Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Millinery: Five Hats in One Day: Brown

*There is an update on this post at the end...

Waaayyyyy last summer I sent away for this peculiar looking hat block from Hatshapers.

It is actually a block shape used to create the hats in a famous movie that featured a girls school, where all the girls wore this shape hat in light blue. Does anyone out there recognize the hat shape and can name the movie? (*Hint: The movie has a sequel out.)

While the Hatshapers website states emphatically that their product can not successfully be used to block felt or straw, I beg to differ.
It just takes a little ingenuity, instead of push pins, to get the hood to stay stretched on the block.

I'm sure by now everyone reading this blog understands these are the hoods that I used on the day I blocked five hats at once.
This is how the brown one turned out.

The secret to using this block was self clinging tape. It is a plastic tape that when stretched, clings to itself without any adhesive. I used it to hold the straw to the block and also to hold the concave curves in the back tight. I just folded the edge under, and I did need to to make a secondary fold between the crown and the brim.

Here's the finished hat...with the back brim up as in the movie. I had forgotten about that part until I went to post this! I had to go grab the hat, steam a bit, and shoot another picture.
Maybe you will like it better the way it was before:

The secondary fold was actually rather nice and sculptural; I wouldn't have minded just leaving it, but I wanted to use some vintage veiling that I got awhile ago. The veiling has shiny gold pallets, and the veiling has tiny six sided honey comb-like openings.

The dragonfly is one of my favorite creatures. I sometimes think I like them even better than butterflies during the summer months. There are lots of them by our lake right now, and they seem to enjoy zooming along beside me while I take my walks.
They come in lots of colors, and their gossamer wings always make me think of fairies. Or maybe even fire lizards, from Anne McCaffrey's Dragonrider series.

But I also like dragonflies because they eat baby mosquito. The first hat I made with a dragonfly on it (an olive green silk teardrop shaped pill box, with cream roses and peacock swords) I named "Tribute to West Nile Virus" because of the dragonfly's work in containing the mosquito population that spreads the WNV.

Let me know what you think: back down, like this, or back up like in the first shot
Since the netting is tacked down, it won't be used as mosquito netting. That would have made for an interesting option though.

I had to make three small pleats in the straw to take up the fullness under the peak. I think it wound up being a nice decorative design element.

But if this mosquito season doesn't get better, I may be tempted to take out those tacks!

May hats and dragonflies happily surround you this summer!
*Update: My fellow librarian Olia looked up the Beauxbaton girl's school offical hat. The girls wore the hat with the peak going sideways like in this image:
I'll be posting pictures of myself in all five hats...and promise to wear this hat the proper way!


Kate said...

I like it brim up in the back.

Do you remember Meryl Streep's wedding hat in Out of Africa? Neat use of veiling on that - tied around her neck.

Kate Q:-)

Julie said...

Since you asked, I like it better up!
I didn't know dragonflies eat mosquitoes..I love dragonflies too but now I love them even more!!! I noticed lots of dragonflies in our campsite...maybe that's why there weren't too many mosquitoes!

I always enjoy your hat-posts!
If I'm even in Texas, I'm coming to watch you make them in person!!
(I won't come in mosquito season though -- unles I come reeking of Lavender Oil!!! smile)

Lovella said...

I'm not much for cheating so I'll confess right now that I cheated and read the Harry Potter on the link and then I rememberd.

You really are amazing with a block, and hood and a needle and thread with a bit of veiling and trim thrown in.
I was thinking that I'd love to see some of your sketching. What do you enjoy drawing?

So much artistic talent for one lady.

Ladygrande said...

Brim up in back - and I want to make that hat in RED remember!

Wonder who else likes dragonflies? Hmmmmmmmmmmmmmm............

Lovella said...

Oh I forgot to put in my vote . .the brim down.

Laura said...

I like the brim up in back, it adds a bit of sauciness to it. Down looks much more modest and subdued, but still quite sexy in a "he will come to me" kind of way. I love the hat. I can't wait to try it on when I'm down there.
As to the movie, again, not a clue. Not into movies so much...
I am laughing because I just read the rest of the posts after I had typed my comments and guessed correctly that Kate would call it up, and Lovella down, and I would guess Dad likes it up. But I could be wrong.

Sara said...

Another great hat! I like the brim down in the back. But, knowing me, if it were my hat, I'd be flipping the brim up or down depending on my mood that day...assuming that is possible to do without harming the hat?? Love the dragonfly and netting too.

Lovella said...

That's me . . .modest and subdued. big chuckle . .. Oh Laura . . .such fun.

Cristina said...

I'm behind in reading your posts!
What a great great hat! I was convinced those blocks could not be used for blocking but there you go and find a solution. You are awesome! Can you give us some more information about the tape you used to hold the material down? I've never known of a tape that would stick to wet material so I'm mightily curious.
Brim: I'm not good at decisions so I will just say that it's amazing that by changing a small thing like the brim orientation you get two different hats, both gorgeous but with different personalities.
By the way, I'm also curious about the tacks you use for the veil, what are those?