I hadn't tackled this one previously because I hadn't worked much with straw braid before, and I knew I would be taking a course using straw braid at the 2014 IMF. So I waited. And I learned about straw braid. I also got some bonus tips and ideas from the lovely Belinda at Peacock Millinery who had done some amazing refashions with op-shop straw hats. I was inspired.
During the week at Wagga, I politely suggested to Belinda that I might try some of the techniques she used on her straw hats, if she didn't mind. Being the open and generous soul that she is, she said that was fine, and that anyway hats always turn out totally different even if you are trying to achieve something similar.
She was very right. I realised as I started working that I wanted something more everyday-wearable and with a vintage feel, rather than a racing fashion style to it.
The most important idea I got from watching her work was a different mental approach to the material, making me realise how much more I could do with it.
Having said that, it really has ended up quite traditional, but I'll try some more different things in future.
After all, there are plenty of straw hats in the op-shops out there. In fact, I picked up another one just last week. It's already progressing in a different direction. In fact, two different directions!
I've also been tidying and reorganising my crafting space. I've included a new feature that I call The Decision Wall, even though it's a shelf really. Ok, it's the top of two tool shelves.
It's a place for all the half-done pieces that are waiting for something. Usually they are waiting for a decision. What kind of fabric? What kind of trim? Does this trim look any good? Is this enough? Too much? Is it secretly ugly and I'm just too emotionally involved to see it?
I love the decision wall. It's making my neurotic creative process flow much more smoothly!