Hat's a good idea! How PUG has inspired me to break out the craft box and learn words like 'Biot'.

One of the things that I've loved doing since becoming a part of the PUG community is hearing everyones' stories about what PUG means to them.  It seems odd, right?  A clothing company having such an effect on so many individuals' lives.  But it truly is more than a clothing company.  It's a company that encourages individuality and expression, all while placing great emphasis on treating other women with respect and boosting the confidence of women.  And not just the confidence we receive when looking in the mirror or receiving a complement on our lovely clothing.  I for one can say that my sense of self esteem has risen since finding PUG and the PUG community.  How many companies do we support that know our names, stand up for us when being bullied online, and share their own personal stories of rising to where they are now?  As someone who hasn't always taken the easier path and is still figuring out what to do with my life, it's comforting to hear from others that it is possible to take the more difficult path and succeed and still be good people.  The purpose of this post is to show hats I've made to coordinate with some of my PUG dresses.  And you're probably wondering what the heck this first part has to do with that.  Well, it's simple.  I'm in awe of the number of women who have told their stories of overcoming diseases, disorders, body-dissatisfaction, etc., etc.  I can't say that I've personally been affected this way (except that I've become more confident around people and less introverted, which is a lot for me!), but for me, part of my PUG experience has been being inspired by the creativity and design of their clothing and using that inspiration in my own life.  I'm a huge classic movie fan (pre-1950's), and I've always loved the fashion of those times.  I love that PUG takes elements from that era and makes them not so much modern,  but much more wearable and with the modern woman in mind.  It's the little details that get me... creative pleating, darts, seaming... I'm a sucker for that.  I've always enjoyed being crafty and creative, but with a purpose.  I'm not the type to just sit down and make something unless I have a reason for doing so.  In recent years, I just haven't had that spark for the most part.  I just couldn't see a reason to create anything new and so I didn't.  Until I started shopping with PUG and got inspired...

As I said, I'm not great at creating things without a purpose.  I need to have a focus, a clear objective towards what I want to achieve.  I've always loved hats and fascinators but let's face it, America in general is not a hat-friendly nation (excepting sports hats, of course).  My mom is from Montreal where hats and accessories in general are much more appreciated and worn, and my mom is also extremely creative in her own right (she made all of my clothes when I was little!), and I like to think I've inherited some of those attributes.  So I went I bought a bunch of hat frames from California Millinery Supply in Los Angeles and a bunch of fabric and other goodies from Joann Fabrics and Michael's Craft Store.  I started to make some hats, but pretty much always just got to the point where I'd have the base of the hat done, but then become indecisive about what to do next.  I kept thinking, 'Well, if I do this, then it could go with this, but it won't go with that, and this might also look neat but I might want to do that with another color, and, and, and, and, etc.'  My mind just couldn't focus on what I wanted because I wanted to make everything!  So I put my supplies to the side and didn't touch them for a few months.  Then when I found out that I'd be able to make the grand opening of the Pinup Girl Boutique, I knew that I wanted to dress up and that a hat was necessary.  I initially created this hat with the Baby Blue Vamp Dress in mind, but ended up wearing my Black version instead since it was a nighttime event.  Either way, it works for me!  I love the Vamps because they are absolutely one of the best-crafted dresses in my closet and the sculpted bust and curve-inducing shape are incomparable.  I wanted the hat to have sculpture to it to reflect the dress, hence the folds/pleats in the houndstooth fabric and the fabric origami crane.  I thought a fabric crane would be a fun challenge, and with an iron and a can of starch, it is possible (the only sewing involved is where the crane is attached to the hat).  The feathers used are biot feathers, which you can find in black quite readily at most craft shops, but the quality can be hit or miss, and any other colors are tricky.  I got mine from an etsy seller and they are beautiful and the seller has a wide array of colors available http://www.etsy.com/shop/KIMONOSFeathers?ref=seller_info.  I'm happy with how it turned out considering it was my first real attempt, and I think it pairs well with my Vamps.  

My next hat is... not quite a hat.  At least, not by my reckoning.  And my expression in this photo... not quite as cute as when Masuimi does it.  But anyways,  my friend had a tiki-themed birthday, so of course, I had to wear my Dixiefried Tiki Dress.  And I figured it might be the perfect occasion to wear a small sampling of Michael's Craft Store Floral Dept. on my head.  Because it's fun and Micheline does it and I trust her judgement.  I chose a large flat tropical flower whose name I can't remember as the base since it had the same shape as many actual hats do.    And then I just grabbed flowers that matched the colors of the dress, and a sprig of green tropical leaves to give it some oomph and sewed an hot glue-gunned it together.  Under the large base flower I glued a piece of felt and then sewed some alligator clips to it to attach to my hair and that was that.  Super easy and fun.  I liked it so much I wore it again a week later to the August Ladies' Night Out at the Boutique.  It's quirky and colorful, just like the Tiki Dress that I adore.

This next hat was inspired by the Green Veronica Dress.  When I saw that it came with a spare button for the front of the dress, I immediately had an idea in my head to use it for a hat to match the dress.  I already had that green fabric, and used black biot          feathers and

black seed beads to create the swirls around the button. I finished it off with some peacock feathers (not the 'eye' of the feather as you can tell, but the little bits along the side) to give it some height.  I prefer to wear my hair up with the Veronica to show off the high collar in the back, so I wanted to have a hat that was simple and small enough to be worked into an updo, but also to play on the single, off-center button on the dress.  The Veronica was the dress that I fell in love with the most quickly this year, so having a unique hat to wear with it was a no-brainer.

And last (but not least... Hello Halloween!), my Blue Floral Amelia-inspired hat!  This hat frame caught my eye at the millinery shop, even though I had no idea how I would trim it.  It reminds me a bit of a hat that Ruth Hussey wore in The Philadelphia Story, one of my favorite films, and even though it's a bit unusual, it's still classic and lovely.  I sat on this one for a while (not literally), and then realized it would be perfect for the Amelia Dress, one of my favorites.  It's such a lovely, classy dress, and the print is gorgeous.  The blue roses contain all sorts of blues and violets, and the leaves too have multiple shades of blues and teals.  I wanted to keep the base simple to preserve the shape of the frame, so I just covered it with some navy fabric, and then got some white roses from Michael's and did my best to replicate the roses in the dress.  I thought about adding feathers but decided against it since I wanted the roses to be the focal point, much like they are on the dress, and then to have the shape of the hat and dress be noticed.  I'm excited to wear this out to the next Ladies' Night Out at the Boutique!

That's it for now.... I've created my Halloween hat to go with my PUG dress for Halloween but that'll have to keep until Halloween comes :)  If you have any interest in making hats, I have to say, it's a lot of fun and the trial and error involved isn't all that frustrating.  Just start with a frame (you can find them online if you don't have a millinery shop in your area), some fabric, and then start covering the frame and playing around.  It's a great way to add a little something to your PUG outfit, and a fun way to get to know your PUG better. Thank you PUG, for inspiring me to get creative again!

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Replies to This Discussion

These are awesome! You've done a great job developing your skills - keep us posted with other creations :)

Love your hats, as well as all your reviews !  :)

Your hats look amazing!  You've done a fantastic job with each one!

WOW!!! Those are fantastic!! I am so impressed by your work! How inspiring! The origami crane is an amazing touch, and that hat is adorable, though I think my favorite is the blue floral, just for how clearly it is MEANT for that dress... Seriously amazing.

Your work is quite impressive! I agree hats are a bit lacking here in the states and I love that you've gone that extra creative step to make the dresses you. Have you considered selling them on Etsy?

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