Wednesday, August 3, 2011

One of Several Fair Projects Submitted, No. 6--The Fedora

Finally, I get to  my last 2011 Los Angeles County Fair millinery submissions.  Before I start, I want to remind you that I'm conducting a "Make Your Own Art" millinery supplies contest and giveaway.  The deadline to enter is August 4.  So if you are considering entering the contest, you only have one more day to do so!

Fur Felt, Trimmed in Soft Leather:  Would you be surprised if I told you that my favorite hat is the fedora?  I thought you would be.  Many Southern women of color talk about their mothers wearing hats when they were growing up, but that wasn't the case deep in the rural area I grew up in.   Although women put on their Sunday best, it was always about the hair.  My grandmother and I would take the Greyhound Bus some 38 miles to the city each month where we would have our hair done  for the first Sunday.  We attended church every Sunday and Wednesday--Sundays for Sunday school and Wednesdays for prayer meetings--but it was the first Sunday that was special.  This was the Sunday that our pastor would preach at our church.  Back in those days, in some rural areas, preachers usually serviced several churches a month.  Although this was an era when men's and women's hats were popular, the wearing of women's hats in my area was almost nonexistent.  My interest in women's hats would develop many years later.

My love for the fedora came from my grandfather.  He had his everyday fedoras, and he had his Sunday fedoras.  He dressed in a suit and tie on Sundays, and if it was cold, he would ware a long trench coat over his suit.  His Stacy Adams (shoes) were polished, and they always looked new.  The heels of the shoes were lowered, yes lowered,  so that their toes tilted slightly upwards.  Yes, my grandfather was a spiffy dresser!.  He would take me to the Juneteenth (June 19) baseball (softball?) games each year.  I wore my frilly cute dress and he wore his fedora, suit and tie, and Stacy Adams.  Now that I think about it, it was summertime. You will have no trouble figuring out my age.

Well, I could go on and on about the good old days when Sears and Roebuck would send our baby chickens through the U.S. mail.  I could talk about phone party lines and when good customer service existed.  If you're a young person, you wouldn't have a clue as to what I'm talking about.  So I'll stop now.

Oh, about the fedora, I was extremely disappointed with it.  I couldn't find the blade to my brim cutter; I didn't have time to add all of the details I had planned, such as a lining, etc.  Next year I'll do better.  Oops!  I said that last year.

Thanks; we made it through this!


  1. what a fantastic story, the fedora still looks beautiful even though you aren't 100% happy, très élégant.

  2. Thanks Grant. It's those little things that keep me smiling.

  3. It does look great. Even if you aren't completely happy with it, you clearly learned something from your Grandfather's fedoras. What kind of a brim cutter do you have? I just use scissors and struggle with getting it even all the way around.

  4. Thanks Randommix. I think the brim cutter is called a rounding jack. I collect men's hatting tools and it has spoiled me for life. I'll do a post on some of my tools soon I hope.

  5. I've seen a rounding jack, though only in photos. I'd love a post on your various tools!

  6. OK, I have great millinery tools I'll post on. Some are not millinery related, but I use them for millinery.