Monday, March 19, 2012

Hat Classes!

My top hat brim, all blocked and ready to go into the hat oven!
   Today was the first day of hat classes, and while the lead up to class was somewhat awkward, class was great!  We pretty much jumped right in.  We all got the same felt (nice stuff too, chocolate brown fur felt) and were told to chose a hat that could be blocked in two parts (the crown and the brim).  I decided to do a short little top hat, and after some digging, found the perfect blocks for my project.

My top hat crown (it only goes to that line close to the middle of the block)
  We began by plastic wrapping the blocks to protect them and make sure the felt doesn't stick to them.  Then we proceeded to manhandle our felt hoods.  We drowned them, squeezed them and stretched them until they were ready to pull over the crown blocks.  Hands already getting a little tired, we then had to pull them taught around the blocks and pound little pins into them.  Lots and lots of little pins.  With our hands.  After that, you steam them and brush out the felt so that it looks nice.

The block room
  By the end of class we'd blocked our crowns and brims and left them in the hat oven (which is kept at something around 175, so pretty cool).  If our crowns were dry, we were able to work them off of the blocks.  Tomorrow we will be doing a lot of hand sewing, I imagine to put the hats together, and to finish them nicely.  I'm so excited to see my hat all put together!  My hands hurt!

The entrance