Saturday, April 24, 2010

The hookers must have hats!

So, we made hats. For the hookers.

That's what I did while I was visiting my sister a week ago.  What fun!  Well, it was for me...she was just happy to have an extra pair of hands willing to wield a red hot glue gun.  Only one small burn on my thumb too.  I'm pretty good with a glue gun (if I do say so myself...and I do!)



















She has somehow "become" the costume mistress for a production of Les Miserables.  She had no idea what she was in for when she raised her hand to offer assistance.  She just wanted to help with some of the costumes...to be involved... but.... when the woman who originally was going to head up the enterprise decided she couldn't do it after all... well, you know how it goes.  Somebody else had to step up...and all of a sudden..it was she.  The costumes for the project needed to be researched, pictures found, designs made, some costumes and pieces rented, extra hands enlisted, fabrics and pieces purchased, "almost" costumes refitted and refurbished to match the period, fittings and alterations, ..... all the while keeping volumes of endless notes and references... along with trying to keep things and people organized.  I would have torn out my last three hairs by a month into the proceedings... and it's been ongoing since November.... but, she is still plodding forward and dragging all her help along by the bootstraps... she is amazing.  This is a gal who 8 years ago was brain injured due to a major concussion suffered in a simple fall on an icy parking lot.  For almost a year she could hardly get off her couch due to vertigo and extreme nausea.... who could not walk to the end of her driveway, who could not return to her job ... who couldn't drive for a few years... who couldn't even look at fabrics and patterns for years because it made her nauseous.. who, through sheer stubbornness and determination has brought herself back from a necessary and physician drug induced, almost comatose state, in order to "cope", as the brain injury society puts it.  She's bloody amazing to me!  How she copes is beyond me too.... because she still has ongoing problems... but it ain't stopping her!

okay, that put a lump in my throat when I think of how much she has had to do, and mostly on her own, fighting with doctors all the way, just to get back what she has now ... Anyway... back to our hats ..

The production is a bit different in several ways... there will not be huge props and staging... it is more of a concert style ..but, the costumes will be focal and have to be "of the period" as they are calling them. ...However, the decision was to take some artistic licence with the hooker costumes...and use some modern day fabrics... add some colour and pizzazz to the hooker scene.  There will be about a dozen hookers... and we were making some fancy hats for them ... considering that they may have "found" items and some bits and pieces from trash tossed by the wealthy.  Perhaps they added them to some hat they had come across......etc....  so, we used any hat form that we found... and began our fun....

Think of them onstage now..with some great lighting..... and wild and wonderful costumes...  bloomers under some skirts, ... their little chemise tops under bodices and bustier type tops.... they weren't as risque as modern gals... even with a bit of glamour they covered up some things!  I wish some of the modern girls would cover up something...anything!  I sound like a prude..but, honestly...have you seen what is walking around a schoolyard these days? even the grade schools? ... looks like hooker central.....































































and this.....
the original hat was our Dad's from the centennial celebration of our small town where we lived back in the 60's.  He had it made for the barbershop quartet he sang with...















This hat has seen many a high time..as part of many different costumes over the years.

This day..it has become a top hat.  Vikki used felt over buckram to make the high stovepipe, ....then more felt to cover the brim in two separate pieces (kind of like a pita bread pocket).. then handstitched them where they slightly overlap at the centre of the brim...and put the stovepipe over it...and added a felt oval to the top.. all by handstitching once again... a piece of grosgrain ribbon..... and... well, like I said..this thing has taken on a life of it's own.  She has tried to rent top hats..and there are virtually none to be had in the area... so decided to make some of her own.


















Voila....one top hat.....


12 comments:

Abi said...

Fantastic hats!

ADonald466 said...

The hats are fabulous! ..... and I had a lump in my throat too ....

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Sue said...

The hats are amazing! Would love to see pics of the other costumes too.

Sue:)

Maria said...

Vee ... busy bee! It appears you were quite busy during your visit with Vikki! That´s creativity at it´s best, lovely hats. Vikki sure is very talented too. So great to see her name up on the poster! Are you back home now? Have a great weekend.

Norma Soulet (AZArtist) said...

Those "hookers" are going to look mighty fabulous in their new hats! LOL
The "Top hat" is great too.

Shelly said...

Amazing story and just wonderful hats...you have done a fine job. Wish I could see your production...Shelly

Terra said...

You and your sister deserve a cheer, so here it is. Hip hip hooray. The hats are very pretty.

Kerry said...

The hats are wonderful! They hookers will love them! Your sister sounds amazing, what an incredible journey she has taken.

Healing Woman said...

Oh, la la! Those hats are great.

MaryO said...

What a wonderful story of courage and determination! Kudos to her, and to you for pitching in to help with those gorgeous hats! I am amazed at that top hat! It looks professionally done.

JudiA said...

LOL, I have to admit that your post title gave me a start, but knowing you I knew it would be a twist and I was right! (I like being right. ) I loved your sister's story (and your story-telling too by the way) AND the hats. What a project!

Pam said...

You two sound wonderful supportive people,who are can certainly rise to a challenge!. Congratulations on your achievements, sisterly support,and wonderful creative efforts! After reading of your sister's health challenges I am in awe of her fighting spirit.I very much enjoyed the pics of the hats.