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Monday, September 30, 2013

Other obsessions - yes I've created another blog

I have another blog - called 'This creative obsession' which is what I have - a creative obsession.  I must create, I must make art, I must craft. It is an obsession. If I don't make art I get tetchy. It's a need.
The process usually starts with me becoming smitten by something like a pocket watch case or a miniature book and I become completely absorbed in it. 
Sometimes it involves deconstructing things like ballet pointe shoes, sometimes it means learning a new skill like bookbinding. I have to find out as much information on the topic as I possibly can. I just throw myself into whatever it is.
Many of these activities don't fit easily in the 18th century or even vintage genre so I created a new blog because I wanted somewhere to document things I create.
I am hoping it will also help me to complete more projects - because if I become obsessed with something new, old projects tend to be left unfinished. 
I've started off with a couple of my current obsessions. - pocket watch cases and ballet pointe shoes.
So if you feel like popping over to see what I am up to I'd be thrilled.

Sunday, September 22, 2013

Making over a 60s broad-brimmed hat into a cloche Part 2

I'm afraid I haven't made as much progress with this cloche hat as I'd have liked but then eyesight comes first.  And of course, life has a way of throwing in distractions by the handful.
Anyhow here is my progress to date.  Photo 1 is the front view.
I've reblocked the crown and reattached the brim.  Then I cut it down to the shape I wanted and wired the edge. I'm now more than half way around the edge with the grosgrain. This is a very time consuming part as you have to go in and out of each picot. PHEW! 
Here's the back view with the very narrow brim. I've always liked this aspect of 20s cloches as many ordinary hat brims hit the back of my neck which pushes them cockeyed if I tilt my head back.  

I wish the brim had been a little broader to start with so I could have a more graduated curve to the side of the brim but I still really like the overall look.
Photo 3 is the side view where you can see the angle I've had to negotiate around with the grosgrain. 
And lastly a detail of how I've slightly gather up the grosgrain around that angle. 

I'm still tossing up how I'll trim it but I am leaning towards softly draping fabric to cover the join rather than a straight hat band. Suggestions are welcome.

Monday, September 2, 2013

Making over a 60s hat into a broadbrimmed cloche part 1

Yes again.  I can't help myself.  
This time I am making over a late 60s fine straw hat into a 20s style large brimmed cloche!  After all you can never have too many cloches!
This is my first two piece hat so I am learning about attaching the brim separately.
And having forgotten to take photos before I started I have had to search for a similar style late 60s hat to show you what I started with.

It was a faded pink late 60s tall crowned hat with a large brim which is now more peach/salmon in colour, similar to these two hats in shape and style.
This late 60s tall crowned style is not one I was ever keen on.  In fact I thought they were kind of hideous even back in the 60s. The very tall straight sided crown made them rather clumsy looking as far as I was concerned.
The only people who ever carried them off reasonably well were lovely women like Mary Tyler Moore or Audrey Hepburn and they could have looked good in a hessian sack!
So I started by cutting the brim off and steaming and blocking the crown into a nice cloche shape!

 Next it was a matter of deciding what kind of brim I wanted.  
I liked this style with the wide side brim that curves gently across the front and frames the face. 
I also wanted it to have the very narrow brim at the back of the neck so that it doesn't hit the back of my neck or shoulders.  Mine's not exactly the same at this hat but very similar.
I was nervous about cutting the brim so I drew the shape and nibbled away at it and kept trying it on until I was happy with it.
I'm always terrified I'll do something unfixable!
Next step is attaching the brim but before I did that I shaped the front edge of the crown up in centre front in a gentle arc to aid with the way the brim will drape across the front.
More to come!

Apologies for the delay in transmission

Sorry for the lack of posts recently.  Life gets complicated sometimes (family illness etc) and then on top of it my eyes started to play up because of all the close work I was doing.  I get so involved I forget to look away and refocus my eyes on the distance.  
So I've had to postpone anymore millinery fun while I rest my eyes.
However I did have a post half done on my latest hat makeover so I'll put that up in the meantime.
I've also been playing around with some jewellery that isn't so hard on my eyes but since it's not 18th century or really vintage related (it does use some vintage components) I think I might have to start another blog!