I've wanted a riding hat for a while, and never really found a nice one, so I faced up to the fact that I would have to make it myself. I used this pattern, which is very nice, has good instructions, and includes three styles of top hat in multiple sizes.
I've never made a hat from buckram before, but with this pattern, I felt confident while making it. The only parts that really gave me problems was binding the edge of the brim and attaching the brim to the rest of the hat.
The hat is constructed of heavy buckram, millinery wire, cotton flannel, and scraps of brocade I had left over from another project. Here is the finished hat base.
But one of the reasons for making my own hat was to add lots of trim to it. Here is the final trimmed hat.
The feathers and veil came off an old hat I've had for years. I've been wanting to use them on a hat that I will actually wear, and now I have! The band I made, mostly to the pattern. The octopus was from a necklace I foolishly bought at a steampunk event and never wore. Here's a picture of the hat on my head, but I took it myself, so it's not the best picture ever. But I don't feel like waiting till this weekend to get a decent picture taken.
Honestly, I was surprised by how easy it was to make. Some parts were a bit tricky, and I had to do some of the sewing by hand (which I always hate) but the result is pretty fantastic. I'm not going to become a full-time milliner or anything, cause this is a lot of work, but I'm happy.