Millinery: Brown fur felt cloche

In the advanced millinery class I started working on a ‘Brown fur felt cloche’. This is the ‘spotlight’ post for that hat.

Brown fur felt cloche

Brown fur felt cloche

In the original post introducing this hat I wrote:

I love how luxurious the fur felt looks… I didn’t like cloche hats on me when I was working on straws, but as soon as I put the hood on my head, I knew this would work a LOT better. I basically just started off with the rounded block in my size, and blocked the felt on it. It took a LOT of steam to get it to stretch and be smooth – but the result worked out very well. From there I let it cool, tried it on, and then turned up the brim at the front. From there I steamed and shaped that. After trying it on again, I think that I could have made the crown shorter – but at this point it’s a bit too late.
I still need to add the sweatband and hat band – I think that I’ll leave the edges raw – they won’t fray, and I like the look. I was also thinking of adding a brass buckle to the hatband (I just need to find one – all of what I have is silver-toned) and perhaps cut a keyhole out of the back so that I can tilt my head back without disturbing the hat (the brim is very long at the back…). I’m thinking it might have a vaguely steampunk feel – although I also adore the idea of doing a lavishly decorated cloche like the examples here – if I can find the right colour and scale for the embellishments…

Brown fur felt cloche (the colour is a little washed out because of the overhead lights)

I ended up waiting on this hat for quite some time. I had a trip to Vancouver coming up in mid-late May, and since I couldn’t find the right colour buckle in my (annoyingly large) collection of buckles, I decided to hold off and wait until I could get to Dressew to see if I could find something suitable there.  In the meantime it didn’t make much sense to go much further on the hat, since my design relied on that buckle… and I didn’t want to go much further (doing the sweatband, cutting out the keyhole) if it turned out I would have to change my design for a lack of the right buckle.

Brown fur-felt cloche

Brown fur-felt cloche

And then I waited…

I did end up finding two different buckles at Dressew, and brought them back home for this hat, but when I started working on it again I just didn’t feel the same way about it as I had before.  I really love the raw edge, and didn’t want to trim it for the keyhole. I also didn’t want to bind a keyhole!

Instead, I ran a brown grosgrain ribbon on the inside for a sweatband, covering the seam with a little piece of red grosgrain just as a cute element instead of a label.  I might re-visit this hat and update it if I ever find some great pieces of brown/gold/copper lace to make the highly-embellished cloche like in the example link above, but for now it’s a simple fur-felt cloche, and the lack of embellishment really does show off the luxurious material.  I just love to touch it!

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