Monday, October 24, 2011

Hat a Week 4 - Spotted Bonnet

This weeks hat was a bit of an experiment. I wanted to try combining the two main ways of making hats, blocking and flat pattern making. Blocking is using a wooden shape and steam or heat to mould the hat form on the block, usually felt, straw or sinamay, for example this black felt cloche. Flat pattern cutting is when you work out how to make the shape out of flat pieces, for example this tricorn and most of my first hats were made from flat card patterns cut from buckram and then covered. The two methods are a bit like draping on the stand and flat pattern cutting when making clothes - one is done on a model in 3d the other flat on paper in 2d. Id never tried combining the two before and it is doable but can involve a lot of trial and error.  This hat is inspired by a hat made by Jeanne Lanvin in about 1910, the back is created on a block and brim was cut flat then the two were joined together.  It is a lovely tight fitting back sweeping into front brim that extends over the forehead.  I suppose it is technically a bonnet rather than a hat, but it is a rather charming that I have wanted to try and recreate for ages.
This is hat once the two parts have been joined, the edges wired and the shape mulled in domette. You can't really see the join (which is the idea!) but it runs from ear to ear over the top of the head. I finished the hat with a fabulous scarlet polka dot fabric and decorated it with black bias strips inspired by the decoration on the Lanvin hat. The back of the hat is pleated to take in the excess fabric around the curved back.
Detail of the pleated back.
As some of the under brim is visible when being worn I decided to line the whole in the same polka dot fabric, which adds to its rather cheerful appearance. I am really pleased by how this experiment turned out, and I have definitely learned a lot about using both methods in one hat! The next hat a week maybe a bit late as I actually have the opportunity to make a swanky dress for me for the G and S Society 50th anniversary ball in December, as well as some other ongoing work, so the hats may well have to take a bit of a backseat for a little while at least.

No comments: