Friday, 26 February 2010

2nd Millinery Course - Week 19

A week late again in the course updates – tut tut!!!

This week’s focus was feathers – we were shown a huge selection of different feathers of different grades, both naturally and artificially coloured. We were shown how to strip and shape the feathers and had a little go on our own. We also had a play with veiling, seeing how it would traditionally be added to a hat and stitching a simple veiled shape.

I took the flower crown off the block. It’s not as defined as I’d have liked, but I’m still pretty pleased with it. I removed the bottom of the felt and started to block a brim. I’m using a downward facing brim for the first time with felt. I started off with steam, but the teacher suggested I used an iron and some sprayed water and it improved things MASSIVELY. The felt stretched beautifully across the brim, making it far bigger than I’d expected I’d be able to manage (I was aiming for big and had picked quite a large block figuring I could stretch it as far as it would go)

I’d hoped to do more, but the heating was broken and everyone else was freezing so the class ended early.

Tuesday, 23 February 2010

More work on my new blocks

Oh I've been a busy little bee. I came straight home and blocked the purple felt on the cap block - I think I'll need to use bigger felts for that one as the brim rolls under. I just managed to stretch it far enough though. I cut down the red top hat crown and blocked the brim. I cannot wait to see them all put together!!! I think I'll be up nice and early tomorrow to take everything off the blocks before work. Maybe I can pop some head fittings into them on the train...

Anyway, the important part, here's a picture of my happy block family...

The blocks arrived

I know I should be on my way to work by now, but I just wanted to share my excitement that my beautiful blocks have arrived and I started blocking one of them this morning!!! (Way to get me out of bed!)

It was a lot harder than I expected - I think because of its small size - I had to shrink down the full size hood quite a bit to get rid of (most) the bumps - it may need some more work tonight to get the rest of them.

I don't think the hood's very colour-fast either - I've got bright red fingers!!!

Monday, 22 February 2010

A classic wedding present

I received an interesting request from a family friend recently regarding making something for their daughter's wedding. When she was little, she had a pair of really classic 70s inspired orange dungarees with a purple patch on the knee. Her father wanted to bring this up at the wedding, with props, but the dungarees were long gone.

So my wedding gift to them was to recreate these dungarees. The pattern I used was Burda 9828 made up in a size 12 months. They went together beautifully, I really enjoyed working with the orange corduroy. I lined them with a contrasting purple wool left over from my coat.

I hope they get used - it'd be fantastic to see them on a kid :D

Friday, 19 February 2010

I got the call - my blocks are ready

I ordered three hat blocks (a crown, a brim and a one-piece) as a special treat to myself when I handed in my notice here and accepted a new job.

And I just got the call to say they're ready and they're being sent out today!!! I should get them Monday!!!

There are no words to describe how excited I am right now!!!

Here they are a 2/3 size top hat and a cap...all from

Wednesday, 10 February 2010

2nd Millinery Course - Week 18

This week has been all about BRIMS. It’s a while since I’ve blocked a two-piece felt hat and I felt strangely excited by the whole thing! The felt’s a different colour, but at the moment this is all about the shapes so I’m trying not to let that distract my mind.

I was really pleased with my blocking of the brim. I know I’ve said it before on here, but all the blocking I’m doing (and I’m trying to do some every week) is resulting in a massive improvement of my work. I’m getting so neat that there weren’t any wrinkles at all, which made me very happy.

While that dried, I blocked a beautiful blue hood on a very funky crown block. There’s a flower shape on the edge of it, which I spent an age tracing out with blocking cane. That was really hard work and no matter what I did the cane seemed to move about. I’m not sure what the effect will be when it comes off the block, but I’m quite excited to see.

I removed the brim from the block and cut it out. When I got it home and put it with the crown it all seemed to slot into place. It’s exactly what I’d dreamed of (if a little/lot larger) and I’m really excited again about getting the details started and then getting onto the real thing!

2nd Millinery Course - Week 17

Dear me, I’ve been a bit rubbish at keeping this up to date, but I can finally confirm that that’s because I’ve got a new job!!!

Now, onto the design development – I spent the week working on the crown design – creating a wire ‘cage’ and working out how best to line a hat. I continued this in last Monday’s lesson, ending with something I’m really really happy with. Words can’t describe, here’s a photo.

I’m shocked that it actually looks so much like what I drew. I’m still concerned about the size – I love the shape, but it’s huge (I’ll have to get a photo of it on a head to show how big it really is). There doesn’t seem to be anything in the cupboard that’s the shape I’d imagined and a better size. I’m considering hiring a top hat block if I can find one.

With that complete, I took the dinky purple patterned hat off the block and it looks fantastic.

Next week I’m going to block a brim for the coursework hat as I still need to decide what I’m going to do with that.
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