I don't have the first hat I ever made; it is lost to the sands of time, a victim of one of the many college dorm move-outs I endured during undergrad. I have a picture of it and will post it in a future Haturday. But this second hat here below was a prize-winning thing of beauty:
The circumstances of this hat and the previous one are the same but a year apart; I was in a Gilbert & Sullivan group in college, and every spring we had a tea party with a ladies' hat contest. I did not win the first year with my hastily made hat, but I did win an Honourable Mention, which is still losing. But I started to dream, and figured that a hat that took an hour took home an Honorauble Mention, so a hat that took many hours would likely take home the top honour.
I am only now really learning how to make hats completely from scratch (I'll share some other less successful examples of past attempts), and this one was a fairly straightforward project that was less designing and more refurbishing. I bought a somewhat boring polka dot hat from a TJ Maxx, took it a part, traced the pieces, and then went to work to recover it with my own fabric. I used some cream poly-brocade that my mom had in her stash, probably from some high school play of mine she helped costume, and then pleated some white and yellow tulle. I do love the combo of the layers of tulle even looking at it now.
The pink satin lining is glorious and makes me smile every time I see it, and I also love the giant peonies that adorn the hat. The only thing I'm not crazy about is the binding. I swiped some blanket trim from my mom (thanks Mom!) and used it kind of like a bias tape. I think it looks bad, but no one else seems to notice. The binding photographs quite well I suppose. Perhaps you, Gentle Reader, wouldn't have even noticed it, but I mention it now to advise any would-be milliners not to use a satin blanket binding for your hats lest you get judgy as I do. Gentle Milliner, you've been warned.
It was a hat much beloved, and that year it was the victor in the Ladies' Hat Competition.
|What a saucy Queen of the Tea.|
In our next installment of Haturday, I'll introduce you to the late, great dame who gave me a bulk of the hats in my collection: Great Aunt Frankie. Rest in peace, I'll go drink some whiskey in your honor.