Sunday, 21 April 2013

The rest of the silly hat construction

I accidentally hit the "enter" key after I typed in the title, so I apologize to anyone who may have seen a post with nothing in it.

Here is how the rest of the hat went together.
I found a strip of what I think is buckram in the bag of interfacing that came with Grandma's sewing stuff. I cut a strip of it and sewed it around the top of the brim. I doubled my thread and used stitches that were sort of big. It was hard to get the buckram to stand up straight all the way around.

The thicker piece in front is where the buckram overlaps.
All those ruffles on the inside were getting in the way, so I sewed them to the inside of the brim about halfway up. I don't have a picture of this.
I then cut two circles for the top. One in sheet, one in cross stitch material(the only thing Fabricville had that was stiff enough). Each one was 75 cm across.

The cross stitch stuff is on the left, and the sheet is on the right.
I pinned the edges of the cross stitch material circle into pleats until it looked about the same circumference as the buckram band.
There. That looks like it should fit.
Somehow, it fit perfectly. I sewed it to the inside of the buckram band with the line of stitching exactly halfway up. Then I put the sheet circle on top, gathered up the edges and tucked them in between the buckram and the cross stitch stuff. This is why I put the stitching for the cross stitch stuff halfway up.
Here it is, with the top stiffener and the sheet installed.
If you click on that image for a larger view you can see a row of stitching across the middle of the band, and a row of stitching across the top. The one across the middle is the one holding the top stiffener on. The one across the top is holding the sheet in place, which is sandwiched in between the buckram and the cross stitch material.
I hope that made sense.
To cover the band, I cut out a piece of white silk that was a bit wider than it, and a bit longer than the distance around it. I ironed the edges in, wrapped it around the hat (with the folded down edges facing in, of course), and sewed the ends together.
The bottom of the silk band I attached with a long, inconspicuous stitch that I don't know the name of. I didn't do one on the top because the gathers on the top are softer and it would have been more conspicuous there. There also wasn't much need for one. The hat band is in no danger of being peeled off and the roses help keep it in place.

For those gravity defying bow like loops in the inspiration picture, I cut out three more strips of the same silk and sewed narrow hems on all of them. I tried to take pictures of them, but they all turned out horrendously blurry. The hems are about 6 mm wide.

Then I put thin wires in them.
This picture is blurry too, but you can see that the wires make it stand up. I twisted the pairs of wire ends together so that the ends of the strip would line up.
I curled the ends of the wires into little loops and sewed the loops to the hat band.
The 3 loops attached.
The loops covered up the seam of the hat band but the wire ends and the raw edges of the loop ends were still visible. Fortunately, the inspiration picture has a tail thing that solves all of this.
Journal de Luxus, 1789 (source)
From the general shape of it, I'd say it's a square that's been gathered up on the diagonal. Or maybe a triangle that's been gathered up along one edge. Or maybe neither of those things. I can't be sure, but it looks like a square to me. Fortunately, on the same day that I decided to abandon my design and go with the inspiration picture, my mother brought home an enormous loom and a bunch of sewing and weaving stuff that she had inherited from a friend. There was a bag of fabric that she gave to me, because she doesn't sew. In the bag of fabric there was a big, soft, square, white, silk scarf. It had a hand sewn rolled hem, so the hat still counts as 100% hand sewn. I gathered the scarf up on the diagonal and stitched it down around the ends of the wired loops.
The two corners are joined at the top.
In the bag of fabric, there was also a big piece of thin, crispy, pale pink silk. What incredible luck!
I made roses out of it using The Laced Angel's marvelous tutorial. They held their shape very well.

I also improved the manner in which I made the leaf sprigs. The first one I made was wrapped in a huge amount of thread and sealed with beeswax. I realized that this was unnecessary and made the rest of them with less thread and no wax.
Time efficient leaves.
There are eleven roses and they go all the way around the hat.
And that's it.
The finished hat.
Now there's just the problem of storage. Where on earth am I going to keep a hat that's 45 cm across and 30 cm high? (And that's not including the loops that stick out further on one side.)
My room is pretty small and already packed with sewing stuff. So far I've just been moving it back and forth between the ironing board and the bed, but I can't keep doing that forever. I should probably get some cardboard and build a colossal hatbox.
Any other ideas?
Update: I found a place for it. It fits perfectly in this old computer box.

1 comment:

  1. Your big hat is very impressive and so are the details of how you went about it. I'm glad that you got lucky with the fabric that your mom inherited, you used it well.

    I'm sure that you'll be able to find a square box to store your big hat in at least temporarily until you can make a proper hat box.