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Seersucker Costume Hat

November 18, 2011

One of my friend’s husband teaches theater and I sometimes help him out with costumes.  This was definitely an interesting request, ha!  His school is putting on a production of King Lear and the student playing the role of the fool is wearing a seersucker suit with a pink shirt underneath.  So he wanted a seersucker cockscomb to match the suit.

Not surprisingly, I was not exactly sure what a cockscomb looked like (well, at least the hat version…I did know what the similarly-named flower looked like).  So, after some google images searching, I came up with this:

Source

So, with that as my idea, I started trying to figure out how to construct the hat.  Since I wasn’t quite sure of the circumference of the student’s head, I took one of Clint’s baseball hats and used Press-n-Seal to get an idea of the pattern pieces I would need.  The main part of many hats are actually 6 equal triangles.  I pressed the Press-n-Seal onto one of the triangles and traced along the seam lines.

Then, take it off the hat and press flat onto paper.  Add seam allowances and cut.  (For symmetrical pieces, I also usually add a center line and fold on that before I cut to make sure that both sides are equal.)  Then you have your basic pattern piece.

Using that, I then cut out my hat pieces of both muslin (lining) and the seersucker.  I brought the lower edge up a bit in the front and sloped down around the back of the head.  This is what my pieces ended up looking like.

I then sewed the front, middle, and back pieces of each side together to make the halves.

For the comb part, I drafted that pattern piece and cut it out of the seersucker.  I then cut out a copy of that piece (minus the seam allowances) out of sheet foam that I inserted into the comb piece.  This worked out so well!  I was wanting something that would stand up, be lightweight, and that I could sew over if need be.  The sheet foam was perfect.

I basted it to one half of the hat and then sewed the two together.  I also sewed the two halves of muslin together and put that inside to act as a lining.  I bound the outer edges in extra wide double fold bias binding and let some tails hang off the front for a chin strap/tie.  I also had to make some tucks/pleats in the back lower part of the hat so that it would fit better, but I did this before I bound the edges.

The final product:

I also added some ear pieces like those in my inspiration picture.  They were also stuffed with sheet foam pieces.  I wanted to add some bells to the ends of the comb and the ear pieces, but I worried that it might distract from the dialogue.  :)  Function over form, I guess, ha!  All in all, I really like the challenge these interesting costume requests present.

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