Thursday, 19 February 2009

Millinery Course - Week 5

Ok, week 5 was the BEST YET - they're really starting to come together...

First of all, I blocked the pale hood (one of these, forgot to take a picture of it before I blocked it)

I really struggled at first to stretch it enough to get it round the bottom of the block, but kept steaming it and pulling it until it finally stretched. As with the straw hat I had to make a strip to pull it into shape. But boy what a shape!

It's got a rolled edge and the head fitting is actually on the inside so all that stretched felt had to be steamed and fitted to the decreasing size on the show you, here's how I did it first time:

and here's how I did it after some tutoring and practice:

I'm not really sure how to describe the technique, but you just steam it till it's too hot to handle and pull it into position where you want it. Then you can go back and tidy it up until you're happy with it.

Right, so that one's sitting in the drier and it's on to check how the straw one's coming along. While that's dried, the fantastic "dent" in the top has stretched back out. Didn't do anything with it, but think I'm going to re-block it as it did look far better before. It's all a learning experience...

Unsure at the time what to do with that, and with fingers all crinkled from steam I got down to the brim of my other felt hat. First it had to be trimmed and suddenly it looks like part of a hat

Then it had to be tried on to check the fit. This was a little small, but they've got special equipment (hot sticks on a vice as far as I can tell) for making things bigger and it soon fit just fine

I was really pleased with this as I had been worried how the brim in a size smaller than my head and the crown a size bigger were ever going to fit together.

Next job is to reinforce the brim. Using the block as a guide, we had to bend some wire into the shape of the edge of the brim and then sew it onto the brim itself. At this point, we used the hat bands we'd made in previous weeks to support the hat itself.

And finally (and yes I have noticed that my weekly reports are getting longer) we started to sew the petersham ribbon on over the wire. This was far easier than I expected (and sewing the felt of the hats is just dream-like). The aim is to make the stitching on the ribbon invisible and I really couldnt' see mine. I was so proud!

So the final photos are of that - a prize if you can spot the stitches

Next week we should be sewing the two together. I should be able to block the brim of my straw hat and maybe even decorating the black one (if I can find what I'm looking for)

I just can't wait till Monday!


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