Monday, 26 April 2010

The last three weeks of my millinery course

I’ve had this post half-written for over a month now – really need to get it finished!!! I blame the new job, but I’m all nicely settled in now so should have more energy in the evenings to make things and tell you about them!

The last few weeks of my millinery course flew by. Firstly I finished blocking the blue flower hat. I’d forgotten to put cling film on the brim block and this taught me why. The felt stuck to the block and as I pulled it off I found it to be stained and damaged by the well-used block. It’s not too bad, and it’s on the underside of the brim so I can still finish the hat off, but it was an essential lesson to learn. I wired the brim and put the two pieces together and I fell in love. I love the huge brim and how it looks with the flower on the crown.

I also blocked a large black felt hat as a one-piece based on these Chanel adverts: (oh boy do I LOVE this Chanel collection – how I wish I had that kind of cash, or the ability to recreate some of these beautiful dresses and jackets) The shape’s pretty close – now I just need to get the brim wired and add some black satin ribbon and I’m off.

I had my tutorial. I turned up with all my research and design work, beautifully presented in a pair of stylish black folders. I’d spent what felt like forever up to my elbows in pritt stick at the weekend getting it all written up and was glowing with pride. Caroline seemed really happy with what I’d done, and especially with the printouts of my blog, showing everything I’d learnt in the course. So a really successful tutorial until the end when she asked where the finished hat was. WHAT??? But this is the DESIGN tutorial!!! I thought we had until the end of the course, the next tutorial, to do that. “Yes”, she replied. “The course ends next week!!!”

No pressure then to get the hat made from scratch. I blagged that I’d got it started (honest, gov – no-one believes you) and headed home a little early to get it started. I raided my felt stash for a hood (yes, I hadn’t even ordered the stuff for it) and stiffened it that night before bed. I spent the next couple of days blocking, eternally grateful for the practice pieces I’d done as I zipped around all the mistakes I’d made before. It took me until the Sunday night before it was finished, but I was absolutely thrilled with the results. It’s exactly like the design with the silk lining, the mirrors twinkling inside and a sense of adventure.

Caroline was really impressed in the class and suggested I found a way of entering it for competitions. WOW!

We ended the course with a group meal which was a great giggle. While we were in the restaurant, one of the waiting staff came up and asked if she could show her friend in the kitchen my hat. I was so thrilled that other people like it too. Almost happy enough to make up for the fact that there’s no more millinery course until September!!!

Wow – what an epic tale! Well, here’s the hat for your enjoyment...

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