Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Foundations for My Cocktail/Fascinator Hats: Part II, Including Blocking Suede and Other Millinery Materials

I have a nasty habit of giving things away.  I picked this up from my grandparents, two extremely generous people.  I guess this is a good thing, after all I've gotten back more than I've ever given away.  You see, back in February of 2010, I brought you Foundations for My Cocktail/Fascinator Hats and promised, I think, to post a followup showing how to put the lining in the hat.  Well, someone wanted the hat even before I finished it, so I gave it to them.  Since that time I've received a number of emails asking me how to put a lining in a fascinator.


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.  




Additional Images



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:


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.  


Have fun!!

24 comments:

  1. 2nd time trying to post. I LOVE this Post. BEAUTIFUL hat. I'm really impressed with the lining. YOUR WORK is FLAWLESS and thank God you had some good grand parents, they taught you well. I have learned a lot from you!!!!! ALSO, FROM THE NECK UP is a wonderful book, it was the 1st book I purchased in my zeal to learn millinery, now its time for LEE'S book to be written. Rose in Dallas

    ReplyDelete
  2. Thanks Rose. You don't know how much your support is appreciated. Your comments keep me motivated.

    ReplyDelete
  3. YOU ARE SO WELCOME Lee. THANK you for the pics on how you did the feathers to secure them. I'm TRYING to do something with my feathers on a hat and this really helped me understand how they can be manipulated to the position of how you want them. Rose

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thanks Rose. Feathers are very tough. Try twisting them while you are forming them with your nails. You will be able to form many types of shapes.

    ReplyDelete
  5. Lee - You are a gem. I was only last night wrapping a feather similar to yours around a pillbox and wondering the best way to support it and there you go - the answer is in my inbox this morning. Must have read my mind.

    Wonderful advice. Enjoy your blog immensely.

    Cheers from Australia - Linda

    ReplyDelete
  6. Hi Linda,

    No, you are the gem. Thanks so much for letting me know that you got something from the post.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  7. OMG, that hat just blew me away! What an awesome job and great blog post, as always. Thanks, Lee!
    Austin

    ReplyDelete
  8. Wow, I too recently finished a little pill box hat with a amhurst feather wrapped around the crown... Great milliners certainly think alike. I painstakingly steamed and curled my feather as tightly as I could to retain the curve and then stitched it as invisibly as possible to hold it in place in a few places. Will try to add photo, but if not successful will email you. thanks again for your helpful advise. Look forward to it every week with excitement...

    ReplyDelete
  9. Hi Austin,

    As usual it's always great to hear from you. Thanks much.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  10. Thanks Fay,

    Yes, please send us a picture of your hat.

    Lee

    ReplyDelete
  11. Beautiful! I love the lining printed on with your logo - very swish!

    ReplyDelete
  12. Dear Lee, it is great to be back! Well, I feel like we share a lot: I also have a terrible habbit of giving things away and I also feel almost angry when I see badly made hats and that i including badly fitted fabric. I think this post is amazing!Fantastic hat and very comprehensive tutorial. You should stop giving away your tutorials and write a brillinat book.:-) I will be the first one to buy!

    ReplyDelete
  13. Again Anya, welcome back. I've missed your posts and your support. Maybe one day I will write a book. I'm hoping that I'm not too naive Anya. I will take a class at the drop of a pin, and I will buy almost every millinery book I see. I'm hoping that I can share, teach, and maybe one day write a book. But if not, I've been truly blessed.

    ReplyDelete
  14. As always, you are such an inspiration! Love the printed lining. Nice little surprise on the inside, which I, as you, believe should be just as well-made as the outside.

    ReplyDelete
  15. Thanks a million Jan. Yes, I do feel that the inside should be as beautiful as the outside.

    ReplyDelete
  16. Lee, I stopped by to wish you wonderful September full of inspiration and beauty. You Granddaughter must be such a big girl now! :-))) Sending many kind wishes your way!

    ReplyDelete
  17. Thanks Anya, back to you. My granddaughter is six months old now. I think she's going to be tall. Maybe she will be able to take ballet lessons for a little while :-) ...and she is really smart. I know you are proud of your daughter. Those camp photos were awesome.

    ReplyDelete
  18. Dear Lee, feels always so wonderful to have big dreams for our little ones. :-))) Well, I hope that she will not only be able to take lessons in ballet but will become a Prima! She is absolutely beautiful little baby, so squeezy and cute. :-))) Makes me think t the times when Anastasia was that age... Wishing you wonderful Monday!

    ReplyDelete
  19. Thanks Anya. Anastasia will bless you with a little one in about 20 years :)

    ReplyDelete
  20. Fantastico tutorial ¡¡¡
    Muchas gracias Lee.
    Estupenda la idea, de como colocar la pluma.

    ReplyDelete
  21. Thanks for the tips. I'm new in this hat/fascinator making thing and I have the problem of covering the frame the right way so the fabric doesn't ruffle and how to sew the fabric on the frames. Now I have the answer. Hope I can manage to do it right. Thanks again!

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Hi Georgia, I'm glad you found something here of use to you. As with anything we're learning to do, it takes practice, practice, and more practice. There is just no getting around it.

      If you have a hat block and you're working with difficult fabric, steam and block the fabric and secure it to the block, removing it after it has dried. This will hopefully eliminate the gathers along the edge. If possible, choose fabrics with some stretch. This will give you smooth edges without blocking the fabric.

      Good luck with your new adventure.

      Lee

      Delete