27 January 2014

Fuzzy fezzy felted hat

Hat shaping on block
Originally uploaded by Catrijn.
Combine friends, projects, and learning new things, and you might end up with an awesome weekend plus a cool new hat.

A friend of mine has recently been felting a lot of hats, and after watching her work on a few that were in different stages of finishing, I wanted to do one but couldn't figure out what style to go with. Once we realized we had a block that would work for the little pillbox/very short hennin type that would go with my transitional gown project, though, that had to happen.

We started with unspun roving piled in layers around a waterproof pattern that provided a resist. After a lot of soapy water, agitation, reheating, and rolling, it shrank down to this impressively thick hat blank.

After letting it dry overnight, I ironed it to get a nice smooth surface on the felt, and then we steamed it and aggressively stretched it to get it over the hat block in the picture. (The block is the middle and lower portions of one designed for a fez). It's not completely done - the bottom edge needs to be trimmed to the correct length, and it will probably also need some stiffening (wire and/or thinned glue, maybe?).

I can hardly wait to get this finished; it's going to be fabulous!

16 January 2014

Second finished thing of 2014: man's tunic

Originally uploaded by Vilhelm Lich.
There's a lot going on in this photograph, which includes several of my nearest and dearest.

But the reason it's on the blog here is the green tunic on the man second from the right. It's a simple tunic in a suit-weight wool. I'm still debating adding contrast bands via appliqué to the neckline and wrists, but it's finished as is and might stay that way. I think it fits him pretty well, at any rate.

07 January 2014

The very pet-able hennin

Velvet hennin and wool bonnet
Originally uploaded by Catrijn.
The last project started in 2013 is the first one finished in 2014.

My first hennin was of buckram and wire construction. I've been pretty happy with it, and I've used it at least occasionally for years, but it was starting to get a bit beat up. So I decided to make a new one, and try a different construction method.

The structure of this one is made of two layers of heavy (but unstiffened) linen, with channels filled with reed. It collapses flat when not being worn, so it's pretty resistant to being crushed. The outer fabric is a rather luscious velvet (hence the pet-able hennin). I'd hoped to have enough of the velvet to do at least a band of drape for the front, but sadly there wasn't an appropriately shaped piece.

I also made a round bonnet to go with it, working from the pattern in The Queen's Servants, which worked really well.

The hat worked pretty well in practice, but I need to work in securing my understructure to keep everything steady. My black band under the hood kept slipping back, which threw everything off, and I think I need to pin the hat down to the hood, since the base of it isn't quite big enough to really grip my head. Overall, though, I'd rate it a success.