Tuesday, July 26, 2011

"Fezzes are Cool" - how to make your own Fez

Subtitle - "how to make your own fez". - it's handmade not blocked nor perfect.

Our household is a big Dr Who house - now we are are bit subtle about our Dr Who love.  No conventions or outward appearances but if you know us you know we love the Doctor in all his incarnations.  That said it came as no surprise when my eldest gets a prom invite for a masquerade and promptly says - I want a fez.  Simple right?  Well you would think so, especially with all the steampunk related sites around.  It seems that Fez's aren't that well documented in the How To Category unless you want to find a bucket to fit your head and put a tassel in it.  I knew I wanted something a little more durable than that and I believe I have come upon the answer to all those steampunkers who need a fez.

First I measured my son's head - yeah it IS big 22.5 inches  (that's the easy bit)  Then I took some scrap cheap cardstock and fashioned a conical cylinder (is there such a thing?) with it and put it around his head for a fit.  From pictures on the web I knew it wasn't a cylinder, though was only a slight slant. Had to decide how tall the fez was going to be at this point, and truthfully mine is probably a tad on the tall side. If I did another I would probably shorten it by an inch. I took it down to 21 inches circumference by trial and error.  Lots of cutting and trimming and I had my cardstock pattern to cut my fabric. 

I had bought a yard of red felt from the fabric department of Hobby Lobby (very wide) and some medium stiffness Double Sided Fusible Package Interfacing. I needed the stiffness to keep the fez upright but I did want some flexibility so it would survive more than one event.

I did the math (thank you internet) for the radius of a 21inch circle for the top and drew out a circle with the string method.

I cut out 2 felt circles and 1 Interface circle.  I then cut out 2 felt sides and 1 Interface side - I had to piece this together for about an inch.

I then attempted to iron the felt to the interfacing.  It did work a little bit but it isn't a super sticky hold and don't panic when the felt pills up a bit.  Just peel it off and keep going.

Now I got my sewing machine out.  I did a short wide zigzag stitch and attached the circle to the top (21 in) of the side.  There really is no good way to pin it and use a sewing machine.  After I had gone all the way around AND liked how the top looked, I then sewed the side seam together. I won't lie at this point I was praying it was going going to turn out ok.  I went up and down the side seam a couple of passes.  Then I bound the bottom of the side sandwich of 2 felt and 1 Interface together so you couldn't see the white.  Again with the good ol trusty zig zag stitch.

Now the tassel.  I couldn't buy one that would work so I used black crochet thread.  It took a lot of looping for the length.  Then a few knots to ensure it was stable.  I then cut the ends to make them fringe and passed the knotted thread to the top and started binding the tassel to the knot.  This took fabric glue and some patience to get a nice neat appearance.  I did pass the thread through the knot a couple of times in the process to secure it and keep it tidy. Once I had finished I sent the thread with a lot of effort and brute force up through the middle of the tassel to so I had a length to tie onto the hat.  I used a hole punch from my craft stash to create the hole.  I knotted it and glued the knot to stablelize it.

I know this was wordy but I hope it helps anyone out there trying to make their own Fez.  It survived the prom with just about every attendee having a "fez" picture in great shape.  I have a feeling this will become his staple accessory for many, many social functions in the years to come.

Inspiration - Doctor Who
Pattern- Internet, and Trial & error
Cardstock - cheap but sturdy to stand up to make the cone
Pencil - to draw and make the pattern
Felt -
Sewing Machine with a zig zag stitch
Crochet thread
Large blunt needle
Hole punch

1 comment:

belle said...

Awesome! Thanks... my son is a part of a robotics team that has a "uniform" that each team member personalizes. My son of course says his head wear MUST be a fez. Of course.... because fezzes are cool! ;)