Today I'm sharing the story of a special hat I made for Jessica at Chronically Vintage. I know many of you follow Jessica's blog, and some of you are new here thanks to her post about this hat, but I do love to tell the stories behind my hats and a bit about their creation, so I hope you'll forgive the repetition.
I found Jessica's wonderful and inspiring blog towards the end of 2013 and we exchanged comments back and forth. She is a hat lover and a dedicated hat wearer, showing how to wear a hat with style and so that it looks like a natural addition to an outfit. I offered to make her a hat, and although there were a number of delays (largely pregnancy-related), I am now able to share these amazing pictures of Jessica in her hat.
I wanted to make Jessica something special. As a collector and connoisseur of vintage hats, I wanted to give her something that would stand out in her collection. I wanted to find out what style she has always longed for, but been unable to find, so that I could help her fill a gap in her wardrobe, and fulfill her millinery dreams. We talked about a couple of different types, but the winged hat won out as the style she was excited to have and I was excited to make. (I've had a weakness for them ever since I watched "The Ghost and Mrs Muir", which was a long time ago!)
Here are some of the sketches I sent Jessica along the way.
Since I'm not buying feathers anymore (although I am still using up the ones I have), we chose to explore other options. As well as suiting my ethical preferences, it became an opportunity to design the wings exactly as I wanted, in the colours we wanted, and also a fun creative adventure and challenge.
These wings are made from 100% merino wool felt. I spent a long time studying pictures of birds wings and diagrams of feather placement on wings, to get as close to a realistic look as I could. The wings are wired, allowing me to shape them as I needed while placing them on the hat. Plus, being felt, I was able to steam the individual feathers as I wanted too while doing the final styling of the trims.
We chose to go for a brown/grey colour to the wings and a soft dusky pink for the hat. The fabric is a pink vintage velvet, gathered in gentle folds around the brim and crown.
A classically flattering tilt hat shape, with a bandeau with elastic loops at the side to allow for a comfortable fit.
This was a long process, but a fun hat to make. I think it is my favourite hat yet, and I'm so pleased to see how elegantly Jessica wears it. There is nothing quite like working together with someone to create something unique that they will love forever.
I strongly ecourage you to go over to Chronically Vintage and see the rest of the photos of Jessica. They are, and she is, truly stunning.
What style of hat do you adore, but never find available to buy?