Tutorial: Customised canotier

By Douce Frivolité - 19:15

If you don't know me, you need to know I love to put all sorts of stuff on my head, from cat ears to home decor. That's one of the things I love the most about Lolita fashion: it allows me to go crazy on the head gear section (as if it wasn't crazy enough already!) I remember this Christmas meetup where I just grabbed ornaments from the tree cause they matched my dress that day.

Another thing I love about Lolita is having the chance to be creative and create my own pieces, so I've been super excited with the canotier fashion that has been going on lately, and I decided I would make my own one for the summer International Lolita Day, cause I love crafts and getting messy!

Here we go with my tutorial for a customised canotier!

Step 1: Get a canotier

It can be a hat that you find in some random local store or a part that you find on a specialised supply shop. The second one is bound to be bare (without the signature ribbon around the crown), whilst the ones that are "ready to wear" will have a coloured ribbon that probably doesn't match your outfit plans. For me, that was the case.

Therefore, I grabbed a needle and a pair of scissors and got ready to unribbon my straw hat. If you have a seam ripper, that would work better, but I don't have one yet. After a while, you will have a bare hat ready for decorations!

Step 2: Sew a ribbon

It is time to start making your canotier your own, so just pick your favourite ribbon or lace. Bare in mind that you will need material to cover the diameter of the crown and one or two extra inches.

The joint usually falls on one side, and I recommend that, if you are decorating your hat, you cover that bit with your decorations so you don't need to worry about it. If that's not the case, just make a bow with the same material you're using around it.

Now it is just a bit of patience sewing the ribbon around the hat. Make sure you sew on the top side, and just do the bottom one if you realy want more support. When I reached the end, I folded it a bit before finishing it so I didn't have a loose bit, even if I was covering it later.

(Sorry, I forgot to take a picture of the sewn lace but you can see it later in other pictures!)

Step 3: Decorate!

Or as I also call it, glue gun time! It is time you pick your favourite flowers, lace, fruits, pieces... and go as over the top or simple as you want. I've had some trouble finding nice fake flowers in Spain and, as I'm great at procrastinating, had to go for a local, next-day delivery shop four days before my meetup that ended up having pretty nice flowers.

Here is the lace I used and some hydrangeas I ended up discarding
for this project
I wanted it to match the dress I was wearing for my meetup, so I went for a pink-ivory colour scheme. Make sure you try different set ups before you actually put everything together. I recommend to take pictures of the ones that you like so, even if you don't make it now, you can get back to those designs in the future. Alternatively, if you have made a proper design on paper before, you just need to recreate it in real life.

I tried this setup but ended up going for something different
Step 4: Wear your hat!

Now you only need to put your hat on and enjoy your one-of-a-kind piece. Here is a picture my friend Merkades from Dolls Stories took.

Bonus: Add safety measures

If having a hat on your head is going to make you feel self-conscious, feel free to sew a couple of plastic or metal combs to the sides so it stays in place!

Have you been making some accessories lately? What is your favourite handmade piece? Please show me in the comment section!

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