I finally started working on my hat. You'll see that I am still using the original hat I made last year. If I completely eff it up, I'll be no worse off, since I was thinking of tossing it anyway.
I left the gold brush fringe on from last year, and I don't think it detracts at all. First I gathered up a whole bunch of gold sheer ribbon, then attached it to the edge of the brim. Over that, I ruched and tacked down some red velvet ribbon. I'm having a bit of a hard time with the shades of red going on.....the striped fabric is an odd shade of red - the velvet I have is just a smidge brighter than the velvet, and the curled feathers I have are just a smidge darker. Neither one looks very good directly against the striped fabric, but when on the hat, you can't tell that they don't match exactly. The only problem now is that I can't put the curled feathers *and* the ribbon together, because then it is painfully obvious that they are not the same color.
Some pictures of the ribbon(s)
This is what I've come up with if I keep the red velvet ribbon. My natural inclination is to rip off all the extra *junk*, because I generally tend to lean towards the crisp, not overly-decorative looks, but victorians seem to just *love* to pile on as much stuff as they possibly can. Given that, I'm feeling like there's not enough going on!
I'm not quite sure I like the gathered gold on the hat - but I dislike the lumpybumpy covering job I did when constructing the hat. (see above!)
I really wish I had someone I could have come over and help me work through this stuff! :(