Since I haven't had any sleep in over 24 hours, I'm asking you to forgive me in advance for my more than usual number of typos. Please read over Foundations for My Cocktail/Fascinator Hats and I'll start where I left off, almost. Rather than working with a stretch material I will be covering this hat with two layers of suede, one of which will have to be blocked before it is sewn to the buckram foundation. I will also block the lining.
I'm growing tired of wining about seeing millinery fabrics that don't hug the frames they cover. So, I can either stop wining or do something about it. I have to tell you that every time I see fabric that does not fit a frame correctly, I have an internal tantrum, especially when I see it in a high fashion magazine! I'm working on this. If you ever want to cure yourself of something like this just listen to someone else complain about something similar without helping or offering a solution. Not so cute is it?
When I started taking millinery classes we had to steam and block everything. We had to block the buckram, the lining, and all fabrics that were not stretch fabrics. To your right is an image that shows suede that has not been blocked. This does not look professional at all.
To block suede or leather, mist the inside of the fabric with water. I use a very fine mister. Stretch the fabric over a hat block and let it dry. To stretch fabric that has a bias, stretch the fabric on the bias over a block and steam it, readjusting the fabric re-pinning as you steam. It's just that simple. See lining, below right. I don't steam buckram anymore. I prefer to mist it or do a very fast dip in water and work the moisture three the fabric in my hands. This way the buckram appears to dry harder than it was originally (same as steaming it).
Using a glover's needle (leather needle) sew the suede to the frame catching only the crinoline. The second layer of suede, the black mesh, did not have to be blocked because it automatically hugged the frame. However, I blocked the lining.
Note: If you are adding trim to your hat, sew the trim on before the lining is attached, if possible. Use your best judgement.
After the lining has dried, lay it into the crown and pin it to the suede using fine quilting pins or millinery pins (fine quilting pins are easier for suede and leather). Stitch the lining to the suede about 1/4 th inch down from the edge of the hat. Trim the lining; it is not necessary to turn the lining under.
Note: Every layer of fabric, including hat band, diminishes or adds to the inner or outer side of a hat. Although turning the lining under does not affect this type of hat, it will affect a full crown hat. Remember, by turning the fabric under you will have an additional layer of fabric. I prefer to trim the lining down rather than turn it under no matter what type of hat I'm working with.
Swirl your grosgrain ribbon (petersham in some places, sawtooth to some), pin it to the suede (remember that the lining is 1/4 th inch down). stich it into place.
Adding support wire for feather: Added feet to the wire and stitched them under the black suede mesh.
Feather Trim: Feather curled in opposite direction of curve, using my thumb's nail to pinch the spine approximately every 1/4 th of an inch.
Lining Fabric: Design created using my logo in graphics software and printing the fabric on my Epson printer (fabric will have to be attached to paper before printing).
O.K., the label is a bit overkill!
Final Notes: Please take advantage of the free online resources in the sidebar of this blog. Also, purchase a reference book. My first millinery book was "From the Neck Up." You can find it on the author's site, on Amazon, Ebay, etc. I didn't go into detail as far as stitches, etc., are concerned because I really feel that if you are new to millinery, you should do some exploration and experimentation on your own. If possible, take a class.
If you do not have a block, purchase a wooden bowl of similar shape and block and make frames using the bowl.