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Leather Top Hat Making

  • Jan 19, 2013 · 12:00 PM
  • This location is shown only to members

Ever wanted to try and make your own top hat? Well, now's your chance! Come and learn to draft a pattern for a top hat, the basics of leatherworking and hat construction, and maybe even make your own! (There is a materials fee if you want to make your own, or bring a half-side of leather, 2/3oz or 4/5 oz).

Please post or email me if you want specifics on likely materials costs. Expect around $35 per person for the leather and dye to make your own hat here and take it with you, or free if you're just wanting to draft a pattern. If you want me to buy supplies for you, I'll need to know a week in advance and also have money up front so I can buy the leather and dye (PayPal is fine). Will make a trip out to Tandy before class so I've got stuff for anyone who needs.

Please read discussion thread here: http://www.meetup.com/DC-Steampunks/messages/boards/thread/29946572

Thanks!

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  • Steve S

    I found this posting regarding hat pattern similar to ours. Note the curve along the bottom?

    http://tombanwell.blogspot.com/2010/01/steampunk-leather-top-hat-tutorial.html

    January 26, 2013

    • Jenn

      Thanks for sharing! Some similarities, but some differences as well. TBH I think it would be far easier to do cutting that crown into four pieces instead of a single one that's split in the center - mostly because those cuts seem like they'd be a pain. I'm guessing he also is using a thinner leather, probably 2/3 or 3/4 for his - if you look, it seems a little more flexible. The curve on the bottom of the crown though is definitely a cool adaptation - and certainly if anyone that was going for the tall stovepipe wants to give it a whirl, by all means feel free!

      January 26, 2013

    • Jenn

      Also if anyone likes the grommets look instead of stitching, you can do that too. Personally I think it adds an unnecessary step - you can do the big cross-stitch on the crown with the punch and thread, or leather thong if you want, adding rivets just means more work for you. But if anyone likes that look, I have rivets and a rivet punch!

      January 26, 2013

  • Kim B.

    This get together was so much fun and I am so excited to continue working on my hat

    January 22, 2013

  • Peggy G.

    Hi Jenn and Ian - thanks for holding this event! Clint and I enjoyed meeting everyone and learning how to make a leather top hat. We're interested in coming to a follow up class.

    January 21, 2013

  • Jenn

    Thanks guys! So a few follow ups from yesterday (while I collapse and recover)... :)

    First - thank you all for attending and for being understanding as we cycled so many people through sharing only two leather shears! (And if anyone got bitten by he bug, leather shears are on sale for $27.49 atm at Tandy, which is MUCH cheaper than the usual $50-60.)

    Second - it sounds like at least half of you want to do a follow up class for part II. That's fine by me - just let me know when. I'm free most weekends in Jan/Feb except Superbowl Sunday and then out of town probably the second week in Feb. So if someone wants to suggest a day, have at it!

    Third - since these were so popular...

    http://www.amazon.com/Staedtler-24-Inch-Flexible-Curve-97160-24BK/dp/B0006IK3LM

    Link for the flexible curve (bendable ruler). They also come in a 36" size I believe, just for Steve. :)

    I also have someone's black Thermos mug - let me know if it belongs to you!

    January 20, 2013

    • Jenn

      Yes, I do have the 3 pieces of leather. Not sure which paper pattern is yours/the final version as there's a pile of them on the couch with the leather. I can just save them all for you?

      January 20, 2013

    • Karen G.

      Yes, thanks! I'm halfway to the follow-up meeting tne, since my stuff is there ahead of me. :D

      January 20, 2013

  • Steve S

    Excellent class, Jenn & Ian did the extra effort for everyone.

    January 19, 2013

  • Heather P.

    So much fun! Great seeing everyone. Lots of people in attendance, and a LOT of hat making!

    January 19, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Heya Jenn, I'm not going to make it at this point. Hope you see this! Glad I didn't have you pick up supplies for me. I will definitely be looking at your uploaded instructions and the other links. Have a great time!

    January 19, 2013

  • Karen G.

    Jenn, I can bring a couple of folding TV trays if that would be helpful. Also, what kind of snacks? I was thinking of cheese and crackers.

    January 17, 2013

    • Jenn

      Cheese and crackers sounds great. We do have a couple card tables and some folding tv trays - more can't hurt, but we should be able to manage. Thanks!

      January 18, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Is it possible to put up the detailed handout you mentioned in the forum somewhere online for those of us who can't go?

    January 15, 2013

    • Jenn

      Ok - I confess that I'm a dreadful blogger/editor and my Word document version is much cleaner (which you can email me for at the email in the original announcement). That said - http://fullsteampunka...­ also has the instructions we'll be using. And if you're coming Sat, don't be intimidated! I tend to be wordy.

      January 17, 2013

    • A former member
      A former member

      Thank you so much! I will be sure to do this as soon as I find the time :)

      January 17, 2013

  • Jenn

    The pre-existing pattern is called, "Aristocrat's Top Hat", which can be seen here - https://www.leathercraftlibrary.com/images/Product/large/2662-Leather-Hat-Pattern-Pak.gif. It's the bottom right picture. You can adjust the height as needed, or curve the brim. Otherwise if you want something shaped differently, then we're looking at a custom pattern.

