It’s so weird to think that, in less than two months’ time, I’ll graduate as a milliner… In order to do so, each student has to present a small collection of hats around a theme. I hesitated between a few themes for some time, but none of them really convinced me. Then I thought about the theme I would finally choose, which is, as you might have guessed from the title of this article, Make Do and Mend, and it was kind of an epiphany since it combined two of my main obsess… I mean, interests, vintage fashion and upcycling.
So the plan is to make some 1940s inspired hats only using second-hand materials, with a few exceptions such as thread and other notions that would be too difficult, if not impossible, to source in the second hand market.
The assignment is to make five hats: a winter hat, a summer hat, a hat on a buckram base (the buckram is one of the things I’ll have to buy new) and two hats made with free to choose techniques. I was thinking about knitting for one of those last two (I think I could find a sweater whose yarn I might be able to repurpose), but nothing’s set in stone yet!
For the time being I only have started on the first two hats (the winter and summer ones), but I wanted to share the process with you before the end for once. So here are the first two pages of my inspiration notebook: the one you see above is simply the front page, where I sketched without thinking too much some hat shapes that evoked the forties to me. And the one below is the inspiration page for the first hat: some pictures of the hat I would transform and some drawings I made to decide what the final hat would look like. As for the summer hat I started, I haven’t finalised the inspiration page yet, but I’ll share it with you as soon as I do.
The winter hat will almost certainly look like the simplest of the drawings, the one that’s on the head. I tried various ribbon combinations but I quickly realised I prefer to let the felt flowers be the focus. And I’m pretty chuffed that I’ll probably even be able to reuse the petersham ribbon from the original beret inside the new hat! I just need to wash it I think, and it’ll be good to go!
I’ll keep you posted on my progress!