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November 1, 2016

I'm just going to toss these up, out of order.  Do we really need an explanation at this point?

That's CAPTAIN Poppins, Thank YOU!

When I discovered I had a hit on my hands with this costume, I realized I had better step up my game a bit. My Mary Poppins hat has been a big success, but I still feel it's a little too big for my head and a bit unstructured. I tend to tilt it up when wearing it, which means the underbrim shows up in photos rather than the flowers. It was a good start, but I was ready to do better.

Right after I decided to look for new hat options, I happened to find myself in a thrift shop, wiling away an hour while waiting to pick up B. from work.

Halloween stuff was already out, which generally means "the ugliest, weirdest clothing that got donated to us." This particular shop had a bin full of vintage hats, most of which I adored. Among the items was a green straw hat.

Now, what you're seeing is what I consider 'After - Part 1.' I did not take a 'before' photo, because that was one sorry hat. It had a faded golden ribbon, with an equally faded golden suede bow, and some really ratty yellow netting. There were stains on it. It looked like someone had squashed it up and stuffed it in a pocket for a few years. But I saw some potential, and it fit nicely on my head. I bought it and began tearing off the yellowed decorations while walking back to my car a few blocks away. It was rather embarrassing to be seen with it! The photo is also not so great, I was in the basement and only thought at the last minute that I should get a before spraypaint shot.

P.S. Same thrift shop had ANOTHER rocking chair. Y'know, THE rocking chair. In great shape. I did not buy it. I am very curious about its history, though!

Back to the hat! I did a little research, and the Internet crafters said I could fix it with some steam. They were right! I watered up my iron, and grabbed a large can I use to store plastic bags in. It's over 6" wide and has a metal bottom. I fitted it over the metal end (it was still a little loose, but close enough!) and tied some ribbon around it to help hold the shape, and began fake ironing around it, letting puffs of steam do its thing. Eventually I grabbed a lightweight scrap of upholstery fabric and began ironing the hat with that as a layer in between. I even laid the can on its side on the edge of the ironing board and ironed the sides of the hat. It made a HUGE difference. I even sprayed the hat with some water to see if that would help. I don't think it made a difference. I eventually turned the hat and can upside down and left it to dry.

Internet crafters also assured me I could spray paint the hat just fine. I had used the Design Master brand for my fairy wings with beautiful results, no cracking or flaking, so I dashed to Michaels to add to my spray paint collection. Lots of shaking, several coats and waiting about half an hour or so between outside and inside, and I am now the proud owner of a second Poppins hat base!

I bought some vintage millinery cherries on Etsy, but frankly I prefer the wooden cherries I painted. 'Nice' daisies are also hard to find. I am still on the lookout, but these will do.

Et voila!

I found the white cotton prairie blouse on eBay, and am much pleased with this cosplay. Judging from people's responses, they are pleased, too! I have a coat, too, but unless the event is outdoors it's generally too hot to wear.

Now I need to work on what to carry in the bag. Everybody expects a lamp for some reason. I kept explaining that I only pack a lamp when I'm moving house . . .