Wednesday, August 25, 2010

Classic Millinery

I guess I should create more contemporary hats, but somehow they just don't excite me as much as classic millinery.  When I see an old hat in a thrift or antique store, the first thing I do is turn it over and study how it was made.

Check out these free online books to learn more about classic millinery techniques.


Above is a draped cloche.  The foundation material is buckram, draped with stretch velvet, and trimmed with a vintage brooch.  The folds of this hat are very fine and classy.  The drape ends in a scarf  that wraps around the neck.

To your right is a draped fringe hat.  Again the foundation material is buckram.  Rhinestones in the same color of the fringe have been added for a little sparkle. 

Both hat frames were wet blocked:  the cloche over a cloche balsa block; and the fringe, over a basic balsa utility block.

Below I show how I lined the hats.

Thursday, August 12, 2010

The Bentley of All Church Hats: The Fully Rhinestoned Crown

The hats I make are a bit conservative; I'm just not one to add a lot of trim to my hats. Until I met Carole Boyd six years ago, I didn't think that I would ever consider rhinestoning a hat, but Carole's "crowns" were so lovely, I couldn't resist their beauty and workmanship.  You see, Carole's hats are works of art.  I'll introduce Carole and her crowns in an upcoming post, but I just had to show you this little hat she rhinestoned for me recently.

Now I'll make it clear that this is a doll hat.  I asked Carole to show me how she added  rhinestones to her hats.  So, I blocked a felt doll cloche and purchased some cheap but very impressive rhinestones for Carole's demonstration.  Carole uses Swarovski brand stones on her hats, costing hundreds of dollars to complete one hat.

For this post I took almost 100 images trying to capture the brilliance of my little hat under the sunlight.  I could'nt quite capture its brilliance until I darkened one of my out-of-focus images; that is what you see in the first image. Simply lovely!