Sunday, July 31, 2011

One of Several Fair Projects Submitted, No. 5--Headdress

Again, before I get to another one of my Los Angeles County Fair millinery 2011 submissions, just a reminder that I'm conducting a "Make Your Own Art" millinery supplies contest giveaway.  The deadline to enter is August 4, 2011.

Well, I've almost completed my parade of county fair submissions; I have one left after this one.  I was debating whether I should show my worst hat in this post, but I decided to save  it for last.  By that time, all of us will have reached our tolerance for these submissions.   

This entry fell under the "Class 5, Headdresses/"Super-sized" Hatscategory.  It was made of sinamay and trimmed with a feather and horsehair.  After over 24 hours without sleep and having only three hats completed for the milliner contest, I was desperate to complete at least one more hat.  Category 2, "Purchased/Embellished Hats," was definitely out.  Not only did I not like trimming these, I was lousy at it.  So, I was sitting dazed, unable to concentrated, trying to figure out what I was going to do next.  As I set looking around my room, I saw felt and straws blocked on hat blocks, I saw my purchased hat to trim; even tackling one of these would take too long.  I needed sleep, the faster the better.  

Over on the wall in a tall box stood rolled buckram and sinamay, yes sinamay!  I had enough energy to cut a wide bias strip from this flexible and forgiving material.  I didn't know what I would do after I cut the strip, but I would do something!  I folded the fabric twice, may even three times, and started pulling on its edges like a crazed woman, no idea of the finished product in site.  The headdress had to be 16 inches tall.  Yes, yes, I would use trim to accomplish this!  I looked up at my feathers all stuck in a large chunk of foam.  I ran over and pulled out the longest feather in the bunch.  How was I going to get this feather to stand up?   I thought, "just stick it between the folds of the sinamay,  DON'T THINK JUST DO!   Have you ever tried to think when you've been without sleep for over 24 hours?  O.K.,  trim is not my friend; I prefer little of it, at least on the hats I make, but I'm not making this hat for me.  

Well, back to supporting the feather, just keep pulling the sinamay, I thought, the feather will find a place on its own.  As I pulled and pulled on the bias edges of the fabric, more on the top, the fabric started to point to the ceiling.  I'm on to something here!   The feather is pointing to the ceiling!  Oh, I know, I'll wrap the fabric around the feather and tack it, yes, yes...I'll put in a half headband, attach the horsehair, and then I can go to sleep....  I'll skip the puff of steam; I need sleep!  

I actually liked the results of my mindless, crazed efforts.  I needed my daughter's opinion.  She likes every thing I make, but by this time I actually can tell the difference between "I like it mom" and "WOW."  She gave me the WOW, I mean really!  Now I could go to sleep, at least for two hours. 

 If you're interested in viewing my other entries, check out my jewelry piece, felted hat, envelope hat, and my hat pin cushion hat.


  1. Thanks Don. Keep your fingers crossed for me.

  2. Thanks Jessica. I must try making something similar when I'm wide awake.

  3. I loved reading this i used to make ball gowns in the Diana days i wod get up six or seven times a night to and a rose, a bow ,some net i was like a woman possessed !!! Adore the hat x

  4. Thanks Dollydee. There is something wonderful about creating something, don't you think?

  5. Lee its truly a gift when i was child my dad would come home from a hard days work and go to his little shed and make us girls (7 of us ) wonderful dolls houses from anything he could find and my mum would be making us dresses all sewn by hand no sewing machine in our house so i have inherited their love of creating things but mostly from recycled things !!

  6. Fabulous Dollydee. One day I must tell the story about my grandmother making beautiful aprons, bonnets, and clothing from feed sacks. It's amazing how things come back to you when you begin to talk about your past.