Monday, 29 November 2010

Inspiration - 20s Cloche

This weekend I watched Changeling. A very moving film that had both Rich & I hooked the whole way through. Do watch it if you haven’t seen it.

But it wasn’t just the film itself that caught my eye. It’s set in the 20s and 30s and I was HOOKED by the hats! The shapes of the cloches are divine. They hug around the hairline then flare out into tiny brims that set Jolie’s face off beautifully. Here's an example:

As I blinked my way through the tears, eager to know what happened next, I was getting fidgety. I NEED one of these cloches. As the credits rolled, I was straight onto the computer and into my millinery library to find out one thing. How do I make a hat block? I haven’t wanted something so specific since the day I tried on Gina Foster’s Mitsouko hat [see here]. I found some information and started it off by blocking three layers of buckram onto Ermintrude.

I’m going to combine lots of things I found online and in books:

1. I’m blocking the basic shape of the crown in buckram. I’ll get the head-line right first

2. I’m going to wire this shape. Some of the books on suggest heavy wiring of buckram shapes so that seems a good starting point

3. I’m going to add the cute little brim in buckram & wire that. This will be done freehand I think

4. I’m going to fill the shape with expandable foam (the MOST fun DIY activity made more fun by being hatty) – check this link for where I got this one from

5. I’ll carve the remaining foam away to give myself a rolled brim to pin to

6. I’ll use polyfilla to build up the shape where it needs it (I think it will around the back as I’ve blocked on a polystyrene head rather than a block and it is more shaped than I want)

7. I’ll cover it to give a smooth finish. I’m not sure with (anyone who reads this and has done this before, please please give me tips.) I’m guessing papier mache or stretchy fabric. I don’t want to increase the size by much.

8. I’ll finish it and varnish it to make it waterproof

9. I’ll block a hat on it and call myself either a FOOL or a GENIUS!

So, not much work to this one then...I’ve struggled to find decent information on how to do this properly – if anyone reading this knows of good sources of information please let me know. Or if you have any experience you can add to save me messing this up entirely. I think this could be a long project so I’ll keep you updated on how it’s going.

I can’t wait for my cloche!!!

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