And I was doing so well with posting regularly! Then six weeks of nothing…
So here are two and a half hats….the poor Scotsman’s trilby is still waiting for petersham and wire to correct its floppy brim, but I did finally finish the first blocked full size felt hat ie the red cloche with embroidered petal decoration, and the sinamay ‘mermaids hat’.
I have now started the final term at college – this term it is pattern cutting and fabric hats. We start by making a toile for a skullcap and a butcher boy cap in calico, and then on to making a fabric trilby. I am hoping that I will be allowed to use some thin leather from an old battered leather coat, but I fear that Karen will say it is too much for the sewing machine to cope with. Ah yes! The dreaded sewing machine. I’m not at all sure about this….
* I tip my hat to Stephen Sondheim for the title….
The ‘flare’ and the ‘cone’ which I had stiffened previously were dry by the time last week’s class came around so I was able to steam and block the pieces of the hat. This happens in two parts – one block for the crown and one for the brim. Both of the official trilby blocks were a bit small and so was the trilby brim block with the best shape so we improvised.
Crown being blocked (with brim waiting in the background.)
The crown is blocked on a standard crown block and Karen is going to show me how to put the traditional shape in by hand – which, given that I am unlikely to buy a trilby block any time soon, is probably much more useful knowledge than just using the trilby shaped crown block…
Brim blocked and pinned
The brim is blocked onto a polystyrene copy of a 1950s Dior block once owned by Freddie Fox. I attached a crown block with the right head circumference to the brim block with masking tape and pins, to provide a guide to stretch the inner side of the rim over. Then I cut the middle out of the flare and stretched it over the crown block steaming it as I went – very glad I was using a polystyrene version as the original block must have weighed a ton and would have been hell to manipulate! We then wrapped a cord around the middle and pinned it into the block securely. Finally once it was stretched at the crown edge I steamed smoothed and stretched the brim over the block, pinning as I went.
And now I wait to see what happens in tomorrow’s class as it will have dried thoroughly and can be removed from the block to be cut to shape and stitched together.