Wednesday, 27 March 2013

Hat Makeover: Red Felt Cloche

This hat's story begins in 2008, still early times in my forays into millinery. The first classes I took were taught by Christine Thompson (of Christine's Millinery, check out her awesome stuff!) who also lives in the Blue Mountains. I took a class with her on drafting flat patterns in Rozelle or somewhere equally wacky, then discovered we both lived hours away from there, and about 20 minutes away from each other. The second course was at Christine's home studio (thank goodness!), and was on blocking felt. This was the hat I made in that class.

Red wool felt blocked cloche hat

Since this was my first go at blocking, we stuck to a really simple cloche shape as I learned about the techniques. I was pretty excited about how nicely it matched my red coat!

'Red wool felt blocked cloche hat

Over time, however, I've gotten a little bored with it, and it also has a little hole in the felt at the front. You can't see the hole from a distance but up close you sure can.

At last year's International Millinery Forum I did a class on free-shaping felt hats with Watraud Reiner of Torb and Reiner. One of the other students had a felt hood with a hole right in the centre, and asked for advice for how to get around that issue. Waltraud took the felt, folded the fabric over the hole and worked from there. I felt like the class collectively dropped their jaws in amazement at the simpicity of this solution.

So after removing the binding from the edge, that's how I started too. Then I just played, folded, stretched, played and trimmed until I had this:

Red wool felt blocked vintage style hat refashioned

Here's a view of it flat, where you can see the back a bit and how the feather goes through to the other side.

Millinery refashion red felt

A bit different huh? What do you think?

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