DIY: Fascinator

Chapter 3: The Raven

In which Karen's headpiece inspires a new scene

As I mentioned in our earlier post on the globe terrarium ring for my character, Karen and I had to rethink the scenes we were using for the photo shoot once we came to terms with our space limitations.  We'll explain further when we reveal the whole party on Friday but suffice it to say that Karen's vision took a slightly different direction and the fascinator she made as part of her costume was the inspiration.  Karen planned on wearing something that referenced a raven.  Not literally, but in an abstract way.  

For the fascinator, she knew she wanted black feathers to give height to her headpiece.  Turns out, a black silk dahlia did the trick, which was much more substantial to sew onto the base than single feathers.  My favorite part of the whole headpiece is definitely the dotted Russian netting she used to cover her face, the kind you'd see on an elegant widow at a funeral.   But she needed one other element to bring it all together, giving her character a focus.  She found small silk butterflies to come out of the "feathers" from the dahlia, juxtaposing the dark glamour of a raven with the fragility of white butterflies.  You'll have to wait until tomorrow to see the final effect!

For now, let's talk about this headpiece.   

When shopping around for materials, we found Lush Lapel, a great source for unique millinery supplies.  Check them out for everything you need to get started:

Lush Lapel Shop
Lush Lapel on Facebook



  1. First you will need to decide how far down on your face you would like your netting to hang.  Try pinning your teardrop base to your hair with bobby pins to get an idea of placement and then drape your netting to judge length.  Then cut your netting lengthwise to the desired width. 
  2. Starting at the back of the teardrop, sew your netting to the sinamay base.  Slowly sew your netting to the base gathering gently as you go around the perimeter.  I added more gathers to the front of the base and left the back fairly taught as I wanted the fullness of my netting to be in front.
  3. Next, apply hot glue to the top of the base and quickly lay the flower pressing down the petals.  
  4. Cut the butterfly wires to the desired length (we staggered ours).
  5. Add a dab of tacky craft glue to the base of the wires and place in the dahlia petals.  Hold in place until set. 
  6. Your fascinator can be worn using bobby pins or feel free to sew a hair comb to the underside of the base.