|Imperial Fez-Fancier: Mahmud II|
- 1 sharp needle (for hand-sewing)
- A ruler (or other straight edge)
- A measuring tape (the more flexible the better)
- A marker (for making your pattern)
- Newspaper, a paper grocery bag, or butcher's paper (for your pattern)
- Sewing pins of any variety
- 1/2 of a yard (46cm) of the fabric of your choice (see reccomended fabrics)
- Matching thread color
- 1/2 (46cm) of a yard of Peltex (tm) one-sided or two-sided (if taking the lining option) interfacing. You can get Peltex at any big fabric store, just ask the folks at the counter. Yes, it is expensive- but you're not getting a full yard and it's well worth the dollar or so extra when you have smooth, stiff pieces to work with.
- Tassel or any other trimmings you may want to use (optional)
- 1/2 (46cm) a yard of lining material (optional)
Note: Blue tasseled, scarlet fezzes were the headgear of choice for the Turkish army.
Further note: Traditionally red was the only color used for fezzes in the Ottoman empire, however since this is steampunk, fezzes of all colors of the rainbow are welcome (and encouraged!).
Recommended fabrics: Felt (wool or acrylic, whatever is in your price range), velvet (cotton works better and is usually cheaper, but you could use acrylic. This is also the only time that I will condone the use of stretch velvet- BUT ONLY THIS ONE TIME), corduroy (corduroy makes some very handsome-looking fezzes), certain thinner weight upholstery materials (if you use too thick a material you'll be unable to hand-sew though it!).
Step 1: The pattern
This is the most difficult part of the process, I assure you. Take the measurement of your noggin and divide it in half (splitting this up will make a symmetrical, easier to draft pattern) and arrange the tape in curve, gently sloping upwards. Mark either end of your measurement, where the curve stops and where it ends. Using your straight edge, rough out the following shape. Feel free to adjust the height! My example fez is 6 inches (about 15 cm) tall- but you could make a 2-3 inch lady's fez, or a tall shriner's style fez for wrapping a turban around:
|Pattern courtesy of luciusmonkey|
Tape your shape together to test the fit, height, etc and adjust where necessery. Take a webcam photo of you being silly:
Step 2: Cutting it out
First, bring out your peltex. You might have to weight down the ends as it often wants to roll itself back up. Using a marker, trace your pattern- then cut it out.
|The pattern traced onto the Peltex|
Next, grab your outer fabric. For these pieces you want to add 1/2 an inch (1.3 cm) on all sides (except for the bottom of the fez- give yourself 3/4 (2cm) to a full inch. More on that later). This will be your seam allowance and let you clean up the sides.
Note: If you decide to line your fez (as I did here), cut the lining as you cut the peltex- close to the pattern piece.
Step 3: Fusing it together
Make sure your iron is good and hot for this! Now, the peltex has a shiny side to it- place your fabric on top of it, making sure that the back of the fabric is facing that side. Double check that you have your 1/2 in border on the sides. Press the hot iron to your fabric and interfacing, working from the outside in to assure that there are no bubbles or wrinkles in the finished product.
|All pressed (now to iron on the lining!)|
Optional lining step: If you're putting in a lining, then peel off the protective plastic on the other side of the peltex and repeat with that fabric.
Step 4: Cleaning it up
Once you have your pieces bonded together, it's time to clean them up a bit.
Along the bottom of the base piece, fold the overhang over itself so it's clean and the unfinished edge is turned over. Handsew that down.
Do the same thing around the top of the base and around the circle piece. This will make putting it all together a lot cleaner and produce a much nicer fez.
Step 5: Assembling the base
Either with a sewing machine or by hand, straight stitch up the side of the base, making sure that the fez is turned inside out so that the raw edge is not visible. You should have the base done, and the flairing and arc-pattern will make that tapered cylinder that you want.
|Miss Kagashi cheats with a sewing machine...|
Step 6: Sewing on the top
Finally! Carefully turn your base right-side out once more. Take your top piece and set it on your cylinder- then whipstitch it into place. Be sure to take your time- if you do this too quickly your stitches will come out sloppy.
|2/3 of the way there!|
Step 7: Finishing it up!
So now you have a hat base with which you can stretch your creative and decorative wings! Of course there's the traditional tassel you can affix to the top- but there are other options. Such as:
-Decorative trim along the top and bottom.
-Buttons, studs, or jewelry charms or findings.
-A sash or veil pinned to the top and cascading over.
-Hat pins or feather pins.
-Using your fez as a base for a turban.
|After a fluffy tassel, a hat pin, and a bit of gold braid- this fez is done!|
So go forth and make a fez! If you do- send me some photos (preferably of you wearing it) so that I can do an entire post to show off this menagerie of haberdashery! Happy sewing, world travelers!