May 1, 2010

The birth of a gentleman’s hat

I had a bunch of handsome gentlemen in need of a spring hat for the last Passejada amb barret, and decided to start from scratch and design and sew a stylish hat for them.

Do you remember that a while ago I sculpted a hat with plasticine and extracted a flat pattern from it? If you don’t remember or want to see it again, follow this link.

Well, for my gentleman’s hat I decided to follow the same process. I used a round block as a base in order to save on plasticine (aka Play Doh), and as you can see it starts quite messy and seems hopeless, but little by little it takes shape. I like to smooth it out really well when it’s almost finished. Once the shape is ready I cover it with cling film and ideally I use masking (painters) tape to cover the whole shape, carefully following all the curves. When I made this pattern I was out of masking tape (and it was Sunday, so no hope of finding any) so I used packing tape which is messy and does not adapt as well to the shape, but in the end it did the trick.

Then I drew lines with a felt pen where the cuts (seams) were going to be. I think this is the trickiest part of the whole process, trying to visualise where the seams should be, but it’s a process that can be repeated as many times as necessary, covering the form again if we need to, and marking different seam lines. Once happy with the tape pattern it’s time to transfer it to pattern paper and true it up with a french curve.

I believe I got really lucky because I love the resulting pattern (the crown is made from one piece of fabric), but I should point out that the finished hat is not exactly as the plasticine version… if you check it out carefully you wil see that I marked the seam to be on the top edge of the sideband, but on the finished hat the top edge is a fold and the seam sinks down. When I had the prototype sewn I saw that it had to sink down, there was no other way.

If you check all the pictures I’ve taken of the sewing process you will see that I cut the iron-on interfacing without seam allowance, then iron it to the external fabric, and then cut the fabric with the allowance. That minimizes the bulk, and serves as a guide when sewing… I’m not really sure if it’s a good idea of just a crazy one but it worked for me…

In any case, the pattern still needs some perfecting. The last version is the one being worn by Paco Peralta (my couturier friend, the one on the far left picture), and you can see how the brim curves better than on the other ones (Peter and Joaquín).



April 16, 2010

Trying on hats, that’s a party!

Filed under: daily life,Millinery trivia and events,Passejada 2010,Passejada amb Barret — Cristina de Prada @ 3:38 pm

Last Sunday, April 11 2010, we celebrated the VI Passejada amb barret (Hat stroll) in Barcelona, and that was an excuse for a couple of friends to stop by, try on some hats and decide which one they wanted to wear for the event (about which I will blog shortly).

Above you can see the lovely Helena (a wonderful storyteller, checkout the blog that she writes along with my brother José Manuel:, she’s in front of the harpsichord which is serving temporarily as an exhibition area for my hats (I knew it would come in handy one day… naaah!! just kidding!!! Sorry Peter!!).

My friend Eulalia also visited me to try on hats and they both had a great time, and had to try every single hat (some of them more than once!).

It was a pleasure for me to see others taking pleasure in my hats. Thank you Helena! Thank you Eulalia!

March 21, 2010

Passejada amb Barret 2010 – Put your hat on and take a stroll with us!!

Filed under: Passejada 2010,Passejada amb Barret — Cristina de Prada @ 11:26 pm

El próximo 11 de abril 2009 (domingo) te esperamos en Barcelona para dar un paseo con sombrero. Es la sexta edición de la “Passejada amb Barret”. Quedamos en frente de la tienda Gratacós (Paseo de Gracia con Diagonal) a las 12 del medio día. El paseo será a lo largo de Rambla Cataluña para luego subir por Paseo de Gracia y acabar en el punto de origen. Es la excusa que necesitabas para comprarte (o hacerte) un sombrero nuevo. Los participantes en este evento recibirán una chapa conmemorativa ¡Nos vemos!

Come to Barcelona and wear your hat! Next April 11th (Sunday) at noon we will wear our hats and take a stroll down Rambla Catalunya and up Passeig de Gracia. This will be the sixth edition of the “Passejada amb Barret” (Walk with a hat), our version of the Easter Parade that takes place every year on the Sunday after Easter. We will be meeting in front of the shop Gratacós in the corner of  Diagonal and Passeig de Gracia. It’s the excuse you need to get (or make) a new hat. Those who participate will receive a commemorative badge ¡See you!

El pròxim 11 d’ abril 2009 (diumenge) t’esperem a Barcelona per fer un tomb amb barret. És la sisena edició de la “Passejada amb Barret”. Quedem al devant de la botiga Gratacós (Passeig de Gràcia amb Diagonal) a les 12 del migdia. El passeig es fará baixant per la Rambla de Catalunya per després pujar pel Passeig de Gràcia. Es l’excusa que et calia per comprar-te (o fer-te) un barret nou. Els participants rebran una xapa commemorativa. Ens veiem!

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