Thursday, April 23, 2015

A hat, a hat, what'd'ya think about that? Capote bonnet time

So my funk seems to be lifting a bit. I'm back on Pristiq, since our new health insurance actually covers it. I'm still trying to figure out if Providence covered anything at all, except the most basic stuff, because our time with Providence proved to be the most heavily billed time with an insurance provider, ever, and it nearly killed us financially.  This medical system is a joke. A massive joke.

I digress... enough ranting about the American medical system of shite. Onto better things. Like hats. Everybody likes hats. Right?  Well you should.

I've been a big fan of the capote bonnet. I have for a while, but I've always been a bit flummoxed as to how one goes about making them.  I came close enough to the infamous Kate Winslet sea-grass bonnet with my paper lace one that I made last summer. But this particular spoon bonnet pictured below has been something I've coveted for some time:

It's really unique. I love the shape. So I endeavored to create a pattern to make one yesterday, in spite of the constant, and annoying interference of my little son.  I think I've come close. I will add some trim to this one, and maybe make one more test bonnet using the pattern, so I can lock down the best way to cover it.  The hat frame itself is easy. It's the covering of it that's the bitch.

The pattern was easy enough to come up with.  It's always useful to have a foam head, because it really helps to shape things. But foam heads are also small--so I have to keep that in mind when I'm patterning hats. I started with two pieces of regular paper (where I sustained my project injury in the form of a paper cut -- usually when hatting, I pierce at least one finger with pins so this is an unwelcome change).

I sketched out teh general shape of the brim piece, and then measured out the back neck-piece. I transfered this to poster-board, taking care to make it a bit neater. Then, with a little courage, I cut the pieces from buckram. It does not take too much buckram to make this hat.

My general shape in poster-board. It will be refined and smoothened up later.
This is just experiment time. The top is the brim, the little bit is the
back neck piece. The lines are the general placement of the millinery
wire that will connect them.

The necessary supplies. 

I whipstiched the wire to the brim. The trick with millinery wire is to just
apply it without trying to shape it. I did bend it around the corners, but
that is all. Also, I started on a long edge and then overlapped to maintain

I swiveled it on pins to see if the shape and size were good.

Even as an experimentation piece, I wanted a smooth edge. Some bias tape
was added to the edges that mattered. I glued it on. Cheater!

As you see, the back neck-piece has been added and pinned into place as well.

I measured out four wires to connect the two pieces and create the necessary
support for the fabric and shape. In order to attach it to the pieces of buckram
I turned the tips of each wire by 90º so it won't pull off.

I added the wires to the brim. I did not bend them, but I did use the arc of the wire
to my advantage.

I also made sure that the wire was also firmly sewn into place on the edge so
it wouldn't slide back and forth.
 It's here where I began to think about the covering.  I found some ugly silk from a bag of silk remnants I got years ago. And I was going ot make the lining different and then decided against it, I figured I would just use the ugly silk up.  With trim and such, it might not be so frumpy looking.

I measured my wires, and then used the brim to cut a two pieces of fabric together. I tapered the fabric from the width of the brim to the neck piece, and then slit where the little brim angles were so it could pocket right into the fabric once I sewed it up.

The pencil is the stitching. Once stitched, I
turned it inside out. I curled the brim
and shoved it into the narrow end
and then put the brim angles into
the pockets.

Now the wires are sticking out of the bottom of the covering.

I angled the wires at the bottom and began to affix them to the neck piece.

And done. I then pinned the fabric down in place and whip-stitched the bottom
closed. I tacked the fabric down along the top of the neck piece.

And I did the same for the inner edge of the brim. The trim will cover anything
No, this is not a picture of two turtles getting it on. It's just showing how you
take the neck piece and affix it to the underside of the brim angle. 

 This is what I have so far.

Because it's an experiment, I didn't use mulling. It would smoothen the whole
thing more if I had.

I think with trim it will look pretty good and close to the real thing.
We shall see! I just need to figure out the best way to cover this, and we're good
to go for a pattern. I might combine it with another pattern and add it to my
downloadables.  I'll post a final pic when it's done.

The little photobomber chewing a piece of steel boning. Kept me on my toes.

That's it for now. I'll post more laterz yo. :)

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