Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Millinery: Mad hatter puttin' on the Ritz....

I never would have predicted it.
I am just ga-ga over top hats right now.
Everywhere I look I see top hats; top hats on rockers, models, men in airports, tiny top hats as facinators, in Jane Austin movies...

Time to drag out the ol' dansk crockery pot, and get cracking!

I actually blocked this hat a few weeks ago, but what with company and nano noveling, that was as far as it got. I knew I wanted to wire the edge of the brim this time, and that would mean having to cut off the excess hat material, something I had never been brave enough to do before.

(Stop groaning Kate. I know, it is ridiculous that I've never dared do this before.)

I'm just a big wienie about cutting woven straw!

For what I had in mind, I knew just tucking the edge of the hood under wasn't going to work this time, so this morning I took a deep breath, and stitched in a sweat band to size the blocked hood.
(I usually hand sew but I started at 8 and had a Bible study at 9:30, so I was in a hurry.)

I double stitched the wire in place, trimmed the excess brim material, then loosely stitched the lace on by hand.

Be impressed with the lace...it is from the late 1800's, perhaps even older.

Love the lace, love the lace...couldn't bring myself to cut it, so I left the end as a tail.


Who says top hats only work with tuxedos and on Rock Stars like Janis Joplin?
Forget needing to wear a tux; a pink shell, long sleeve shirt, grey slacks and sandals will work just fine.
Sandals because it is freakishly hot here today.
(I see that the deck needs to be raked. The Mexican gardeners are just not keeping up. I 'm considering trying a Canadian guy, if I can get him to ride on down here on his riding lawn mower machine. I hear his leaf raking duties are at an end, and I'd hate to think of idleness befalling such a nice guy.)
I think next time I will make the brim just a bit narrower.
(Note to B. and kids: Check it out: I finally learned how to use the camera's timer and flexible tripod! Whoo hoo!)
Close up of the back with the lace falling in a tail.
The lace is accented and secured with a pearl pin that my MIL gave me awhile ago.
A couple people at the Bible study actually were brave enough to talk with me and say they liked the hat. As I hopped in my car to leave, the group leader waved at me, and called out across the parking lot "Bye Mad Hatter!"
In a New Jersey accent no less.
You'd be proud of me. I didn't correct her...actually the "mad hatter" style hat has a crown that is wide at the top, then narrows as it heads to the brim. I think this style is closer to a riding hat, if anything.
Details, details.
Who cares?
Call it what ever you want.
It's just for fun anyway.
(More information about the history of the top hat here and a lovely on-line shop of Victorian/Edwardian top hat/riding hats here. I am especially drolling over the Victorian Ascot model. Actually, all of them are pretty darn awesome, the whole blooming website!)

8 comments:

Glorious Hats said...

Oh Jill, Hat is awesome. The shape and brim trim is fabulous. The lace, ahhhhhhh, the lace really puts it over the top to awesome. Glad you used the entire piece of lace. The lace train is perfect with the style. You Rock.

Sara said...

I LOVE, LOVE, LOVE the hat! And it looks fantastic on you.

Anonymous said...

I LOVE this hat and you in it! Great work and thanks for all the details. Hope to see you soon. Karen

Lovella said...

Jill, it's just perfect. You look so great in all your hats. I haven't seen top hats here yet but clearly if I was the only girl wearing a hat in church last weekend . . well it could be awhile. I wore my lillie and cohoe hat out to shop for groceries today and I'm very happy to report that I'm starting to feel really comfortable wearing hats. I suppose the trick is to get hooked on them and then the selfconciousness dissolves. It felt just great.

Now, about that Canadian guy, he's done mowing here for the season so I'll put the bug in his ear that you need him pronto. Of course, I'll come as his assistant.

Heather Outside Boston said...

Oh, another gorgeous creation, Jill. :-) And I think the brim is a good width on you.

Vicki said...

Oh, how lovely! I especially like the lace and the way you left it trailing. It's almost elegant!

(The tornadoes weren't near us, but they were directly along our route between KY and FL. Thank you for checking!)

running wildly said...

Wow, what a HAT! I love the lace.

Julie said...

I echo the praise on your hat.. I truly think it is my current favorite.. the trailing lace is something I would do ... How could you cut it off???
Good self-photography too!!!