Sarah O’Rourke – Ireland


Category: Traditional


The first thing I did when I saw the theme was google fusion and there were so many different explanations in relation to it. Physics was one word which really stuck with me and I wanted to incorporate physics into my design.

Atoms and DNA were two words that kept repeating in my research. The spherical shape of the atoms intrigued me and I had the perfect design that would echo their shape.

The spheres were made by constructing my Saraden fabric using blue and silver fibres. These were cut into circles and the edges sealed using a zig zag stitch. I then took 6 circles, folded each in half and secured the fold by hand sewing beads on the edge. I then hand sewed each folded circle together again using beads, to create a sphere shape.

I wanted to combine the atom idea together with DNA, ‘DNA resembles a long, spiralling ladder consisting of atoms’. This gave me the next idea as to how to join the spheres together.

I lined up the spheres in alternative colours and hand stitched them together to make two lines. The lines were then twisted together to give the effect of DNA spiralling together. These were then secured onto the hat base by hand sewing.

The design was finished with feathers in complimentary colours at the back of the design. There are 4 feather colours used in this design, each rung on the DNA ladder is made up of molecules called Nitrogen Bases. DNA has 4 kinds of Nitrogen Bases, Adenine, Thymine, Guanine and Cytosine, each feather colour represents a nitrogen base.


  • Handmade fabric made by designer Sarah called Saraden fabric
  • Emu feathers
  • Iridescent beads
  • Metal combs


  • Sheets of Saraden Fabric were constructed.
  • Circles were cut out and the edges sealed using a zig zag sewing machine stitch.
  • Each sphere ball was constructed using hand sewing and hand beading.
  • The spheres were sewn together by hand and then secured to the hat base also by hand.
  • The feathers were added using a hot glue gun.

Your Free Issue of HATalk

Join our mailing list to receive a free issue of HATalk e-magazine.

HATalk Issue 140 (November 2017). Cover hat by Veronica Marucci.