A Trilby for the Scotsman – part 1

My attempt to make a handmade felt ‘cone’ and ‘flare’ in time for the second half of this term’s millinery course has been a non-starter.  Seems that it is difficult to think of anything much when the house is covered in scaffolding and you are waiting for your new roof to acquire tiles!!

The ghostly look of my studio under dustsheets (although now it has a skylight in the roof)

The ghostly look of my studio under dust sheets (although now it has a skylight in the roof where the square of masking tape is…)

I did get as far as contacting the lovely people at Baxter Hart and Abraham and ordering the commercial versions in ‘Loden’ which is a rather attractive shade of greeny, browny grey… However, owing to a lack of 1 litre bottles of water based hat stiffener in stock I only received my parcel on Wednesday morning, and had to apply this in the classroom that evening and leave them there to dry till next week.

Our next project is to make a brimmed hat and it occurred to me when I was looking at the selection of wooden crown and brim blocks that it would be a good idea to make a trilby for the Scotsman.  It’s not the sort of thing I have ever made before, but it seems appropriate to have a go at a classic hat design and it will be a challenge to make it to fit someone else.

I have told him that if he hates it or it turns out badly I won’t expect him to wear it!  I am hoping that his head size means I can use one of the really swish custom crown blocks with two dimples in the back as well as the crease on the top.  However I am assured by Karen that if not, she can show us the technique she learned at Freddy Fox for putting the shape into a Trilby even if you don’t have a specific trilby crown block.

Now I just have to be a good student and work hard between classes, so that I give myself enough time to make a second hat in handmade felt before the end of term.


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