I have a masquerade party coming, and I have a certain costume idea in mind… not sure that I’ll actually accomplish it in the long run, but part of the idea included a lace crown/tiara. I wasn’t quite sure how I’d pull it together… so this was a bit of trial-and-error.
I started out auditioning black lace. I really wanted stretch black lace for other parts of the costume, but apparently didn’t have any! I looked at my non-stretch black laces… and I have spider-print lace… spiderweb print lace… skull print lace…& chunky skull print lace. I MAY have a slightly gothic fabric stash. 😉
The materials I used for this include:
- spider lace
- black millinery wire, white millinery wire scraps
- pliers, wire cutters, scissors
- tape measure
- black electrical tape
- fake black flowers
- hot glue, and white fabric glue
- micro-fine holographic glitter
- black thread and needle
I started out looking at an existing wedding tiara I bought from Dressew in Vancouver years ago. I measured the two edges, and then cut out the same lengths in black heavy-gauge millinery wire. I formed the black wire into two separate circles, and used the electrical tape to hold the circles together.
I off-set the joins (to reduce bulk at that one spot) and then joined the two circles together at what would be the “back”, wrapping it with a strip of glued black lace. The idea here is to a) cover the tape, but also to give the back wire a little more “grip” so it wouldn’t be as likely to slip on my hair. The purchased band was wrapped with thread instead, but this seemed a LOT more time-consuming. As an added benefit, the glued-on lace connects the two wire hoops, and adds integrity to keeping the circles together. (The tape may have come undone over time.)
Then referring to the purchased tiara, I shaped the two hoops at the ‘front’, and tried the piece on my head for further shaping and customizing to my head.
Whenever I make wired hats, I always keep the little scraps of leftover wire… well this came in handy, because I had a piece just long enough to make the three supporting ribs connecting the top and bottom parts of the crown. These were thinner-gauge white millinery wire, but the cool thing is… the wire is wrapped in rayon thread, so this was easy to paint with a permanent marker.
From here I covered the base of the tiara so far with the spiderweb lace, sewing it in place over the wire frame. I did several crosses over the places where the ribs joined the main part of the frame as well to further reinforce their placement.
Next it was time to add the spires of the crown. I cut one very long length, two shorter, and two more shorter still to get a gradated effect. I made sure that the pairs matched, but didn’t measure them in any relationship to one another. Each is approximately 3 cm shorter than the one before.
These were bent and hand-stitched in place as well, and then also covered in spider lace by hand. Next I coated the edges with white fabric glue, and sprinkled micro-fine holographic glitter over the edges. The glue was intended to support the edges (where the fold-over was a lot narrower) but I also wanted to accent the edges a bit because in the mirror they kind of faded away in a dark background (and the masquerade party will be dimly lit for sure…)
After the glue dried, I added in a bunch of stick-on rhinestones temporarily, didn’t like them all, so removed some, and then secured the rest on with glue. Then I used hot glue to add on a bunch of fake flowers, and some lengths of chain.
It’s not QUITE what I had in mind when I was thinking of the project.. but hopefully it will all come together when(if) I get the rest of the costume made.
Little video of the lace crown below linked from Instagram:
My work-in-progress photos of this project were loaded up to my Instagram account, with a few cross-posted to Dawn’s Dress Diary on Facebook. If you’d like to see more of what I’m making, come follow me on these channels!