for those that don’t feel comfortable wearing a hat or feel like hats are flattering on them.

 

No matter what your choice, you can go simple or crazy with both. However, if you are attending the Derby, you want to keep in mind where you will be sitting. Sarah Schmalbruch, in an article for Business Insider, explains that if you are in the Infield, it’s a much more relaxed, shorts and T-shirt atmosphere. Heading into the grandstand and all the way up to Millionaires Row, your level of seating should dictate how formally you are dressed.

My favorite quote from that article is that “[s]he advises wearing something that’s going to make you and the people around you smile.” Couldn’t have said it better myself.

Your hat should make you feel beautiful…and lucky! On that note, the superstition is that the bigger the hat the luckier you’ll be.

hats6

The struggle is real…to find a Derby hat winner.

The above photo is courtesy of a slideshow from Daily News of crazy Derby hats. You’ll need to look. Go ahead. I’ll wait.

Get Crafty!

You can start here to get an idea and then follow-up on my next post for more how to’s from me!

Let’s talk about making your own hat or fascinator. I have done both in the past and they are both easy to complete. P.S. – I made this… has a great how-to for making a fascinator with a hair comb as a base.hat5

Also check out Making a Hat, Derby Party DIY, and my Step-by-Step Tutorial for making a hat!