Well, the other night was my last millinery class (yes, in order to stay in order, this is a seriously scheduled post! I’m actually writing this December 6th!) and I thought that I’d talk a little about it.
In the previous class she said we would spend some time working on ribbon flowers, so I brought some beautiful ribbon I picked up. Unfortuantely we didn’t work on flowers at all. It’s kind of disappointing because there are so many beautiful decorations you can make for hats… you don’t need to buy them all ready-made – but I guess we just didn’t have time.
We also were supposed to take a group photo with all of our hats, but we didn’t do that either. Instead we put some of the hats that we had brought (work-in-progress or completed) on a Styrofoam head and the instructor took some photos. We had been told that her photographer husband would be coming to shoot, but he wasn’t able to attend because of a (incredibly valid) personal reason. We were also supposed to have a guest speaker – Anita, one of the instructor’s former students, but she too was unable to attend. Being the last class we won’t have that opportunity again.
…but in reality
Instead, only half the class showed up, and we mostly worked on the felts and straws some more. With only half the class in attendance, it was actually kind of nice – it felt as though everyone would have some personal time for assistance with her project. (Yes, the class was all women.)
I worked on shaping my green felt a little further, cutting off the brim, shaping it, and reattaching it to the green hat. It’s not anywhere near done – I still need to wire the brim, perhaps add some sort of stiffener to the crown, add the sweatband (and perhaps lining if I do add a stiffener), the hatband, the brim trim (to cover the wire) and any decorations, but at least the bones of the hat are well on their way. I am somewhat nervous about doing too much more without having the blocks though – the shaped crown seems very delicate, and I don’t want to fuss too much with it (especially with steam) without having access to the blocks to re-shape it.
I did ask about where to get nice ostrich feathers for my tricorns, and the instructor recommended either The Costume Shoppe (I couldn’t find feathers on their website), or Don’s Hobby Shop (I don’t see them on their website either). The other day I was at PMS Hobbycraft and they do carry some (I don’t see them on their website either), in a few colours (white, red, purple, pink) but they aren’t very impressive, and I think I would like some big, glorious feathers for my tricorns.
Another interesting thing – I had asked the instructor about Sinamay a few classes ago, and she left me with the impression that the material I had used before was not the same stuff used for hat-making… but while going through her boxes of supplies, there were small rolls of the same thing – and indeed, the stuff I have IS the same Sinamay used for millinery. Of course, it doesn’t have the stiffener – but apparently this is painted on anyways – and is not part of the material the way buckram with sizing has.
The last thing we did in class was some shopping through the instructor’s plethora of materials. I’ll admit that very few of the flowers or feathers she had really appealed to me. However, I did find some really interesting veil material (sort of swirly circles rather than hexagons) in super-dark navy (as long as I’m not putting it on black, I am sure it will pass for black..) some super-wide black horsehair, and some MICRO tubular crin. I also picked up another roll of wire, and have the sneaking suspicion that that might not even be enough for the projects I still have in-progress.
While I know that I have expressed some disappointments about this class, I still really enjoyed the class and enjoyed the subject matter, my fellow students, and the instructor. I know how difficult it can be to try to teach people with multiple learning styles, with various level of skill, and various levels of commitment (or interest in the subject matter). Despite the challenges, I still would take the class again, and am looking forward to taking the advanced class in the spring.