August 16, 2008

Beehive hat “crossroads” – another hat with the new block

Beehive hat crossroads version

Here are some pictures of the block and of the process of making this hat (click on any of the pictures for an enlarged view).

This is the seagrass cone used for this hat. People not familiar with the hatmaking process will be interested in seeing this (often people don’t understand how the whole thing works!):

Seagrass cone

And this is the new block, that I love, bought at Van der Broek block makers in the Netherlands. Their website is in Dutch, but soon they will have an English version:

Hat block - beehive


I’ve simply sprayed the cone with water and blocked the top (it’s an easy shape to block). the headsize opening sinks into the block, so I’ve used a sort of brace to get a neat finish. I made the brace following a tutorial from the incredible and highly recommended The Hat Magazine. It’s from one of the early issues, and I had not found a use for it until now!

Blocked seagrass cone  Underside of the block  Headsize brace

Below are pictures of me, pinning the brace in place with my wonderful new tool, the pin pusher. I discovered the tool through HATalk e-magazine. It was one of their monthly giveaways, and when I contacted them about it they said I could buy it directly from them. Two pin pushers (one for me and one for Nina!) cost £19.85 including shipping (from UK to Spain), which I find very reasonable.

I’m in love with my new tool. You insert a pin which is held in place (inside a shaft) by a magnet. Then you just push the pin in place (it has a spring). Soooo easy, no more fussing with hammers! In order not to push the pin too deep I have used a collar that came with a drill bit I bought some time ago and that is fixed in place with a little screw.

Inserting the brace on the headsize opening My new pin pusher! Love it! Close up of the pin in place

…There’s much more… click where it says “more” to see the rest.


August 10, 2008

Beehive hat – new hat block

Filed under: Hats made with new beehive block,Millinery projects,Millinery suppliers — Cristina de Prada @ 11:01 pm

New beehive hatI call this shape a beehive because I can effectively wear my hair up and put this hat on. I really love it!

The block is beautiful and it must be said that buying a block (unless you’ve had the chance to try it first) is an act of faith because you can imagine the kind of hat that you will get, but you don’t really know for a fact!

This wonderful block comes from a Dutch block maker called Van der Broek that has an astounding array of block shapes for sale. Their website is in Dutch, but I’ve been told they will have an English version soon.

The material of the hat is a twisted seagrass hood that I bought ages ago at Manny’s in New York city (now sadly going out of business), and it was very easy to block by simply spraying the cone wet and stretching it over the block.

I used straw stiffener (3 layers because the material was quite soft) to help it keep its shape.

The red double silk cording (no idea if it’s called like that or not) that I’ve used for the trimming, is a vintage treasure that I got from my friend Nina. I back stitched the whole length by making long stitches underneath and  tiny ones on top.

Because the material frays easily I have machine stitched the headsize ribbon.

Here are two more pictures of the hat (Mimi modeling the hat with great style):

Back view of the hatClose up of the hat

I have made another hat with this block and will post pictures of the process and of the block. If you cannot wait and want to take a peak just go and take a look at my Flickr pictures

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