The block was covered in cling film, as usual, then taped to a board to hold it in place. Because the hoods were unstiffened, they were quite easy to shape over the blocks. I used a twist of calico to hold the centre fold down, and a strip of wide elastic to hold the hood round the block. The excess felt was folded up out of the way while the hoods dried.
|The blocked hood drying in the window|
Unlike the brimmed hat I made, the brim was made as one with the crown. When the hat was taken off the block, the first thing I did was sew a petersham band inside, to stop the crown from stretching out of shape. Then I could manipulate and trim the rest of the felt to form the brim. I loved this 1940s hat by Danish milliner Aage Thaarup, so used that as my inspiration.
|"Rosewood felt" with a sequin trim, 1941|
|Feared by the bad! Loved by the good!|
We experimented with trims on the course, including making feather pads, and some people actually got as far as completing their hats. I had an idea of what I wanted to do, but decided to leave it until I got home and had the space and time to do it properly.
|Trim idea - pleated silk|
I cut bias strips from the two silks, pleated them, and joined them at what would become the back. I angled the join slightly so that the band would sit better against the sloped crown.
|The silk strips joined together|
Sequins definitely felt like overdoing it for the trim on the side, so I used two vintage buttons from my stash as the basis for a figure-8-shaped cockade. The petersham ribbon I was planning to use turned out to be too stiff, so I used grosgrain instead.
|The button and ribbon trim|
And here's the end result!
|Another completed hat!|
Bizarrely, when I came to photograph the completed hat, it was actually too bright outside for me to take pictures. (For non-UK readers, I should explain that where I live in the north-west of England, this is as improbable as the Antarctic being too warm, or the Sahara being insufficiently sandy.) So I was forced to wander round the house for a bit, trying to find a suitably plain background.
|Cockade side - I need to do my hair better when I wear this!|
Initially I though that I might trim some more off the brim, but looking at the photos I'm happy with it as it is. All in all, a definite success!