A Week Of Hats: Y’a d’la joie

YaDlaJoie1Remember the old hat covered in dust (and other things much worse than dust!)? Once cleaned and treated with stiffener, the straw looks totally different: stiffer of course, but also less grey and much glossier.

YaDlaJoie2I dreamed of a hat of this shape for my collection because to me there’s no shape more typical of the 1940s than a hat that forms that kind of aureole framing the face, and I was lucky enough to find the brim block I needed at school.

YaDlaJoie3The hat is made of two pieces, the brim in that aureole shape and the crown shaped using only the top of a simple round block as it’s not deep at all. It was not easy getting the two parts to conform to each other afterwards, but I did manage it in the end. It was also not easy sewing anything to that straw, be it the flowers all around the crown or the petersham ribbon inside the hat. I could not stop the thread from getting caught on every irregularity of the straw and consequently forming annoying knots all the time.

YaDlaJoie4But the important is, the hat once more looks like what I had in mind, so it doesn’t matter if the realisation was a bit tedious at times. I also love the effect of the flowers, even though they cost me an arm and a leg! They were actually one of the rare things I had to buy for my collection, so the contrast was even more glaring since most of the hats cost me about €1 each in material (that’s if I’m not including the time it took me to get the materials in a usable state of course).

YaDlaJoie5Once again there are no pictures of the inside of the hat, but there’s a brown petersham ribbon as a sweatband, and both millinery elastic and a comb for the hat to securely stay on the head as it’s a bit heavier than the other ones.

YaDlaJoie6The name is another song (this is the least kitschy video I found of this song, imagine the other ones!) by Charles Trenet, which I think matches the exuberant character of the hat. I want to have an old-fashioned colourful picnic in that hat!

Watching the Seagulls

Seagull1Wouldn’t this hat be perfect for a stroll along the North Sea? I chose the colour of the straw first, then I saw the block I would be using, with its cloche-like asymmetric brim, and I immediately had this idea of a hat that would evoke sea bathing in the 1920s. So I decided to add blue and white trim in order to achieve that look.

Seagull2It took me a long time to complete, since as per usual with my hats I let it lie unfinished for too long because I sort of lost interest after I had done most of the work and I had to begin another hat for millinery class. But I have just realised that the end of the schoolyear is fast approaching and that I’d better quickly finish all of those languishing projects!

Seagull3The base is parasisal, molded in two pieces (one for the crown, one for the brim) then sewn together. The trim is store-bought bias tape. Seeing as the polka dot one wasn’t wide enough to look right around the base of the crown, I sewed three lengths of bias together (that’s the only thing that was machine-sewn by the way, and it was also sewn by hand to the hat): two polka dot ones at the sides and one solid in the middle. The one at the edge of the brim covers millinery wire, which you can see has suffered a little bit at the back from being lugged in my backpack (that’s when I realised I had to find a better way to carry my hats when going to class on my bike!).Seagull4I added this strip to cover the seam at the back of the trim, and I thought gathering the trim in a smaller tube would add more visual interest than leaving it straight all around.

Seagull5The inside of the hat (I used a wider petersham ribbon than usual because that’s all they had in that colour in the store), plus you can see the asymmetric brim more clearly. All in all I’m happy with this hat and it really looks like I had envisioned it, BUT in order for the crown bias not to gape I tightened it a little too much and as a result the hat is now a little too small (which it wasn’t before). I’m leaving it as is for the moment because at least it really stays in place on the head (which is nice if I ever bring it to the sea – hello wind!), but I’ll loosen it if it’s actually uncomfortable after wearing it for real.

Have a nice weekend!

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