Wednesday, 15 March 2017

a 1950's half hat

There is another reason why I'm not getting much sewing done at the moment.

This is the current state of my kitchen

And this is where everything that's going into my kitchen is stored

Somewhere behind all the boxes is where I have my sewing area.

That said I've been limited to smaller projects, and I decided to try my hands on hatmaking. I'm also going to a Ladies of the Legions' High Tea at Star Wars Celebration and felt that if all else fails when it comes to costuming, I can at least wear a nice hat.

I got inspired by this type of 1950's hat, that I've learnt is called a half-hat.

It's a fairly easy shape, and a great base to add decorations to. For materials so far I've used buckram and millinery wire that I bought back when I did my giant 1787 hat.

I started with a simple, rounded diamond shape, with a slightly larger front than back.

In order to shape the buckram I made a couple of darts on a whim. I cut into the buckram and then had the edges overlap to make a dart and curve the buckram.

This is the shape of just the buckram

I felt that it was a bit bumpy though and I wanted to be more curved and smooth. For that I quickly dipped the buckram in hot water and shaped it on my wig block by just smoothing it out with my hands. It was my first time blocking buckram, but it was really fun and easy.

This is before the blocking.

And this is after the blocking. As you can see I have covered the wig block in clingfilm to protecte it from the sizing in the buckram when it was wet.

Then I added millinery wire along the edges, sewing it on by hand with buttonhole stitches. By bending the wire I got the hat to hold in a permanent shape that I wanted.

The final stage was to add mulling. For nice hats you use a fine wool or felt, I simply cut up an old microfleece blanket and glued it on with woodglue.

This is the final hat form. Next step will be to add some combs to the inside, so it will be stuck on the head, and then of course comes the choice of fabric and decorations for it.

I also did the last steps at our regular cosplay meet up, and we realized that using buckram and millinery wire I had created a really lightweight shoulder armor that you can sew on. Maybe something for the future...

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