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A DIY fascinator to top off your Halloween costume

 
 
If it wasn't clear by now, we heart hats. With Halloween just around the corner, it gives us the opportunity to add a Kate Middleton inspired accessory to top off any costume (think: genie, your fave hat-wearing cartoon character, like Strawberry Shortcake or the Mad Hatter, and - of course - Kate herself). This year I'm rockin’ royalty in a new way: as a queen bee. To create the illusion of bees swarming my face, I made a fascinator. It sounds wacky, but it's stunning. With some help from our friend Lee at Hatstruck Couture Millinery, I made a topper that created quite a buzz at my Halloween party.

Making the base
Go to a craft or second-hand store and get a cheap straw hat. Take an X-Acto knife or some heavy duty scissors to cut the crown of the straw hat. Make sure that it's circular and even!

Covering the base
Cut a piece of material that's at least an inch wider than the base of the hat. Place the fabric on top of the hat and fold the cloth over the edge in clockwise or counterclockwise direction (essentially, don't start folding it over every which-way). Using heavy duty thread and an embroidery or quilting needle, sew the material onto the base with a buttonhole stitch. Make sure your stitches are evenly spaced apart, and that your thread matches the fabric, unless, of course, you want contrasting colors.
 
Close up of buttonhole stitch
 
For a smooth finish on the bottom of the hat, take a piece of fabric that fits to the contours of the bottom of the hat, and use a whip stitch to sew the new piece fabric to the folded over fabric. I used a slip stitch, but in retrospect, you're much better off with a whip stitch.
 
 Close up of slip stitch
 
The icing on the cake
Here's the fun part. Lee's tutorial has oodles of ideas and videos for you to finish off your fascinator. Look around your house or head to a craft store for some flair. Add fabric flowers, cloth appliques, feathers, ribbons, sequins or rhinestones. Bonus points if you sneak in a vintage or heirloom brooch or earring. Generally, anything that shimmers and shines is your best bet. A feather piece I found at Michael's fit snug between two pieces of fabric. I added some adorable bumble bee stickers on top of those feathers for the full queen bee effect. To hide the buttonhole stitching, I lined the edge of the hat with rhinestones stickers (again, from Michael's), and used fabric glue to make sure they would stay down.
 

Last but not least...
This beauty won't stay down in one place, so you need to sew it to a comb, barrette, or a headband.  Pick something simple, so it doesn't take the focus away from your fascinator. Since it's being covered by the hat, don't fret about whether the stitching is perfect or not.  Make sure you have it tilted to your best side for your best photo op yet!
 
 
 

BY KARMEN FOX ON 10/12/2011 1:00:00 PM

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