    January 16, 2013

  • Jenn

    Last minute updates!

    1. If you want supplies to make a hat, PLEASE post in the discussion thread to pick dye colors and let me know to get your stuff, and send funds via the instructions. I'm going to Tandy on Friday, so you've got 48 hours left to get to me!

    2. We are now at 25 RSVPs and counting. I'll have various workstations set up in the rooms, and we should be able to make this work - just please be understanding if it's snug.

    3. For those making - think about if you want to draft your own custom pattern or make a classic top hat from the standard pattern.

    4. If you want to make a custom pattern - please find a picture of a top hat like what you want to make and bring it with you. That will help us draft the pattern. 5. If folks can bring extra scissors for cutting paper, that will be great! Extra rubber mallets and blocks of wood (small 2x4 pieces) are also helpful.

    Thanks! Really excited for this and to have such a high turnout. See you all soon!

    January 16, 2013

  • Hera von H.

    What time do you think we'll be finishing?

    January 15, 2013

    • Jenn

      Posted in the discussion section this morning - it's hard to say for certain with so many folks attending and not knowing exactly how many are making. You can probably scoot out at 3pm at the earliest if you need to, 4pm might be more realistic. I can always head out by you guys to finish up if you need to leave early, too.

      January 15, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Greetings everyone, never knew there was a steampunk community in the dc area. I'm sort of new to the steam punk scene. Been a long time fan but never went out to a con or anything. I would love to attend and make my first hat !

    January 13, 2013

    • Jenn

      If you click on the link in the main announcement above, that will take you to the discussion thread for this event. A full list of supplies and a ton of details are posted there. Let me know if you have any questions, and welcome to the community!

      January 14, 2013

    • Ken

      Welcome aboard! We're a pretty easy-going gang, so you should be comfortable. Look forward to meeting you.

      January 15, 2013

  • Jenn

    Oh yea, one other helpful bit of info. We *are* walking distance from the East Falls Church Metro stop on the Orange line, for anyone not wanting to drive. It's just under a mile.

    January 15, 2013

  • Jenn

    It is - I attended both of Mel's classes when they were offered, one a few years back where we learned how to actually draft and design your own pattern, and then the one this fall where we used an existing pattern. I wrote up very detailed instructions based on the first one, though likely for time's sake we'll use an existing pattern. Will definitely hand out the instructions and charts I drew though!

    December 11, 2012

    • Jenn

      I think 4/5 works best. You can do slightly thinner, 3/4 maybe, but I wouldn't go thicker. I can pick some up as needed, going to set up a discussion forum thread to coordinate. Extra tools would be fantastic! Looks like a big turnout - I'm thinking the dremel punches (0 or 00), a couple extra mallets (however many we can scrounge), and scissors or knives.

      December 15, 2012

    • Steve S

      FYI: I can bring tools, but I am not good at calculating weights. I usually use scraps I have. How much leather, in area, is required for a hat?

      January 10, 2013

  • Karen G.

    Ben and I are going to try to get to the Tandy in Baltimore and get our own leather. We want to look at dye color options and maybe pick up some buckles and trinkets for other projects. Any suggestions for dye? Is that a before or after assembly project?

    I'll bring some edibles, too.

    January 8, 2013

    • Karen G.

      Thanks, Jenn. I'll probably surf their website and make a wish-list before I go. Should we go ahead and pick up our own leather, or has that already been bought?

      January 8, 2013

    • Jenn

      Nope, if you want to get your own stuff, have at it! Still waiting to hear back from a few on dye colors.

      January 8, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone coming from western Maryland (Hagerstown/Frederick) or eastern West Virginia (where I am in Shepherdstown)? I'll be driving out 70 to 270 to the beltway if anyone wants to carpool

    January 7, 2013

  • A former member
    A former member

    Anyone coming past the Columbia up Elkridge area? I need a ride, Send me an email if you can.

    January 2, 2013

  • Clint

    Hi Jenn, do you have a list of tools to bring just in case there is not enough to go around. Also, do you need people to bring snacks/drinks. Clint

    December 21, 2012

    • Jenn

      Snacks and drinks would be lovely! It looks like there will be quite a crowd. Tools are awesome if you've got any, you can see a tentative list in the discussion thread I started.

      December 30, 2012

    • Ken

      I believe there will be NYE surplus to bring!

      January 2, 2013

  • Bennett G.

    Looking forward to meeting everyone, long time no see! I can always use another leather top hat. We have some tools to bring with us.

    December 20, 2012

    • Jenn

      Fantastic! Tools are always welcome.

      December 31, 2012

  • Steve S

    Tandy Leather in Richmond had a class on this topic, but I had to cancel when a couple people in my household got sick. Is this class base on that one? I am a long time amateur leather worker.

    December 11, 2012

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