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!

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