If you are interested in making a vented hat, Susan Holt makes the leather gaskets and the mesh vents in really cool shapes and sells them. Susan is happy to provide information on installing the gaskets and she has an album with the gasket shapes on her professional facebook page here. Susan even has shapes like butterflies, gears and stars! I highly recommend her gaskets, I saw them in person at the recent Wild Wild West Con 4, the gaskets are lovely and come with the matching screen. She also occasionally sells premade and wonderfully decorated vented hats on her etsy site here.
The base for this hat is the John Bull Top Hat from Hats in the Belfry and is wool felt. I talked to Susan Holt to tell her how wonderful her class was and how much I enjoyed making one of the hats and in this discussion she told me that the felt hats are much easier to work with than the cheap costume hats. Secondly, the copper screen that Susan uses is much easier to work with than what I used. I planned to use copper screen for my vents, but could not find any so I am using decorative aluminum punchwork stuff I found at the local hobby store. The aluminum stuff was a pain to drill holes for the rivets and I think the screen would have been easier.
I then, used this gasket to mark the drill holes in your vent material. I then drilled holes in my aluminum vent to allow the vent to be riveted to the hat.
Now repeat for all other vents!
I then added the EL wire and tubing as well as some brass pipe fittings to complete the look. Here is the finished hat! The power source for the EL wire and the extra EL wire are hidden in the top of the hat.
|hat side 1|
|hat side 2|