Monday, November 25, 2013

Brown Perching Hat

I must admit that the block for this hat has been sitting in my cupboard for a while, as the last time I tried it, it really didn't work for me so I re-blocked the hood as a different shape.  My difficulty was that the top of the the crown has a dip in it and I couldn't get the felt to sit in it properly.  This time I used a bean bag with a weight on top to keep the felt in the dip whilst it dried and this time the hat came of the block in the right shape-woohoo! I was very pleased, as this is such an elegant shape for a crown and it perches most elegantly.  The brim I hand shaped by ironing it mostly flat on my ironing board, the used my tailors ham to create the curves I wanted (as I had previously done on my red felt boater).  I finished the hat with some lovely striped petersham that my Mum bought me a while ago and with a couple of pheasant feathers that I have also had for years (finally using up some of my stash!). These were just normal straight tail feathers, but I wanted them to be curly. so I tried with my usual method of curling feathers with a hair curling iron, but the main vane of the feather was a bit too thick to bend around the barrel of the tongs.  Instead, I gave the feathers a good steam and then used a pair of closed scissors pulled along the central vane to curl them, in the same way that you would curl a gift ribbon. You have to be fairly careful using this method as if you apply too much pressure you can kink or even break the feather-not good. Its also better to go slowly and repeat  this often than trying to get a massive curl in one pull.  I managed to get two fairly similar curls which I really like and having bound their ends together with thread I sewed them onto the hat and covered the ends with a little more ribbon.  I must admit to being chuffed with the finished article, its just such a jaunty little hat!

Curly feathers!

Sunday, November 24, 2013

Blue Slanted Cloche

I've got a bit behind with posting about my hats recently.  I'm going to have a stall at my first craft fair next Saturday and I have been madly trying to finish as many hats as possible and make lots of hair butterflies to sell.  With so much blocking and sewing I've forgotten about taking pictures so this is me catching up!  This hat is a pale blue wool felt cloche using my new slated brim block from the marvelous Guy Morse Brown. The brim sweeps across the face from left to right and is longer on the left side than the right, making a lovely asymetrical hat. I finished the hat with a silvery grey ribbon and a cream braid.