Thursday, 14 April 2011

Hats and being a Milliner

From a Collection this is 'Land of Plenty'  I hand painted the silk fabric and then blocked it and stiffened.  I was inspired by an Alexander McQueen dress.

Small headpiece with quills and felt flower

Sinamay beret with dyed peacock feathers

Thought you might like a break from seeing me in the photos today.  So have put some of the hats I have made.

I am going to talk to you about the  hat making (Millinery).
Hat block for crown
Hat blocks for crown and brims I also use all sorts of items that give me interesting shapes
Small base underneath a flat brim on top that has been turned up.
Part of a hat for an exhibition on Outlaws, This one is called 'Flight to Freedom' This is made from felt and left over hat materials like straw, felt , stiffened fabrics,braids, ribbons and  an old doily.
 It is a beautiful thing to do but very time consuming.  I sometimes say it is more of a curse than a talent because you just keep going and going and never stop.  Hats take so long to make, make a big mess and it is hard to make money from them because of the labour and time involved, that starts when the client arrives to discuss their requirements.  I hope I am not discouraging any budding Milliners but it is worth knowing what you are getting into.  I have loved it for many years.  I still get a buzz when I go in to my hat room and start playing with my bits and pieces and thinking about what I can make.  

You need a hat block, or if you are making a hat with a crown and a brim you will also need a brim block.  You then either have straw or felt and mold the fabric you are using to the blocks and leave them to dry.  Depending on which fabric you are using and if it is pre-stiffened or not or if you want the hat to last longer or be a floppy style you may need to paint a stiffener on.  Once it is dry and you have done the coats of stiffener you will finish the edges and stitch together then do the lining or inside band. After this you need do decide on a trim, this may be feathers, flowers, fabric bows or pieces this is where the creativity comes in to it.  You spend a lot of time getting the balance on the hat and making sure the trim is correct.  Once you stitch the trim on to the hat  you are done but this can take hours and hours. 

1 comment:

Smitten With Style said...

Jenny, you are such a talented milliner, love the hats!!!