Tipster: Analogue Hatwork


Let me show you how to make your own film fascinator using film strips. Yes, film strips!

So, this month’s CitySlicker challenge was to write a tipster, which given my aversion to arts and crafts, initially brought me out in a bit of a cold sweat. What on earth was I going to write about?

In a slight panic, I turned to Maude Harris, my long-time friend and aspiring milliner. Maude can sew, so I thought we’d make a camera case…but Maude had bigger and better ideas. She suggested we create a hat made out of FILM.

In the end, we got so carried away, we made not one, but two hats. If you’d like to have a go yourself, you’ll need just a few basic bits of equipment:

  • A needle and thread
  • Some pins
  • A quill (if you want some height to your hat)
  • A sinamay fascinator base (with a hair comb attached)
  • Some developed negatives (ideally not cut into strips – one long roll is much better!)
  • Some decorative bits and pieces – beads, sequins, bits of old brooches/jewellery, ribbon…
  • Glue
  • A polystyrene head came in very handy (Maude’s is called Polly). However if you don’t have a polystyrene head lying around, we reckon a grapefruit with the bottom cut off could do the job perfectly.
  • Some wine (helps channel creative flair)

To start, pin your base comb to your head (or your grapefruit!). Then pin the end of your negative strip to the base comb. If you’re using a quill, pin that to the base comb too.

Getting started…

From this point, twist and shape your negative strip into whatever form your heart desires. For our first hat, we used a quill to give some height to our creation, but for the second, we chose to fold the film over on itself repeatedly in a circular pattern to make a rosette-style design. Every time you need to fix the film in position, just pin it for now. This allows you to undo and re-fix if you change your mind along the way.

Once you’re happy with your design, take your needle and thread and start sewing your film into position. This is where the sprockets come in handy – ready-made holes for you to sew through!

Maude doing her thing

Then add your finishing touches, whether they’re faux gems, feathers, sequins or buttons. We finished our film rosette headpiece by glueing an empty film canister in the centre (I chose an Ilford canister to add a touch of class!)

The finished article!

So, there you have it! How to create your very own analogue hatwork. Thanks Maude for your help with this tipster — Maude Harris hats, she’s going to be big!

written by harrietgreen on 2012-06-14 in #gear #tipster #lomography #millinery #maude-harris #harrietgreen #hatmaking #diy #tipster #handicraft #craft #hats-hat #hatwork #film #analogue-art


  1. mjouty
    mjouty ·

    this is so much fun and so much cool! =)

  2. dearjme
    dearjme ·

    Too. Cute.

  3. radiactive
    radiactive ·


  4. chichou007
    chichou007 ·

    Wouaw, it's amazing! I loooove this concept <3<3

  5. captain_mary
    captain_mary ·

    Awesome! I really want to try it (:

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