I wouldn’t think of myself as an animal print person, but our millinery teacher had us design a hat based on a documentary film about the African and Brazilian nature and the image that stuck to my mind was this beautiful Brazilian leopard. What can I say, I love cats!
We were also instructed to use horsehair braid in our design (I can tell you this won’t become my favourite millinery notion anytime soon! – at least not this plasticky kind), and as you may already have gathered from my previous posts, I’m definitely a bow person, so I chose to drape the horsehair braid into this statement bow.
I hesitated between leopard-printed or black horsehair braid, and eventually went with black because the leopard-printed one kind of clashed with the leopard print of the wool felt cone. I now have a few meters of leopard-printed horsehair braid I need to find a use for, ahem…
The base is a one-piece wool felt with hand-molded brim. I had initially planned to leave the edge of the brim raw, but it was a little too soft, so I added millinery wire to strengthen it and I covered it with black petersham ribbon (that’s still a little too wavy to my taste, next time I’ll spend more time ironing it to shape). I think I actually like it better that way as it forms a nice contrast with the background and it echoes the bow.
I finished the hat yesterday (I began working on it in class a few months ago then left it languishing unfinished, oops!) and also wore it for the first time, in keeping with my pledge to wear one me-made hat each week of May. I was kind of expecting to feel self-conscious wearing such a weird hat (well, weirder than what I’m used to), and I was pleasantly surprised by my actually feeling totally at ease and not worrying a bit about people staring or God knows what. So this hat is not as easy to wear as the first three I wore for Me-Made-May, but it’s still much easier than I had first assumed.
Here you can see the inside, with another petersham ribbon (as in any hat) meant to help the hat stay on the head. The ribbon is invisibly sewn by hand, as is the one on the edge of the brim. Every stitch involved in the making of the hat was hand sewn, actually.
Ok, I could ramble on and on about this hat, but I think we’ll leave it at that. I’ll see you on Monday for the next Me-Made-May weekly recap!