Saturday, March 31, 2012

The Mad Hattress Takes on Medford

I just finished up with a 4-day "down & dirty" hat-making session with my favorite millinery guru, Jeanna. We worked each day from ~6:30 am - 7:30 pm, and created some awesome hats inspired by ones from vintage magazines from the 1930s & 1940s. I can't wait to post pictures of some of our creations on here soon! What a blast! Definitely made me realize that holding millinery workshops at my B&B is a really, really, really cool idea! Especially on the new deck that we are about to begin construction on...

This is the original vintage hat (by Sally Victor - photo is from a 1945 McCall's magazine) that I was trying to recreate:

This is my very first blocked felt hat!! Obviously, I did not have the original hat block for it, nor could I find or afford one. But, the thrift store just got in this lovely wooden salad bowl that worked PERFECTLY (best $2.50 I ever spent)! So, here is a teaser of the finished hat with the salad bowl block.

The Lady Amherst center tail pheasant feathers were curled at the base (just like the original vintage hat) via shaving/notching/steaming. I found a vintage ~1950s $2 steamer at the thrift store that works PERFECTLY in place of one of those fancy (and expensive!) steamers. The feathers are curled at their bases, which was difficult to do given the thickness of the quill and the fact that the Lady Amherst feathers tend to curl backwards on either side of the quill (making shaving them with a razor very tricky). The feathers are tacked onto the lip of the brim, and then the ends trail down onto the sides of the hat.

I also finished my "Mad Hattress" buckram hat (this one was made to match the dress I sewed a while back: I had one leftover Lady Amherst feather, and the colors just seemed to match so well with the checkerboard pattern of the hat that I decided to combine the two! :)

This is the back view...

So, to show off my millinery prowess, I went into the heart of downtown Medford, in the center square, where there is an awesome statue of a man playing chess. I decided this man was in need of a worthy opponent...Here is the blocked felt "Sally Victor" hat with the trio of curled Lady Amherst pheasant feathers.

I shared my artistic space with the guy holding the "Freedom America" sign in the background. Between the two of us, we received quite a few car honks!!

Please note the hysterical expression on the pedestrian walking quite a few priceless expressions. All in the name of "bringing the hat back!"

The Mad Hattress makes a formidable chess opponent!

*Please note that the Sally Victor hat, and many other vintage-inspired ones, will be for sale as custom orders on Etsy very soon!


Caroline said...

your hat is brilliantly bonkers! and I mean that in the best possible way. Love it, nice job.

LRH said...


kaboosie said...

Just read your post over at Gertie's blog- you're a novice seamstress??? are you kidding? This dress is gorgeous and looks expensive. You've done a beautiful job!!!