Tuesday, 19 January 2016

My take on a 1940s "Small Chic Beret"

The internet abounds with ridiculously gorgeous images of vintage hats. I could spend hours drooling over them (and sometimes do) and dreaming of being able to make something so beautiful. Generally when I see a fabulous vintage hat, I add it to my mental "I want to make this" list. Hats rarely make the transition from this list into reality, but here is one that did.


This design was inspired by the so-called "Small Chic Beret" illustration from McCalls Needlework magazine (Winter 1942-1943) which was scanned and shared by Brittany over at Vavoom Vintage last year.


One of the reasons that this hat was made, unlike so many others, was that as soon as I saw the illustration, I thought of this wool fabric I had bought from the Trefriw Woollen Mills on my last trip to Wales. (Newsletter subscribers saw a preview of this in the very first email!)


While the original would have been a flat pattern hat to be sewn from fabric, mine has the fabric draped over a blocked wool felt button shape. The other main difference is of course the feather, which here is made from wool felt again. I played around with some alternate angles for the hat, but in the end decided that McCalls knew what they were doing, and kept to this orientation.


There's that Selling Millinery supplement again! And my new-to-me Dobbs hat box, which was a Christmas or Birthday present from my mum.

Speaking of both the Trefriw Woollen Mills and my mum - big news! My family and I will be going to Wales again this year to visit! (My mum. But also hopefully the Mill.) We're a bit anxious about Teacup's first international flight and potential jet lag, but also very excited about the holiday and all the exciting things we will get to do. The trip should be a mix of adventurous activities for my husband, quiet wandering around nice villages and sitting in cafes and parks for me and Teacup, and toddler-friendly activities for all of us. Teacup and I will be staying on an extra week with my mum, when we'll get to do the things we love, like Woollen Mills and historic houses and shopping.

If you have any suggestions for great things to do in North Wales or the surrounding area, I'd love to hear them!

16 comments:

  1. Holy crapola, Tanith! That is a cute little beret! I think I'd have a go of sewing it together, as I've yet to get any blocks (I should bother my dad about it, he knows how to work em)

    Oh, have fun in Wales! That should be an awesome trip, and Teacup will love it!

    Carla, Tiny Angry Crafts

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    1. Fair enough. I don't think it looks like a hard pattern to draft, but I like the sturdiness that the felt base adds (plus it used less of my fabric!).

      Thank you Carla, I'm sure we will all have a fun time :)

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  2. Just darling! Ruanne looks gorgeous as always.

    The trip will be great - I'm sure you will all cope. So jealous.

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    1. Thank you, and indeed she does.

      Fingers crossed on the coping, but it will be worth it!

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  3. Absolutely marvelous! I love the chic, sculptured - yet soft - design and inclusion of a felt feather.

    ♥ Jessica

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  4. Beautiful hat...Well done Tanith Well done! And have a marvelous time on your trip to Wales.I would love to go someday as well.

    Liz

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    1. Thanks Liz. I hope you get to Wales one day too - it is a wonderful place!

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  5. Such a lovely hat, it looks great in that material. How exciting that you have a trip arranged. I am a huge fan of Welsh Tapestry fabric and would love to visit Wales and see the mills where it is still made. I would visit the National Wool Museum there too.

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    1. Thank you! Oooh wool museum, I might have to investigate that!

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  6. Goodness, I love your reincarnation of this beret design ~ it's a perfect wintery chapeau, and reminds me of something a lady would wear at her 'country seat'. :D ❤

    xox,
    bonita of Lavender & Twill

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    1. Aww thank you! Definitely one for the "tweed types" from that Millinery newspaper!

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  7. absolutely stunning! It so chic

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  8. North Wales is beautiful! Although I'm very biased :) if you are going to trefriw, Llanrwst is very close. Llanrwst became important in the wool trade, and for a long time the price of wool for the whole of Britain was set there. If that way for the day I would go to Gwydir Castle, St Crwst church and Tu Hwnt I'r Bont tea rooms for afternoon tea! Conwy is a very pretty town with a medieval castle, Plas maws Tudor house, britains smallest house and a quaint quayside to go crabbing. There is so much more too, with Chester not too far and even Dublin can be done in a day - although I've never managed it without being seasick :-/ hope you have a lovely trip, in box me if you would like any more info on the area, I'd be only too happy to help xx

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    1. Oooh thank you so much for these recommendations. I went to Chester last time I visited and love it, so that is definitely on the list. I'm not sure I'd tackle Dublin in a day with a toddler but it's an exciting idea. I may well be in touch!

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