Monday, 10 June 2013

Steampunkish pirate…


In July I’ll be doing the York Rotary Club dragon boat race with my work colleagues! (sponsor me here!) We’re going as the ‘college crew’ and since everyone goes in fancy dress, we’ll be going as pirates. Maybe not the most original idea, but definitely one both the girls and the boys could get behind!

We’ve all been given a hat that looks like this:

m1myITeM2cnPCxAKCAB4eZwHat available from Ebay here.

But I wanted to make mine a bit more special. It was a bit boring, and waaaaaay too big. I thought I might be able to make it smaller and steampunk it up a bit while I was at it!

I browsed steampunk piratey hats on the internet and found a winner on Dragonfly Designs by Alisa, a wonderful blog full of intricate and beautiful steampunk clothing Alisa makes herself.

She had a bowler hat which she had made smaller as part of an airship pirate costume so I decided to copy her design and adapt it to fit this hat.

Cut hat

First I cut off the crown to leave just the brim. I then cut through the brim at the front and wrapped it around my head until it was snug. After marking how much I needed to remove, I did some measuring and cut an equal amount from each side at the front.


Alisa had used eyelets to fasten the brim back together. The ones I had were shiny shiny brass – too shiny. To get an aged look, mum suggested I chuck them in some bleach and do you know what? It worked!

Eyelet brim

Then I hammered like a demon to attach the eyelets to the brim. The next bit is important…

Glue hat

I didn’t take a photo, but I laced the brim up as tight as it would go and then glued the crown back on. If you don’t lace up the brim, the crown won’t be in the right place.

glue hat 2

When it was dry, I removed the poppers from the sides with pliers – because I had shortened the brim they no longer met to hold the sides up. In their place I cut two slits about half an inch apart right through the brim and crown and used ribbon to tie them together.


With a few feathers and a votes for women rosette (also made by me from ribbon and a badge – don’t you think female pirates would have been Suffragettes? I mean if there had been female pirates in 1913? I do!), I think it looks the part!


Stay tuned for the rest of my costume!


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