I apologise for the lack of posts just recently but I’ve got a lot going on and something had to give and that was the blog. Unfortunately things are still rather chaotic (it didn’t help when my fridge/freezer decided to die at 5.30 on Monday morning!), so I can’t guarantee things will improve going forward. However, I do promise to try!
At the weekend I did manage to get a few photos taken of my very first hand blocked hat. I’ve been wanting to show you this for a while as it was actually finished ages ago. It’s vaguely based on an original 1930s hat that I already own, created very simply as one piece, rather than a separate crown and brim. The design I had in mind when starting this is a little different to how it turned out but, as it just seemed to take on a life of its own as I was doing it, I decided to go with it rather than fighting it.
It was fairly simple to do by stretching just the crown section on the hat block and rolling my blocking spring down to the bottom of where I wanted the crown part to stop. Once it was dry I set about pressing the brim section out covering it with a damp tea towel and using my steam iron. Again it was pretty simple to do, it just needed a bit of muscle to get it to stretch out.
As I was in the middle of doing it I remembered a cute detail I’d seen on the brim of hat on Pinterest. After a quick check on my profile I realised that I had thankfully pinned it to my Hats board, which saved me a job of trolling through tons of images. The hat in question is the one at the top left with the split in the brim and I liked how the bow was falling through the gap.
As I lifted up my scissors I stopped for a moment, a little nervous about cutting into my first ever hat, but then I thought ‘hey, nothing ventured, nothing gained’. The whole process of doing this one was just to see if I could, so what the hell? And actually I’m pretty pleased how this detail turned out. It’s not exactly like the one above but it still works.
When I initially added the velvet trim I had a long bow the same as the 1930s hat and but it just didn’t look right. I think it was mostly to do with the way I wear my hair. I always tilt hats to the side where I have less hair but I always tend to tuck that side of my hair behind my ear. So when I put the hat on it just looked like I was trying to cover up my ear with the bow! It just didn’t work, so I made it a nice neat bow instead.
I left the edges of the brim completely plain, with no wiring or trim, mainly because most of my true vintage hats are like this. I think it makes it look quite authentic and more homemade, which I actually like. I know the brim would sit more even, and I’d have more control over it, if it was wired but I think that’s a technique I’ll learn on another hat.
Once the hat was all completed I realised that it looked really lovely turned around and sat on the back of my head like a halo hat. I think I actually prefer it this way as it really frames my face. It’s inspired me to make another one to go with a late 1930s dress I’ve recently made (yes, I know I need to photograph it!) and I want to make it similar to the gorgeous heart shaped halo hat that my Instagram friend, Sarah, wears. Seriously how adorable is that hat?
I really enjoyed making this hat. It hasn’t gripped me quite as much as crocheting did but I think it’s more about not having enough time to fit everything in that’s stopping me from instantly making more. I have lots of other ideas, so I will definitely continue to explore this side of crafting.
I’m actually off to a fascinator workshop at the beginning of next month, which I’m really looking forward to. I’m not really sure what sort of design I want to try and make but I did buy some vintage feathers at the weekend which I’d like to incorporate. If anyone has ideas for vintage looking (particularly 1930s) fascinators I’d be very interested to see any.