A fascinator is a hat or hairpiece featuring feathers that stick out in a bouquet and move with the wearer. The feathers move in a fascinating way, which is how the hat got its name. Fascinators are flamboyant and, for this reason, the focus is on the embellishments rather than the hat. The hats are usually small and demure, acting as an anchor for the feathers and other decorative items. You can make your own fascinator in an afternoon to match any outfit or occasion.
Use the compass to trace out a circle the size of the fascinator hat (plus 1/4 inch for hems) on the sinamay fabric. The fascinator should be fairly small, about the size of a coffee tin lid. Cut out the circle.
Bend the millinery wire into a circle and secure with the wire crimp. Use the jewelry crimper to secure the crimp. Place the crimp into the crimper and squeeze the handles to secure it to the wire.
Curl the 1/4-inch surplus along the edge of the sinamay fabric around the wire ring. Use a buttonhole stitch to secure the sinamay to the wire ring. Wrap the bias binding around the edge and sew it on the inside of the wire to finish off your hat.
Hold the edge of the ribbon and make a loop. Hold the loop and the edge between two fingers. Make several loops in the ribbon, holding them all in the center with your two fingers. If you want a simple fascinator, make only two loops so that the ribbon looks like a bow. Make several loops to form a ribbon flower for a bigger fascinator. The size of the loops also depends on the size you would like your fascinator to be. Adjust the number and size of the loops until you are happy with the ribbon decoration.
Use a pin to secure the ribbon in place in the center where your fingers are keeping it together. Pin the ribbon to the fascinator and use the glue gun to secure the individual loops to each other, and the ribbon to the hat. When the glue has dried, remove the pins.
Trim the bottom of your feathers so that they have long stems with a little feather at the top. Secure the feathers to the fascinator with the glue gun. Create a small patch of glue in the middle of the ribbon decoration that all the embellishments use. Add as many feathers as you would like, arranging them like a bouquet.
Cover the central bead of glue with a crystal bead or button. Use the glue gun to place glue on the back of the head or button and press it down into the middle of the fascinator.
You can attach the fascinator to your hair with the help of bobby pins. You can add plastic flowers, netting, beads, sequins and other embellishments to your fascinator. If you do not want to use sinamay, use the plastic lid to a tin of peanuts or coffee. Use the back of the lid to stick decorations on and bobby pins to secure it to your hair. You can add any width or kind of ribbon depending on your personal preference.
Nicole Fotheringham has been a writer since 1997. She was born in South Africa and began as a reporter for the "Natal Mercury" and "Cape Argus" newspapers. Fotheringham has a master's degree in English literature from the University of KwaZulu-Natal.