Monday, 23 March 2009

Millinery Course - Week 9

Right, week 9, the final week of my course

I had no idea how I was going to get everything finished, despite having done everything I possibly could at home. Priority was the swirly wirly hat as I needed to use the block to ensure it kept in shape.

So, I unpinned part of it from the top and sewed the ribbon onto the underside of the top part. Then I sewed the top part to the bit it was overlapping. I worked on both spirals together and unpinned as I went. It was every bit as complicated and fiddly as it sounds, especially with working it while it was partially pinned onto the block. HEre's some photos to make that clearer:

I had run across London and arrived and started early, but that's as far as I got. You'll be pleased to know it's now finished and in use - I'd had to finish off the block and it had got a bit big, but I pulled it in a bit with the ribbon inside which makes up the head fitting and it's a bit loose now, but I wore it on Friday night to go to the Hats exhibition at the V&A with my mum photo hasn't been taken yet, I believe and won't do today as I don't want anyone to see how horrific my hair is right now, but I'll get there...

I didn't even touch the straw hat - bought that home as it was - so there'll still be updates on here as I finish stuff off (OK I finished the basic part of the straw hat yesterday, but I haven't decorated it yet - it's come together even better than the felt one did!

The course ended with a display of all the hats we'd made, so here's a bit of that for you:

I'm actually quite glad I bought stuff home unfinished - this course has filled me with so much excitement day in and day out that I'm glad I've got something to play with. Just wish I could afford my own blocks so I could carry on...


Thursday, 12 March 2009

Millinery Course - Week 8

So, the penultimate week has been and gone and I can’t believe it’s almost over!

Where to start? Well, I’d rushed out the door that morning and forgotten my trimmings for my straw hat (you may recognise these when they turn up – a certain cream and black polka dot sinamay which I just happened to buy too much of and produced a fantastic hat with from a fabric pattern last week). I was really cross with myself as I needed that for this week.

So what did I do? I resurrected the swirly hat plan . I got a plain black hood, marked a circle on the top, then a 2” wide spiral all the way down it. I cut along the spiral, then blocked the hat making it overlap slightly. Not as much stretch as the others have had, but it looked really funky on the little cloche block and made me very excited. I’m going to line the edge with white ribbon then stitch it all together Hopefully it’ll keep in shape. And hopefully I’ll be able to complete it in just three short hours!!! Not sure how I’ll do it if I don’t have the block to work with though.

Next, the straw hat – I completed the rolling of the edge. That’s not looking as nice as I’d planned, but it was very fiddly. I’m thinking of using the leftover straw that I cut off to make the decorations – not sure how yet, still working on that bit. One of the other girls in the class has the same straw hood but in white and she gave me her leftover bits so I think that could look very funky. I’m thinking of rolling it around hat wire and having some form of abstract thingy going round the hat. Don’t worry if that doesn’t make sense to you – it doesn’t make sense to me yet!

So, more than 3 hours work there, so I bought home the black and blue hat, which I finished last night! I put a matching blue ribbon around it, gathered it in one spot and fastened with the spare button from the coat it’s designed to match. It looks really professional, although the decoration is a little too far back and obscured by the brim. Still, as always we’re the only ones who see fault in our work. I wore it to work today and I’ve had loads of really positive comments including “it looks like a real hat” from my client!

Since Monday I’ve also been shopping for acres and acres of Petersham ribbon and I made the headband for the embroidered cloche last night (I still have the holes in my fingers to prove it). I’m going to roll the remaining straw around wire in preparation for Monday and I’m going to see how much of the embroidery I can get done. It’s going to be a busy week.


Wednesday, 4 March 2009

Millinery Course - Week 7

First things first, starting the fourth hat this far in is too much so I've left that one (for now - I'll be back)

Then onto the black felt hat - I sewed the petersham head band in place and tried the crown on again - it's a fantastic fit.

Next job was to sew the crown onto the brim and all of a sudden everything came together and it suddenly became a hat. All the concerns I'd had about things not fitting - it worked! I can't tell you how good it felt

I wore that hat for the rest of the lesson - you couldn't get me out of it. I didn't want to leave it at the end of the Monday it's decoration time and then it's FINISHED!!!

Right, now onto the straw hat. I hadn't shown you the picture of the brim blocked up so here it is:

So first job was to take it off the block and trim the edges. They were trimmed a couple of cm away from the edge, unlike the felt hat which was trimmed on the very edge line.

Next was to bend the wire into the shape of the brim (a much quicker job this time, but still difficult to perfect) and then to colour it with permanent marker so it wouldn't show through any gaps in the straw

Then it was sewn into the crease you can see in the second picture to give the brim its (fantastic) shape

Finally I started to roll the edge of the brim over the wire to make a clean rolled edge. Didn't get far with that though, so that's my first job next week...

Oh, and the one I bought home - I started to embroider that this weekend - here's the process so far:

/* GOOGLE ANALYTICS - tracking code */