Now, it has been quite a while since my last post and there are several reasons for this lapse of blogging. One, I have been busy sewing 1950’s style dresses & petticoats for my girls. Two, I had a holiday (very nice despite the unseasonal English weather). Three, I was busy making hats. Four, I made a friend a birthday present (a pink silk dressing gown). Five, I have been planning the next run of Art Cabin lessons and to top it all I am also having to plan art lessons for my new KS1 class.
Anyhow, not so long ago I attended another Janie Lawson hat making workshop. This time I learnt how to block hats. So if your interested in how to block a hat please read on. There are more photos at the bottom of this post.
1 First cut 2 layers of sinamay, there should be enough to go over the hat block with surplus sinamay to pin under the base of the hat block. Make sure that the hat block is covered with a couple of layers of cling film.
2 Push a pin into the sinamay attaching it to the hat block base at the Centre Front and Centre Back making sure the sinamay is stretched tightly.
3 Next half fill a kettle with water and boil. (The steam created will soften the sinamay and help mould it over the hat block). Without burning your fingers carefully hold the sinamay/hat block over the steam for a few seconds and then use your hands to mould the sinamay over the hat block and pin the excess sinamay to the base of the hat block. Next steam the area diagonally to the bit you just steamed and pinned (continue to do this until all the sinamay is pinned and the crown and edges are smooth.
4 To get the sinamay to mould to the shape of the hat block crown detail, pin a piece of blocking cord at the beginning of the grooves and steam for a few seconds. Encourage the cord to follow the curve and pin and steam until the curve ends.
5 To make the hat keep its shape, it is necessary to use a hardener which is brushed on (follow manufacturers instructions) and left to dry (20-30 mins approx). Remove cord & pins.
6 Trim excess sinamay at the base leaving approx 1.5cms seam allowance.
7 Shape some hat wire to the hat block base inner circumference and overlap the ends and secure with some stitches.
8 To remove the hat from the hat block is tricky and your hat could be ruined if this stage is rushed. carefully use a bendy thin plastic spatula (I used a corset stay) to gently ease the sinamay away from the cling film. Try not to stretch the base circumference as you do this.
9 Pin & sew the wire in place 1cm from the edge, ease any stretched areas back into shape (this is fiddly and took me ages). Stiches should be 1cm apart, with a very small stich on the right side of hat (almost invisible)
10 Finally cut your petersham ribbon to the size of the hat size leaving an overlap, pin in place and stab stitch small invisible stitches. To finish my hat I moulded a bias cut sinamay strip into a heart shape and arranged some hat net to complete the look.