Saturday, February 22, 2014

Creating a Top Hat Without a Top Hat Block (continued)

Continuing with my little top hat project from my last post, it has been a wonderful journey.  Because I didn't have a top hat block, I figured out a simple way to flare the tip (top) of the hat without such a block.  So the next challenge was to taper the crown down to the smaller head size, and also to create a more attractive curve from the edge of the tip to the head size.  I was pleased with the outcome, and I learned a few things along the journey.  Because of what I learned, my next step will be to create a cardboard or foam transition block rather than using my protein powder can.

I can't emphasize the importance of  experimentation in order to improve one's skills.  Had I asked someone how to do this, and if they would have told me how to do it, I would have missed out on all of the things learned in-between--hits and misses--including the new applications learned that could be applied to other projects. 

Anyway, above is an improved version and to your right is the first version of my top hat; note the taper, plus I decided to flatten the tip.  The technique for tapering the sideband came from my Pinterest board, How Other Milliners and Hatters Do It, the pin on creating a Fosshape top hat.  When you think about it, Fosshape has some of the same properties as felt, it's a non-woven material that stretches under steam and heat, etc., (1. non-woven material, 2. stretches under steam and heat).   So given that they share some of the same properties, it's intuitive that the sideband of the felt would be shaped in the same manner as the Fosshape top hat, correct?  Anyway, wonderful tutorial, but my tip was created in a much simpler manner.  I will be teaching how I created my flared top hat in my upcoming class on March 8, join us.  Wow, I just told you how to do it!  Pretty easy if you don't focus on how I did mine.  I can think of several other ways of doing this, and I'm sure that many of you can do much better than I did.

Forgive the lousy pictures; I'm having camera issues.