Tuesday, 24 November 2009

2nd Millinery Course - Week 10

Another week of tutorials and freedom to play about as much as we wanted to. When the teacher had been talking about making hats with crowns and brims, she’d said that it’s possible to block the crown and brim together rather than making a two-piece and sewing it together. Intrigued (as ever) I was determined to give it a go.

First off, I must admit that as the teacher was busy doing tutorials I went for the “bodger” approach and don’t know if what I did was right. We’ll have to see next week if it’s worked.

First I steamed my hood (beautiful dark red wool felt this week) and blocked the crown. I used an elastic and pinned the excess to the underside to get it out the way but to keep it stretched. I picked a brim block that fitted around the crown and propped it all in place. I steamed the brim heavily and then stretched it over the brim, pinning the front, back and sides. Using more steam I stretched the felt all around the brim to make sure it was well stretched and straight. The whole thing was excessively fiddly, but not as time-consuming as I’d expected. The brim had a string groove in so I put a figure of eight knot in a piece of elasticated cord (the only thing I could find that wouldn’t snap) to make a sturdy slip-knot and pulled it tight around the groove. I steamed and pulled until I could see that the cord was making a good indentation.

I also steamed the creases out of the hat I manipulated last week. When I took it off the block though, it is far far too tall! I think I’ll measure how tall I want the crown and cut it to make it a two-piece to bring the height down. I trimmed the brim (I’m really pleased with the manipulation I did on that last week) and decided that I’ll try a rolled edge on that when I wire it.

I was exhausted from a lack of sleep over the weekend so I decided I’d achieved enough and headed home early. I’ll try to get some more work in over the weekend ready for next week. I was disappointed to find out that the last class in December has been moved to early January – when I’ll be away. That means I’ll miss two classes instead of one :o(

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