Thursday, November 18, 2010

Variations on a Theme

Well only one variation so far technically! A friend of my Mum was kind enough to admire my hats recently and asked if I could make one of them in a different colour scheme to match her outfit as mother of the groom for her son's forthcoming wedding.  So, always happy to have an actual proper excuse to make a hat, off I went.  As her favourite was my black and pink button hat, we decided on a colour scheme to match her outfit and here is the result,
Here is the new hat with the original version.

So if there any hats in previous posts that you would like in an alternative colour scheme then just let me know!

Friday, November 12, 2010

Hatting in Felt

At last Ive had a bit of time to actually start using all the fab blocks that my lovely friends got me for my 30th from Guy Morse Brown. I've also bitten the bullet and branched away from my tried and tested buckram and silk or sinamay construction and used felt! I decided to start with one of the simplest of my new blocks, a rather fetching slanted mini fez style and use a plain black wool cone-

So having read everything about blocking felt in all my hat books and costume books and searching the internet for hours I fired up my super powered iron and started steaming. I was definitely too timid to start with and was not using nearly enough steam as when I put the felt cone over the block and tried to pull it into shape nothing happened... Wool is a bit water resistant when ironing wool coats etc you have to spray it with water then whack it with a ruler or something to get the water to penetrate before you can iron any creases out. So with this in mind and having upped the steam generator to full power and really filled the inside with steam and then covered the felt with a wet cloth and used the iron to press the felt I started getting the shape of the block into the felt.  It is quite remarkable the way the fibres shift in the felt to allow you to mould the fabric into a 3D shape. After much pulling and swearing when I accidentally steamed my fingers the little felt blockbegan to take shape
Just a few pins...

More pins and an
almost recognisable shape.

The felt removed from the block and the edge folded under, wired and sewn.
As the block is quite a 1940's shape I decided to decorate it with a felt flower, a popular decoration of the time. Hats were not rationed during WWII and they were often the only garment a woman could easily acquire as no coupons were needed or had to be saved. However, as the war continued materials became more scarce and new hats became harder to come by, so scraps of felt were an ideal way to revive an old hat.  Miniature versions of mens hat styles were very fashionable and were worn perched on the head, tilted at a rakish angle.

Monday, November 01, 2010

Blue and White

Well things have rather got in the way of sewing and hatting.  There is some evidence that I have picked up a new micro bacteria, so in an attempt to see I've been sending off samples left, right and centre (two of which got tested for the wrong things then chucked-grr) having a CT and a bronchoscopy.  I also had another two weeks of IVs to tide me over as I got yet another cold. All this has resulted in my spending far too much time at Papworth which I could have spent doing far more fun stuff!  We've also acquired two new cats, Patch and his mum Socks (I'll post about them when I manage to get pictures of them that are not a blur!) so I've not had time to take pictures of the latest hat.  So better late than never, here they finally are-

This is a very girly pillbox hat made from pale blue sinamay, that fastens at the back of the neck with a ribbon bow. It's decorated with a lace rosette with a large swarovski stone in the middle and finished with white hackle feathers and more swarovski crystals on wires-you can never have too many shiny things!