Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Millinery Course - Week 1

That was the BEST fun ever! I got there nice and early (in case I got lost on the way) and was chummy with 2 other girls before it even started. Almost everyone was there on their own so everyone was keen to get to know each-other and it showed as we were all nattering away by the end. There’s 14 people on the course, mostly in their 20s and 30s, only one guy. The instructor is quite possibly the most enthusiastic person I’ve ever met (but not in an overpowering way) – he was very keen that we got started and he explains things as we go on rather than sitting around listening. He’s also really good at encouraging people to talk about what they’re doing and really helped the group bond (already!!!)

First off we measured our heads, then cut two strips of buckram on the bias to form a wide hat band. This will be used to keep the hat in shape whilst we’re making it. We sewed the strips together, then got a piece of wire, flattened it and shaped it into an oval using wooden blocks as a guide. That is being sewed onto the band – there’ll be one at the top and one at the bottom. And it’ll be the shape of my head.

At the same time we went off in small groups with our “hood” – the felt hat-shape that the hat’ll be made from (mine’s black and soooooooo soft) and used felt stiffener to stiffen the crown before leaving them in the drying cupboard.

I really didn’t think we’d get so much done in one session...and three hours went past like a flash. I’m so excited about next week, but in the mean time will be doing lots of research on hats. I’ve been designing for a while so I think I know what I want to make, but I’m going to get drawing it to visualise it.

Oh and there’s a room that’s full, floor to ceiling, of hat blocks. More than you could imagine in every shape you could think of and many you couldn’t. I can’t wait to get in there and find the shape my hat’s going to be. My first hat that is – we’ll make a felt hat and a straw hat on the course, and if we wish to use the blocks for hoods we bring in ourselves, we’re allowed to on the proviso that the main course hats have priority. That’s brilliant news – we can block the hats then take them home to do the rest of the work.

First thing I did when I got in this morning was to check if there’s still places on “Millinery 2” next term! Not sure I can afford it yet though!

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