After Millinery class #6, I took the black straw hood home to work on outside of class. I envisioned the beautiful cloche like in some of my example inspiration photos, but it ultimately didn’t work out. I just didn’t LIKE the cloche shape with my features. For a review of the process up until that point, please read my post on the cloche.
So… reworking was in order!
I started basically by folding up the brim and seeing what shapes I could create. I stood in front of the mirror twisting and folding and I’m sure making a lovely mess of things. This is one of those tasks best done when home alone I’m certain, because anyone watching would have likely thought I was quite a ninny…
Ultimately, I found a shape I really liked, but by then I had turned the hat inside-out, so I turned it right-side-out, and re-folded the hat back into the shape that I had liked. At this point I just left it sitting alone (so it could think about what it had done!) and only returned later to trim the raw edge with some gorgeous bias I had made for a previous corset project. (Its purple shot with blue dupioni silk and it’s luscious!) As with the blue straw, I could have put the binding on partially by machine and partially by hand, but instead I ended up doing the whole thing by hand.
Then I let the project sit – while I worked on other things.
It seems I usually have several projects on the go at any one time…
When I got back to it…
When I got back to the project, even though I’d taken notes about the design, I looked at the hat, and thought “what was I thinking?” Not in a critical way – I just couldn’t see in it what I had seen before!
So, back to the drawing board, I removed the buttons pinning the hat into the shape I had created, and then used a generous amount of steam from my iron to re-shape the hat back into the original cloche shape. I tried this on… and suddenly… it worked! I don’t know if my face shape changed slightly, or if I just became less critical of my tall forehead (I did recently cut in some bangs/fringe, so that’s possible…) but it worked.
So, looking at some of my inspiration photos in the post I originally made about the cloche, I decided on a single-colour scheme with lots of black-on-black texture, and started previewing a number of laces, ribbons, flowers, appliqués, and other embellishments from my collection.
Auditioning the embellishments
Using super-fine pins, I started layering up all of the elements that worked, in the approximate areas where I thought I’d want them to permanently reside.
Once I liked what I had, I grabbed my beading needle (since it’s long and super-thin) and started hand-stitching each element down, working backwards.
In all, I sewed on:
- A very wide lace trim – originally this was straight on one edge and scalloped on the other, but I trimmed off the straight edge so both edges have a scallop. The way this lace is made, I didn’t have to worry about fraying.
- A great Venetian (style?) lace trim with rose and berry motifs
- A vintage black velvet poppy-style flower which I bought from my millinery instructor back when I took the class. The flower was pretty crushed from storage, but she taught us to steam these embellishments to bring them back to ‘life’, which worked well.
- A new synthetic triple-layer daisy-like flower from an accessories store. It has a pin back and a hair-clip back (this one I did pin on instead of pinning on)
- Three synthetic ‘craft’ flowers that I bought in a bunch of 10 or so from Dressew in Vancouver
The finished hat
So, here are photos of the finished hat – what do you think? Let me know in the comments below! Maybe I’ll have the chance to wear it sometime soon and take some action shots!