Tuesday, 20 October 2009

2nd Millinery Course - Week 6

In the words of Kasabian, “I’m on fiiiiiiiiiiiiiii-rrrrrrrrrrrrre” – I had a brilliant evening last night and even finished one of my hats!

Since last week, I’ve been stitching the cord made from the blue felt as neatly as I possibly can. I’ve also been playing with it – knotting it, twisting it, holding it against the hat, trying to work out what I want to do with it. My favourite was a figure of eight knot, which I steamed into place at the start of the class. I had planned to run the rest of the cord around the hat and weave it back through the knot, but when I pinned everything in place that just didn’t look right. I played around until I had found the right position, pinned it all there and started to make holes to thread the cord through.

I tried that on a scrap first – different shaped holes and how they worked with the felt stuck through them. I found that making a cross shape worked best, as long as the flaps ended up on the wrong side of the fabric. I marked my locations and off I went. It was really scary to make the first cut, but as soon as I started threading the cord through I was thrilled with the effect. I’d decided to thread in and out based on where the shape goes out and it looks (if I may say so myself) fantastic. Finally I stitched the knot and ‘tail’ in place, trimmed the tail and made the ends look funky (devil tails according to someone at work). I’m really really pleased with how it has come out and really proud of myself for doing something a little out of the ordinary for once.

Next up, I started blocking a beret. I hadn’t expected to finish what I was doing so quickly so I ‘borrowed’ a black hood off someone and blocked it. I was really pleased with how well it went – it blocked very quickly and I didn’t have very much hassle with the rolled edge – I managed to shrink the felt into it far quicker and easier than I ever have before. I need to have a think about what I want to do to decorate this one.

And finally, we all made up some samplers of tie-tacking wire to the felt, stitching the wire on with a blanket stitch and covering an edge with petersham. I did all the stitching in contrast colours to make it clear on the samples, but was really proud of myself that I could barely see the stitching on the petersham, even though I’d sewn white thread onto black petersham!!!

So, an incredibly successful week. Next week’s half term so there’s not class, but I intend to use the time to get all my planning, research and design work written up. And an early night on a Monday – it’s a mission getting home from Chelsea!!!

Sunday, 18 October 2009

A Tragic Loss

The greatest people are taken from us too young. Joe, you'll be missed every day.

Tuesday, 13 October 2009

Project 15 - Bumblebee - PHOTOS

Earthwatch have kindly sent me some pictures of the bumblebee in action. Please click on their link below and see what they do.


2nd Millinery Course - Week 5

Good morning everyone!!!

Well, it's Tuesday and you know what that means - millinery course update!!!

Last night we presented our initial ideas for design inspiration for our coursework hats. Mine is the tiny boutique hotel I went to last week for a storytelling event. The atmosphere was fantastic and the plain front door hid the most beautiful and sumptuous interior decorating I've ever seen. Click here to have a look at the website.

The ideas in the group are really varied, ranging from taxidermy to exotic flowers to bubbles to pieces of ceramic art. It'll be so exciting to see how they all develop.

Then, with all the inspiration flowing around in the air we got on with our hats. The teacher showed us how to manipulate hats manually, using a plain block to get some really funky effects. I can't wait to have a try of that.

I had decided to take inspiration for this blue hat from a hat on display in the college. A cord has been made from the felt and laced through the hat to make a very sophisticated-looking decoration.

Using a wet pressing cloth, I stretched my remaining felt (cut off in a circle) into a straight line and cut a long strip of it. I started to hand stitch this into a cord. I'm going to get that finished this week so that I can get it attached next week in the class.

Man making hats makes me so HAPPY

Tuesday, 6 October 2009

2nd Millinery Course - Week 4

Good morning everybody and welcome to today's installment in the exciting world of the trainee milliner.

Well, I was in a MUCH better mood last night and had the normal fun that I have on the course the group really is the loveliest to work with - not one person who isn't fully involved, loads of chatter and everyone chatting to everyone else. It's really wonderful.

We started out in the library, researching hat designs, fashion and looking for inspiration for our projects. When that closed, we headed up to the room and got back to our felt hats. Everyone's been going at about the same speed which was great as we were all doing stuff together. I got my hat unpinned, off the block and the head band sewed in by the time we went home. I'm really happy with the shape and spent most of the long train ride home sketching ideas for decorating it. Pictures will follow when I get home.

During the evening, the teacher discussed what we'd be doing during the course, what materials we'll be working with, and said that if we produce really original designs she'll put them forwards for a couple of student competitions which is really exciting and has got me all fired up. There's a list of competition winners for a competition in felt this year and almost all of them are from this college. Plus one of them's on the BTEC course

So, my main work for this week is to think of "inspiration". The things I've picked up so far are the autumn leaves around me and (to appease my colleagues) the olympic rings. She's much more keen that we base on a painting or something like that though so we'll see where we end up...I'm keeping my camera on me at all times and my theatre trip on Wednesday may turn into a gallery instead...
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