I Tried Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator for Halloween

Might as well be honest, originally this post was entitled ‘How to Make a Vintage Bat Fascinator’ but after at least two meltdowns and multiple shouts of “I give up on this thing!” and “What have I done wrong now”, I knew I had to change it to an attempt type blog rather than a true tutorial. This project was planned two years ago and it just never was able to be squeezed into my October plans but this year, THIS YEAR, I was going to make it no matter what. Since my first ever brainstorming of this idea, I’ve seen a few images around Pinterest depicting a bat-shaped fascinator but I couldn’t seem to find where the original posts were from. If I do find a seller of similar hats I will be sure to link it. This project was a bit of a ‘learn as you go’ so I’ll make sure to write up what ended up working.

-Wire (mine was 18 gauge)
-Floral tape (but any tape will work)
-Velvet for the outer layer of the hat
-Lingerie padding sheet (I used this one)
-Cotton fabric for lining
-Needle and thread
-Hot glue gun and glue sticks
-Bat template
-Sewing Machine (or just use hot glue/hand sewing)
-Hat stand (foam works best)
-Alligator clips or any hair clips you want to attach to your hat

-Start by printing out a template of a bat. Use your paper to guesstimate how big your bat should be. It’s ok if it takes you a few attempts. Feel free to go free hand and change the shape and size of your back as you like. I originally started out by using a bat face mask as a template which I found off eBay as templates I have link to hear if that is the route you want to go.
Note: you will only need half of your bat template for this hat design. Don’t cut your centre middle section straight, instead add in a slight curve going outwards as this will help your hat curve around your head.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

-Using your templates as a guide, cut out two pieces from your velvet. Sew these pieces together down the centre seam and trim off any excess in the seam allowance. Put your velvet bat against your hat stand to make sure you are happy with the shape and size.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

-Once you are happy, I’d recommend pinning your velvet bat to the hat stand to stabilise it as a guide. Grab your wire and begin bending and moulding it to become the outline of one half of your bat with a centre seam. Do the same for the other side and you should be left with two bat halves frames. This step can be a bit fiddly and tedious but just do it one section at a time. At the point where your wire ends meet, fold them over themselves.
-Using floral tape, wrap the two centre seams together and wherever your wires have met. What I wish I had done in my first attempt is to continue wrapping either the floral tape or just some ribbon around the whole wire frame. Don’t worry about adding inner framing as this will be done later.
-Once you have your bat wire frame, make sure it fits your head by either gently trying it on or putting it against your hat stand.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

-Once you’re happy with it, grab your cotton fabric you will be using as lining and your needle and thread. You are going to hand sew the cotton to the inside of the hat by sewing the cotton to the wire frame. If you have a curved needle this will be quite easy. I recommend doing half of your bat at a time and slowly doing section by section. This can take quite some time so pop on a movie and enjoy the process. Once you’ve sewn your cotton to your frame, use some sharp scissors to trim off excess being careful not to cut your stitches.
-Do the same for the other side over lapping the centre wires.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

-On a spare piece of paper, create an outline template of both sides of you bat hat. Cut both sides out of the lingerie padding foam sheet. Put the padding on your hat and trim it so it fit inside your wires. Once both sides can fit snug inside the wire frame, use your hot glue gun to glue your padding to the cotton underside.
Note: Now is also a good time to glue the centre of your cotton lining to make sure there are no seams showing.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

-Now it’s time to attach your velvet outer layer to your hat. Start by adding a line of hot glue down the centre seam between the foam sheets. Stick down the middle seam of your velvet bat along the glue.
Extra: if you want your bat to have a bit of wing definition in the way of sectioning, hot glue some wire onto your foam sheets.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

-Section by section, add hot glue to the edge of your bat hat and stretch your velvet piece over the edge of the hat. Add more hot glue to inner side and make sure the velvet piece is stuck on securely. I found it helpful to add the glue in small sections and using small pliers, stretch the velvet over.
-If you want, you can add ribbon along the inner velvet edge to clean up the edges. I didn’t because at this stage I was a bit over the project.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

-Finish your hat off by hot gluing your clips to the inside of your hat.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

I set aside two and a half hours for this project and it ended up taking me most of the day due to all the trial and errors (mainly errors to be honest). I originally cut out my lining and padding layer to fit the original bat template and sewed each piece down the centre seams. I was bummed when I realised they didn’t fit the frame at all and I couldn’t figure out how to fix it so I decided to go with the sew and trim method. The only piece I could save was my velvet piece as once stretched over my wire frame, it could be manipulated to fit the frame.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.
Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

If I had more millinery skills, I would have loved to add a head to the bat or at least some pointy ears but after seeing how fiddly this project was, I think the shape I ended up with was good enough. Sure you can see some glue peeping out and it’s not the neatest but I kinda don’t mind it. Not bad for a first attempt.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.
Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

This project was a challenge but after only burning myself twice, stabbing my thumb in the same spot (also twice) and accidentally sewing my finger to my wire frame, I actually ended up liking my creation. I wish I had made the inner wires stand out a bit more for some added definition but this could be done by gluing around the wires when attaching your velvet. You can make this hat in a wide range of coloured velvets and I’m tempted to make a pink one. It’s also a great way of using up any cotton scraps you may have around the house. Feel free to adjust and make this pattern however it best suits you and your style.

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

My vintage bat fascinator can be worn for cocktails, fancy dinners out or just because during spooky season (or whenever you want because let’s face it, bats are an all-year-round animal). This hat gives a cute twist between glamorous and spooky. I am tempted to add a few crystals for some extra sparkle so thats a fun thing you can add too. If you do make one for yourself, please tag me in photos so I can see your creations!

Making a Vintage Bat Fascinator Hat for Halloween.

Note: This is not a sponsored post. All opinions and thoughts expressed are solely my own and not influenced in any way. There are no affiliate links and I do not benefit from any link clicks or purchases made.

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