Little did the illustrious Queen of Soul know when she took the mic at the inauguration the effect she would have on both the fashion world and on me personally. I have become totally obsessed with the Aretha Franklin presidential inauguration hat that is now living in the Smithsonian.

Not only am I obsessed, but I'm also unemployed and that, my friends, is a dangerous combination.

I printed up a pictures of Aretha's hat and headed to JoAnn's fabric and by GOD I made that hat. I made it again and again, and I'm in the middle of making yet another for my friend Billy.

The long and the short of it is that I have figured out how to make this hat (or close enough) and I'm going to teach YOU to make it. Having good friends to pose in the hat is also essential.

Click here for full instructions from CJ.

Before I get into this, I have to say that I am not a teacher so I'm sorry if this doesn't make sense -- and if you need more details, e-mail me. I will call you and walk you through it. It's really easy. That's how obsessed I am. I will call you to talk about the hat that can be seen all over my Facebook page. With that we proceed:

YOU WILL NEED...
1 yard of gray felt (or any color that suits you)
2 small bags of small black sequins
1 small bag of larger silver sequins
1 bottle of fabric glue

(Aprox. cost: $15.00 at any craft store that sells felt.)

1. Cut
Cut your felt into three pieces as shown in the picture.
2" x 9" felt strip
6" x 24" felt strip (NOTE: SLANTED SHORT SIDES)
6" x 16" felt strip
Artist note: Double up the layers of felt for the best effect and strongest hat.


2. Bedazzle

Glue the sequins onto your felt strips one at a time in the indicated pattern -- or any pattern that you like.

Let the sequins dry thoroughly before you make your bow.


3. Tie One On

Then you put your bow together. The 6" x 16" piece will be the bow, while the 6" x 24" felt strip with the rubber eraser-type slanted ends will be the backing you stick your bow to. The 2" x 9" piece will become the strip that fastens the other two pieces together like so ...


4. Hat's All

The tricky part is finding a proper hat to affix the bow to. You can make one or find one at a thrift store, and just sew the bow in the position you like onto the hat. Bam! You instantly transform into the Queen of Soul at the most historic inauguration ceremony in American history.


5. Document

Take lots of pictures of people in your new Aretha Franklin inaugural hat and put them up on Facebook and anywhere else that people will see them. This hat is too good to keep to yourself.

My friend Andy looked at my hat and told me, "You have the soul of a gay man inside you because only a gay man would have spent so much time to re-create that." I do think that as I grow older, instead of aging into an old lady, I'm actually turning into an old queen -- and I present this hat as exhibit A.