In the 5th Millinery class the instructor brought out some woven straw hoods that we’ll be starting with. The hoods are largely vintage from the 1950s for the most part – which is kind of cool… but it’s also kind of funny because a lot of them look very dated. (Mostly due to colour and texture.) Looking at them, I couldn’t really figure out what I want to do with them, so I figured I’d do a bit of a web search and see what was out there.. and see if I could get any inspiration.
I liked this hat from Go Antiques.com – it’s a black straw, kind of a bucket shape – and has veil material over the entire hat. I like the idea of having the veiling over the whole thing… The shape… is ok. The straws won’t block as crisply as the buckram, so getting something really structured won’t be possible. This bucket shape would be possible however… I know that our instructor has this sort of brim (I think it’s called a wedge? Milliners, help me out?) and I could put a plain pillbox on top of it to get the flat top. The kind of straw used on this hat is very similar to some of the straws our instructor has available as well.
This next one is from My Vintage Wear, and seems a bit more shaped, and I actually like the shape a lot better too. This one has a wide fabric band around the crown, and it looks like a rolled up brim. I really like the tone-on-tone with this, and it seems to have a flat top rather than a domed one.
I really like this one from Vintage Hattery, but wonder if it’s accomplish-able with the straws that we have – or if it would require too much sizing. I really like the contrasting cream silk binding and the brim filled with small flowers too, along with the navy netting. I think that this would require a brim and block set – and considering my head size, I don’t know if the instructor will have anything that works for me… 😦 Still, I really like the look-and-feel of this if nothing else.
Here’s another one from Vintage Hattery – this one is again the bucket-type shape, (although longer) this time covered in a wide swath of pink netting. I like this idea – but I think I like the netting in the first photo better. With this you can barely tell it’s a straw.
This one is from a feature on Polyvore (though the original source was the Vintage Hattery – where it no longer is listed). This is another great shape that I don’t think we’ll be able to do with the soft 1950s straw hoods we have available. Still, I like the veil over just the brim, and the contrast with the black with the cream straw. The straws I picked out though are mostly darks rather than lights…. I think that all of the light coloured straw hoods were snatched up already by other students. (Though several, myself included, picked up something, thought about it, and then put it back, and picked up another instead….) The other part of this hat that would make it difficult is the narrow crown at the bottom of the band and wider tip – this would need a puzzle block I think, and I don’t think our instructor has any of those for us to use. 😦
I don’t care for the hat itself on this one, but rather the idea of covering up flowers with veil material. I have a vintage 1940’s brown feathered hat that has this effect as well, and it works wonderfully in my opinion- adding a bit of protection for those fragile feathers too. (Which is possibly why the feathers are in as good of shape as they are!)
I really love the shape of this hat – and the material is almost exactly like the straws that we are going to use in the class. This makes me think more and more if perhaps these slightly more structured styles might just be possible… This one is from Stelma Designs on Etsy, and it’s a black straw with a brim, a super-wide grosgrain ribbon around the band, (with a bow in the back) and a swath of netting over the crown. Again, I think this works for me mostly because of the monochromatic colour scheme… I did pick out a black straw hood, but also a blue/grey one, a blue one, and a multi-coloured (largely cream, green, and purple) one. (Though the latter two I might put back, since I’m not thrilled with them… and if I can’t get inspiration they won’t really be appreciated anyways.)
Though.. with that being said, the vintage hoods are pretty affordable, so it might not be a big deal to grab them anyways. Decisions decisions…
I think that this design might require blocking the straw in two parts though – and I don’t know if that’s going to be possible. Our instructor only demonstrated a single-part straw block at the very end of the class, and it’s entirely possible that with these vintage hoods, we might not be able to do this kind of style.
Wide Brimmed straw
Our instructor also had just a few of a finer (and more expensive) woven straw hat available, and a few of us picked them up as well. I actually already have a fairly wide-brimmed straw hat very similar to the one I picked up from her, so I want to be very aware of not just copying the style from the existing hat, but rather creating something new and interesting.
For the first inspirational idea, I looked to the Victorian Trading Company, and the Louise Green Persephone Hat (which they sell for almost 270$ US) I really like the double-folded brim which adds a bit of ‘something different’, the way it’s shown being worn asymmetrically, the soft colours of the flowers and silk ribbon, and the double trailing ribbon ends off the back of the hat. There is an alternate view on the website as well.
Totally different is this hat below entitled “Straw Crazy” from Forme Millinery. This has an open crown with straw braid which I don’t actually like, but I LOVE the sliced and twisted brim.
I think that if I were to do something like this I would carry the bias trim around the circumference of the brim, rather than just at the slice, and I wouldn’t have the open crown either. The pink trim is a nice colour for the straw (and matches the flowers nicely), but it almost blends in too much for me. I think this would look really interesting with a navy trim instead, or basic black. Perhaps with this style finding the floral element first would be important, and then picking the trim colour from there.
I love the twist in the brim, and think that the slice is curved as well. Hmmm… what about something with both sides rolled back almost like “victory curls” from 1940’s hair styles? I think that’s something I’d want to work out in a paper mock-up first though!
Another item our instructor has are some inexpensive straw braid hats. I’m not entirely sure what she has planned for them, though if she doesn’t have any specific ideas, I think I’m going to turn one of them into a Regency bonnet style of hat. I know she said we can block them as-is, however if the braid is wide enough, I think it would be fun (fun?) to undo the existing stitching to re-shape the hat as braid. We’ll see.
So.. lots of ideas…. can’t wait for the 6th class to get to work on these!