April 26, 2007

Short holiday – London here we come

Filed under: daily life — Cristina de Prada @ 11:20 pm

A well deserved holiday (at least that’s what I think), and we’ll be off to London soon, to return by the end of next week.

I will have some fun and promise to take pictures of any hatty stuff that I find.

Once back I will get back to blogging more regularly, I promise!

April 16, 2007

Making a cloche hat from the italian hat block – trimming off excess felt

Trimming the felt off with a scotch paper cutter - click to enlargeThe hat came out of the block quite easily. I had pulled it well under to avoid pinning on the brim of the block (it’s quite a fragile block), but then I had to cut a lot of the extra felt in order to pull it out. It’s always tricky to cut felt while it’s still on the block because one risks cutting down to the wood and damaging the block. Well, here you have a good solution. I tried it and it works, the new 3M/Scotch paper cutter. A clever little invention that believe it or not will cut through felt, making it safe for your block, because the blade is protected in such a way that it will not enter in contact with the wood. (more…)

April 10, 2007

Making a cloche hat from the italian hat block – blocking the felt

rolling up the felt cloche - click to enlargeSprayed felt inside out - click to enlargeFirst of all the felt is turned inside out and sprayed with plain water. I then put it on a wet cloth and roll it up. It goes 2 minutes at maximum in the microwave. Then I brush the sizing on and it goes back, rolled, into the microwave for another couple of minutes… please be careful to size evenly, because this time I had a couple of weak spots (discovered upon taking the hat out of the block).

After this second microwaving the felt is super soft an pliable and the water and sizing have gone deep into the fiber, it really feels like butter. With such an easy block you just have to pull down a little and it’s done. The pinning takes up more time (and it breaks my heart to make those holes in such a beautiful block). Next time I will use stainless steel pins instead of my alluminium millinery pins that are really thick. Then all it needs to do is dry up (I left it on it’s own to dry). (more…)

April 9, 2007

Making a cloche hat from the italian hat block – The block

I finally started on the hat. First I want to let you take a look at the hat block. It’s the most beautiful i have, it’s like a sculpture made of wood. It’s made by Fratelli Bini in Florence. I saw it on their website, contacted them and ordered it (that was years ago). I’ve just checked their website and it upsets me to see that they are not taking orders although there is a 2007 collection. You can see their collections if you follow this link. You can also look at the hat features.

block front - click to enlargehat block left - click to enlargehat block back - click to enlargehat block left - click to enlarge


April 4, 2007

3 minute Millinery video – Jill’s discovery

Filed under: millinery techniques and cheats,Other Millinery people — Cristina de Prada @ 9:09 pm

In case you missed it, here is the link to Jill’s post about the 3 minute millinery video on how to make a silk hat. She discovered it in You Tube, which promises to be another treasure trove for the hat loving community. The video shows the entire process of making a beautiful pattern hat out of silk cloth, it’s been edited at a fast pace with nice background piano music, you will enjoy it!

April 2, 2007

Hand sewing straw braid – helping Nina

Filed under: Millinery projects — Cristina de Prada @ 10:09 pm

Duchess of Berwick - designLast week was a good week. On Wednesday, after work, I went to visit my friend Nina at the Escola Massana, an Arts and Design school well known in Barcelona. She is giving a millinery course there, every Wednesday from 4 to 8 pm. It was really exciting to be there and to meet the students. Every student makes their own design, their own hat blocks out of cork and finally the hat. Next time I go there I will take some pictures of the process of hat block making for you to see. I also enjoyed helping some of the students (Nina has proposed to me that I substitute her occasionally on the class… but that is a scary prospect!).

While I was there Nina asked me if I could help her by making a hat that she needed for her current project and I said noooo way! too much going on (well not really), but I didn’t want that kind of responsability on my shoulders. Then she asked if I could go to her workroom on Sunday to give her a hand, to which I said YES!!! I really love to go there, and the hours just seem to fly while I’m helping her with one thing or the other.

Nina’s current project are the clothes and accessories for Oscar Wilde’s play “Lady Windemere’s Fan”, that is opening on the 19th of April at the Catalan National Theater (it’s played in Catalan, the language of this region). Although she has designed the whole lot she’s only making the hats and accessories herself, the rest is being made based on her designs.


Powered by WordPress