Finishing the Hat *

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’.

Three hatsI 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….

 

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A Trilby for the Scotsman – part two

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.)

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

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.