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Steampunk Kunst-Waffen Shako

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I made this for :iconfoxfires: it's my first attempt at a hat. She's a painter, so I thought I'd go with a kind of napoleonic military shako look, combined with painterly odds and ends. I made the pattern out of cardboard so I could experiment, then cut and assembled the final version out of heavy leather. The interior of the hat (sewed in around the bottom) consists of a felt "inner hat" that supports the weight of the hat on the wearer's head - otherwise it drops down and crushes the ears. It's a bit big on Melissa but it fits Foxfires just fine. To keep with the sort of military look, I made paint-tube loops on one side, and a brush-holder on the other, then followed it up with a little collar/shoulder thingie. There are neodymium magnets hidden behind the leather in the shoulder thingie and in the front of the hat - you can attach a badge (or just about anything else) magnetically! To finish it I stained it with leather dye and hit it with several coats of butcher's wax.

The straps in the front, over the visor, are an adjustable chin-strap that buttons on and off. When I was designing this I looked at a lot of napoleonic military hats and realized that the chin-straps were pretty crucial for battlefield service - those chin-straps have evolved into the silver/gold braid that you still see on police or military peaked caps. So, in the process of making this hat I learned a bit about the history of military headgear (quite a bit, actually) and had a lot of fun.

I'm currently designing a leather "cruiser" hat for a violin-playing computer security expert that I know. Because he's a certified paranoid (like me!) I'm making his hat lined with lead foil. :D I do not plan to get into the hat-making business, but it's a fun diversion!

Model is Melissa Troutt. That jacket she's wearing underneath is an 1850s Gurkha Rifles' Lieutenant's tunic.
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© 2011 - 2021 mjranum
Comments87
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WondLaXCVIII's avatar
wow this just makes my already big love for hats grow even greater... 
Red-Hag's avatar
Wonderful idea and beautiful result! I'm in love!
lenindcruz's avatar
You forgot to rate this 'mature' as usual? :D
mjranum's avatar
Xero-Tolerance's avatar
Looks amazing, bravo. You put a lot of effort and thought into this and it clearly shows. Guess you're not a one trick pony huh.
winanrosa's avatar
this is extraordinary,..esp for your first hat,..im making hats also, but still doing a course in it,..so just following the criteria at the moment,..but how fabulous are.
mjranum's avatar
I had no idea anyone teaches hatmaking! Trial and error works for me...
I've posted a few more in my gallery here.
winanrosa's avatar
,..oh yes,..you can do these course's in australia within the fashion technology department,..but yup there is a lot of trial & error involved anyway.
cobraqueen89's avatar
Where can I actually get one?
diamondhill1's avatar

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mjranum's avatar
I only made this one. I have no idea if I'd ever want to sell any more. It took me a couple hours to make and about $70 in leather - it wouldn't be cheap.
Utaku-Gecko's avatar
SeanMonster's avatar
Awesome hat, awesome photo. Good job sir!
zippo360's avatar
THATSSSS........ SOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO COOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOL! i want one!
what leather did you use? is there a liner in it?
mjranum's avatar
It has a felt inner liner - which is what supports the weight so it doesn't fall down on her head. It's 5oz tooling leather. I made the pattern and did all the design myself. I'm not sure if I'm gonna offer any for sale - they'd probably be too expensive.
vamp-kitty-meow's avatar
I love the brush and the little drawing figure!!
Eszter's avatar
great idea,really unique :) congrats!
Yuvenall's avatar
Fantastic work! I'm burning of desire... i want this hat!
Gekiganfan's avatar
I need a costume like that.
Meme-Lorraine's avatar
I would so want this! :D
televisionskies's avatar
Holy shit, this is awesome! Should you ever have many more hats made I would jump at the chance to purchase one. Simply splendid!
mjranum's avatar
If I make more they'll probably all be custom one-offs like this one. And that's just too much work to make it affordable. If someday I do enough of them that I can just bang them out from a pattern then maybe I'll offer them on etsy. I was thinking if I offered them unstained/unfinished and rough-shaped, people might enjoy doing the wet-forming themselves.
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