Thursday, August 5, 2010

Artful Thursday - The Craft of Millinery

I'm of the mind that French women are born knowing how to wear a scarf and English women are born knowing how to wear a hat.
My Great-Great Grandmother Julia was English, and a milliner and there have been many times when making flowers and such with ribbons that I have felt a gentle hand guiding me through the intricacies of a stitch.
So today's Artful Thursday honours her and her craft.

I made a hat!

We got a new book in at the shop last week and it's just charming: Tangled Up In Thread by Whimisicals.

 Once I got the hat made, the fun part was the flower! Cut a strip of fabric anywhere from 17" to 20" long by 3" wide. The flowers here are made with a 20" strip and are pretty full.
Fold in half lengthwise and sew across the short end; press seam allowance open. You should now have a very large circle!
Fold in half around the circle, wrong sides together and matching the raw edges. Press. Run a basting stitch along the raw edges, about 1/4" in from the edge, and once you have gone all around the circle, pull the thread tight, easing the gathers and shaping the flower. Knot off.

This is what you should have after the gathering up.

The next layer I did was using a 7" piece of the lace I tea-dyed the other day. Sew the short ends together, press the seam open and run a basting stitch along the straight edge of the lace, gather up and knot. Tack in place in the centre of the fabric flower.
My third layer was of felt. 
Done very scientifically.
Find something round and slightly smaller than you want the felt piece to be. Trace it on to a piece of paper, cut out, pin on the felt and cut out just beyond the line, using pinking shears.

Of course, I didn't start out making them that way...
The blue felt circles pictured above are the rejects - they were done freehand and eyeballed; I finally gave up and made a paper template!

Pretty cute, huh?

Flower detail.

Inside view.

This is my first ever hat and I can assure you it does not fit me. Nowhere near fitting me. As my Aunt would say, "It's perched there like a plum pudding."

But then I never did hear a gentle voice telling me to measure my head first...


Diane Kelsey said...

Love the flower idea, just what need to decorate an embellished quilt I am making that already has lots of lace in. Thank you

MosaicMagpie said...

I never hear those little voice either, until they scream when the project is finished. The hat is prcious and it will fit someone.

Tina Eudora said...

Hi Jillayne!
Great looking hat! My maternal Grandmother was a milliner and seamstress also and during the depression she kept both my aunt and mother very fashionably dressed. I love hats but have never tried to make one (knitting and crochet excepted)but someday I would love to try making an old fashioned felt hat.
Have a great day!
Tina xo

Anonymous said...

Jillayne, it's so cute! It could at least end up in your decor somewhere. LOL!
Hugs, Diane

sewingseeds4U said...

Very cute hat and I love that flower...I can see one going on a sundress or a handbag. got me thinking creatively. Have a wonderful weekend. Patty

Marj Talbot said...

That is really cute. I've been needing a hat and never thought of making one. Good on you for that one.

Alisa said...

Pretty cute, indeed!
I can't even imagine trying to make a hat.

miss lynn said...

this is
love the flower!!!

Debora said...

Oh, your hat is darling! So sorry it doesn't fit. :o) Maybe a fashionable teddy bear could wear it. Thank you for sharing how to make the flower.

~Debora, New Avenue Crew

Judy Hartman said...

Very cute, Jillayne!
I love the background story of your aunt and her "voice" guiding you through the project. Also loved the flower tutorial. A very sweet hat to perch on a shelf or give away, if you could bear to part with it!
Have a lovely weekend!

paperbird said...

This is a lovely post Jillayne and your hat is wonderful.

I hope you are enjoying these lovely days of summer. I have been so busy and have not been able to do much blogging and I miss it very much.

I have a thank you card sitting on my table for you that I have been meaning to get to the post. I wanted to thank you for the sweet treasures that you sent my way. It was very thoughtful of you and I adore them.

Have a beautiful weekend.

Holly Knott said...

I love the hat! It looks like it would be difficult to make once you got into the final construction steps (like hard to squish into the machine). Thanks for sending Becca over to my blog for the binding tutorial. Love your fire starting sachets. What a great idea for herbs that would otherwise go into the compost pile. I'll have to remember this as we have some rosemary, thyme, lavender... :-)