Sunday, August 10, 2014

Another Little Competition Deadline Poke; Competition Prize Package Peak; More Buckram Form Discussion

Straw Millinery Supplies and Hat StretcherThis evening I thought I would continue the discussion from last evening:  competition deadline; continued work on my buckram top hat form for the competition I will be entering; and finally, give you a peak at another prize for this competition..

There's not too much I have to say about the competition deadline, except to remind everyone to read the rules and regulations.  My last blog post will lead you to other posts and all will keep you up to speed.  I wish all of you well.

You've seen two prizes I plan to award, a five-section hat block (the one I don't like), and a strange, vintage department store hat display. Well, here is another prize: eight capeline (cartwheel--wide brim) straws, one vintage straw hood, cello straw braid, and a hat stretcher.

Why the Hat Stretcher? 

Headsize Collars/Lifts
Headsize Collars/lifts
When we measure our head size (headsize) and get a measure of,  let's say 22 1/2 inches (baby size compared to my headsize), for the purpose of making a hat, upon completion of the hat we will have added material(s), sewing thread, sweatband, etc.  Well everything we added to the inside of that hat, even the thread or a knot, takes away from the headsize of the hat.  So, the hat stretcher serves two purposes:  (1) to return the hat back to it's intended size; and (2) to render a perfect sweatband. 

What I've noticed is that when some sweatbands are sewn in, there is rippling in the band; the hat stretcher will eliminate this rippling.  So, what if you have a small, say cocktail hat that you've blocked over a form and you are having sweatband issues?  Force the hat back onto the block, and let it set for a while.  Sometimes you may want to add a little steam to the area, but this is not necessary most of the time.  What do you do if you've made a flat pattern hat and you are having issues.  Make a head size lift (collar); the lift will also work if you don't have a stretcher for a regular size hat, just force the hat over the appropriate lift size.  So it's always a good idea to have various sizes of headsize lifts in your millinery tool box.  Remember to pay attention to small details, such as a rippling sweatband, etc., in order that your hat is seen as a professional piece.

A Little More Work on My Top Hat

Remember last evening that I was draping damp buckram bias strips over a candle holder that I was using as a makeshift hat block for my top hat form.  Well  after it dried I gave it a nice hot dry ironing, and it came out almost perfect. What the dry (without steam) ironing did was to remove some of the bumpiness from the frame.  I will still mull (pad) it with another material in order to give the finished hat a richer appearance. 

The importance of the bias draping without pinning is that this process opens up an opportunity to use any object that you come across to use as a hat block, no matter what its shape is.  Please view my post on the Vase Hat to see how I completed the vase form.  I've refined the method more since this post, and I no longer remove the entire top of the form.

Anyway, once again good luck on the competition!

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