I make costumes for a lot of different subcultures, but this week I'm currently working on a project for my husbands' pirate performance group, and I'm a little stumped. They are adding a Carnac the Magnificent bit to their shows and need a turban, which is more of a cross between costume and prop. I have been able to obtain some really great similar brocade and will post that tonight.
There are a couple of ideas I've had to make this and I'm not sure which one would work best - and possibly there are other options I'm not thinking of. Initially, I had thought I would use a Styrofoam half sphere and a wreath type styrofoam to go around the sphere, but carve off the front a little (because it's away from his face) and then wrap it with quilt batting and then the fabric and decorate, etc. The half sphere seems too big, though I'm fitting a size 23-1/8" head, I have to allow some kind of room for the fabric to be tucked in around the inside. The other option I've thought of was to buy a capeline straw hat, but it's only really available for women. I considered I could make some vertical slits to make it larger and even sew in some elastic, and also zig-zag the ends of the slit so it doesn't continue to tear, and then do the same - wrap it in a layer of quilt batting and then the fabric.
Because the film and the stills are so grainy from the 1970's, I was at least able to obtain a picture of what is supposed to be the actual turban. Someone is trying to put together a prop museum and it would appear either the show or Johnny's personal estate donated it. At first I was thinking it would be in the Johnny Carson museum in Norfolk, NE (my home state) but alas, I found it wasn't there and couldn't see it in person.
The turban is going to have to be able to stand up to the elements as the performances are usually outside, rain or shine, snow or sweltering heat... And it's also going to have to be able to be transported as they travel half the year - as well as whatever ad libs they may do to it on stage.
Any constructive suggestions are welcome!