ladyrider-graphicsfairy006b.jpgOriginal design inspiration.

 

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When I decided to enter this contest I wanted to make a hat that could act as a compass for the wearer. I have a poor sense of direction and thought such a hat would be handy at burning man or other festivals. It grew into a desire to really showcase some of my skills, old and new. I have been working as a hat and costume maker for the past 18 years. I have made a few light up costumes with flashlight bulbs and bulky batteries, but never made the jump into LEDs. Earlier this year I discovered Adafruit and their wonderful learning site, and I absorbed as quickly as I could. I used this contest to prove to myself that I could offer new skills to my boss and other designers that we work with. I really enjoyed the opportunity to make something real for myself. The public blogging side of things helped keep me on task and making progress. I also documented my process far more detailed than I ever had.

 

I broke down each step of my process into each blog post with pictures and video:

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: introduction

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: design and build overview

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Making the brim

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Making the sideband.

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Design time

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: fiber optic feather detail.

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Making the tip and preparing to cover in fabric.

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Covering the underbrim.

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Working on the code

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Swirling the velvet for the cover and updated code

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Sewing NeoPixels onto the brim.

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Finishing the brim.

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Assembling the crown, making the cockade and hatband.

Coachman's Navigational Top Hat: Final assembly and code.

 

Here is a time lapse video of all the pictures that I took during this process. (no sound)

 

Thanks again to the Element 14v community and Adafruit Industries for hosting this contest.