Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Biggest Sale Ever

So after taking these super fancy hat classes, I find that I'm a little more picky about what I'm going to carry in the Shoppe.  For one thing, it's silly to have so much.  I'm going to focus in a little more.  Which means that I have a lot of things hanging around that I'm just not going to continue (woodland crowns, bobby pins, etc.).  And the solution to this problem is a big big sale!
I've taken more than half of the shop and put it in the Clearance section at 50% off, where it will remain for so long as there is any left in stock.  Have fun!

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 10

The "draped" fabric cocktail hat
   So the class is done :(
Yesterday I finished up the lining for the little cocktail hat.  All that's left for that is to add an elastic band so it can actually be worn (rather than balanced) on the head.
Top view of the cocktail hat

The impressive inside of the cocktail hat
 At the beginning of class, though, I blocked another felt hat, this one in black.  I decided that I wanted to try one of the funky vintage blocks.  It's definitely a little odd, but I think that it could work... 

The funky felt hat I decided to make

While waiting for the felt to dry and after I had finished the cocktail hat, I worked on making another rose from the extra silk lining.  I spray starched it a couple of times to make it less floppy and cut out all of these petals (15 in 5 different sizes).  I didn't get it finished, though, so no pictures for you.  It could be a fun plane activity.
Cutting out petals for a silk rose
 I'm a little sad about the end of class, but I'm looking forward to the fun things we're going to be doing before we leave (today there's a chocolate festival).  On Monday we're going to Luton, which is historically a hat town and still has a lot of millinery supply shops, a museum stocked with hundreds of vintage hats, a hat block manufacturer (possibly I'll be coming home with one?), and pretty much nothing for my poor husband to do.  Luckily, he's patient.  I'm going to try to get some pictures up of some of the hats you didn't see finished up, but for now, I leave you with a picture of Kensington Gardens in the morning fog:

A foggy park in the morning

Friday, March 30, 2012

Day 9

The stitched up fabric hat (I'm  playing around with the veiling)
and there are two people working in the back, not Mickey Mouse ears...
  Day 9 started with a somewhat spontaneous fabric purchase.  For some reason, no matter when I try to leave, I always end up being about 20 minutes early, which is a little too much.  The bus occasionally ends a little bit early and stops one stop before my usual one, and right in front of that is a fabric shop with lots of "wax" which is one of the fabrics they use in Senegal.  They didn't have a lot of really cool patterns (I should have gotten the chicken and egg fabric when I had a chance), but it was really well priced.  They had pre-cut 5 meter pieces for 10 pounds.  So I bought one of those and got two yards of not real wax because I liked the pattern.

  In class we worked some more on our fabric hats.  I carefully pinned mine into a pattern that I liked, using quite a lot of pins, which caused a lot of pain when it came to stitching it in.  Basically you have to try to invisibly sew your pleats down while having them stay put and lay right.  I was able to cheat a little bit because of my sequiny fabric (I hid some stitches underneath the sequins, shh, don't tell).  If I had picked something satiny, I would have had a lot harder time of it.  Nonetheless, it was slow work, a lot of which had to do with all of the pins sticking out of it.

  Once I got the top part stitched down and trimmed, I cut out some fuchsia pink silk for the lining, and its pieces together, which was surprisingly tricky.  I had it done before the end of the class and tried it in the which point I found that you could see through the silk.  And to all of the ugly black stitches I wasn't worried about because they were going to be covered.  I have a plan that might work.

  Today we're blocking another little felt hat, pretty much whatever we want.  While that dries I'll be fixing my fabric hat.  I'm a little sad about the last day of class :(

Thursday, March 29, 2012

Day 8

The Buckram Frame on top of the sequined fabric I'm going to use for it

The first part of day 8 was spent working some more on our parasisals.  I rolled my brim over the wire I had stitched in the day before and did some pretty awesome, and not so slow, invisible sewing to keep it down.  Then I attached the crown to the brim and had it all ready to go by lunch.  It is now how it was in the pictures from last night and just needs to be trimmed.

Then came wrestling with the dried buckram, which became seriously solid.  It was quite a struggle getting it off the block, involving the removal of sweaters and shirts down to my tank top and spending a half hour tugging and pulling and beating it against the table.  I am proud to say that I didn't have to hand it over to the instructor for her to do it for me.  I heard someone asking if there might not be a machine for this purpose.  Then came trimming it down to the size and shape we wanted it, I wanted mine to tilt forward at an angle, although I'm now wishing I had made it steeper.  

We finished the edges, stabbing our needles through the buckram, which is much like trying to pin into the old wood blocks.  Since I picked a nice, tiny shape, this whole thing didn't take me as long as my classmates who chose bigger hats.  I therefore spent plenty of time draping and pinning cloth on the hat and taking pictures of the result so that today, I can do a final drape and pin and start sewing it on without worrying about how it's going to come out.

Wednesday, March 28, 2012

Picture Catch Up

The Parasisal Cloche

The Swirly Crown Piece of the Parasisal Cloche

A Front View (it looks better in real life)

Two Squares of Buckram and the Block They're About to Smother

The Cat That Hangs Out Outside the School