Sunday, October 10, 2010

One Tree Hill Hats--Halloween

I was recently asked by the costumer for TV program One Tree Hill to make 3 hats/headpieces for the upcoming Halloween show. One Tree Hill films here in Wilmington and it is an honor to be asked to create for the show.

They asked for a red ostrich headband (alice band), which I didn't make pictures of. I made it in one hour and it was picked up by costuming immediately, before I had a chance to shoot it. This whole order all took place VERY quickly. I was called, they had some specs for me to go by (color, shape, etc.), and I had to have the entire order ready in 2 days! Not much time for trying to second guess them or myself on the specifics they wanted. I just had to dive in and create around some general specifications.

The first hat was to be a tiny top hat, a fascinator really. It was to be orange straw with a green vine twining around the actress' face. OK, so here we go! Above you see part of an orange hood blocked over a tiny crown, a block I had to carve before the blocking took place...more time!

I took the crown off the block, which you can see to the right, and cut away the excess.

I've taken the full outside edge of the original hood and cut the length down to be used as the brim for the hat. Note that because this is a tiny hat, I also had to make a flat fell seam after I cut the brim to size. The flat fell seam creates a tidy edge and no fraying. The depth of the brim was such that I could have a turned up brim. See further down.

Before I could join the crown and brim I had to create the 'headsize' for the brim. I did this by placing it (the brim) over the base of the crown and used a basting stitch to pull the brim into the size I needed. Easy to do and this way I know the headsize for the crown and brim will be the same, since they both were determined by the block.

Now the crown and brim are joined and I've pulled up the brim for an upturned look. I'll join the crown and brim with a backstitch.

Next I've added a self-hatband, only because I didn't want to add any other colors, textures, or elements to the basic hat. This was in spec with the costumer's wishes.

And the final hat! I used millinery wire to create the vine, wrapped it in a bias cut of green satin, so that I'd get the nice fraying you see, then added the pinked satin leaves to the vine. A little black veiling and it is complete!

Another view of the Halloween hat for One Tree Hill.
Below is the process for the second hat I made for them. This one was based on a picture I was given of a 1930's style hat that the actress had worn in another episode and liked. I was to create something similar, in green velvet/velour.

I've wet-shaped buckram over a vintage hatblock similar to the crown in the picture I'd been given. I've used roping to hold the buckram against the block in the tip indent. Pins alone would never work.

Roping removed. You can now see the tip indent I mentioned above.

Crown and crown block. I've neatened the buckram shape and prepared it to be covered in fabric. A wire was added in the headsize to help keep the shape through all the process of working on it, plus the wearing. Buckram can easily get out of shape and be ruined in not secured.

There was to be no front brim, or not much of one, but a side brim was ok. Here you see the shape I came up with and the fabric in the background, ready to stitch and cover the buckram. I rarely use French elastic on my buckram edges. I prefer to make a flange, lay in the wire, whip stitch it down, then use an iron to flatten the edge if needed. It just works better for me than using French elastic.

Tip of the crown has been covered, as well as the brim. Almost ready to assemble.

Final product! Note that the brim is wider on the side, narrows at the front, and then narrows to nothing of the other side of the hat. I've added some beading in the tip indent to hold the indent in. The fabric I've used is green stretchy velour. Made it very easy to cover the form. I've also added some green veiling.

Second view of the hat.

Had a great time working on these, although from first call to pick-up was a mad dash! I almost always work better under pressure; with that said I was in perfect working conditions!!
I hope these will make it in the show. You never know about these things. Guess I'll be watching the Halloween episode of One Tree Hill to find out!


  1. Thanks! This gives a whole other dimension to people seeing my work. There are a few things I'd do differently now, but at the time there was NO TIME to think, just do it!

  2. These two hats are gorgeous! I am looking forward to see the ostrich headband. I hope you post pictures of it too.

    Your pictures are very helpful for me. I learn everything by myself. Lots of mistakes and trial. Everytime I look at your blog I learn something new! I cannot thank you enough for sharing with us.


  3. I'm so pleased you enjoy the blog and that it helps you in your study of millinery. Pictures are worth a thousand words, as they say.

    Unfortunately, the ostrich headband was picked up within minutes of me finishing it. No time for a photo!

  4. Hi!
    I have a crown a little bit similar to yours ( alittle bit more round I would say). I have tried to block buckram on it. Looked nice and everything, but I could enver remove it from the block. It was stuck on it. I didn't put any plastic on the block (thouhgt it was unecessary). How do you remove the shaped buckram without breaking it? Are you a magician? :-)

  5. Gigi, I sometimes have this problem too. If you do use the cling wrap it makes it so much easier to get the buckram off the block as they come off together. However, do not give up on the one you've got stuck. It can be removed.

    Carefully use a flat item, such as a dinner knife, and pry the buckram loose from the block. Do not make a hole in the buckram or gouge the block. The tip will be the hardest to loosen but keep working it and most likely you can get it loose without damage.

    This problem has occured in classes many times so I know you can get it off the block without ruining it. It is just a little scary to do the first time. If you do get an area that is out of shape, SLIGHTLY dampen it (not wet!) and place it back on the block to get back into shape. Let it dry and remove. Voila! Hope this helps. Let me know.

    BTW, I always always use two layers of buckram since you will be handling it quite a bit. A single layer will not hold up through all the work. Just a tidbit for you!

  6. Congratulations!!! I'll try and remember to watch the episode or at least tape it! You did a great job. You are so creative...the wire accent great was a idea for the vine. Of course my favorite is the green velvet vintage..LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, vintage any and everything!!

    Ok...I'm inspired...time to play with velvet!!!!

  7. I hear ya, Sonja! I love vintage too! Velvet is soooo luxurious. Love to see your results.