Tuesday, October 01, 2013

Like New (Or Maybe Even Better?)

A few months ago, I purchased a sad little faux bird hat on Ebay.  It was in desperate need of TLC: the veiling was shattered, faux birds missing nearly all their feathers and body parts, etc.  The hat was described by the seller as being "covered by chickens."  That description made me giggle, and I think was one of the reasons I purchased it.  Who else can claim to have a "chicken" hat?

I could see that at one time this hat was truly spectacular.  It was a 1940s black felt tilt hat by Frances Adams.  I knew that I could restore it to its former glory, but it was going to take a complete overhaul.  Beyond the felt hat base and the orange plastic faux bird beaks, everything else would have to be replaced.  I used a vintage black veiling to replace the shattered one, and attached it just as the original had been: looped like a figure "8" and tacked down at the edges.  Rebuilding the faux birds was much harder, as (because they were missing most of their feathers and parts) I did not quite know exactly how the original wings looked.  I did my best to reconstruct the birds as they were originally.  I believe I did a good job, and I hope Frances Adams would agree.

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