June 24, 2011

Going to the final of the Hat Designer of the Year 2011: Day and night hat

This is my multipurpose design, the Giorno/Sera (Day/Night) hat. It’s a hat that works as a sun hat with a wide brim, but which can be used as an evening hat by removing the brim and attaching a veil.

Here is the sketch of the hat (and yes, I sketched that not having a clue how I was going to solve the issue of the removable brim and veil!!):


Two of my projects for the competition were made with sewn straw braid. The reason is that I love the possibilities of sewing “straw” braid by machine and the wonderful final look. It helps too that I recently took at course at the Hat Museum/Atelier of Chazelles-sur-Lyon that was a real eye opener in what concerns the use of a hat braid sewing machine, with top notch teacher and wonderful person Jean-Pierre Tritz. Here is a picture of us students with the much admired Jean-Pierre Tritz (he’s 4th from the left, I’m 2nd from the left). I cannot recommend highly enough this course and this teacher: he is THE MAN.


Here is the picture of the finished hat assembled as EVENING hat (the straw used is Starbright):


The front angle on the hat was made by sewing the braid closer together on that side. Little by little the right angle is achieved.

[Lots more pictures follow, just click on the “more” button on the left!]

This is a back view of the hat:


And here a picture of the hat with the veil removed:


Once the veil is removed, the hat can be assembled as a DAY hat:

day hat side view

day hat front view

Here is the brim unattached (there is some velcro that keeps it closed), and then the fabric is tied into a bow:


My original idea for this hat was to make a cork block for the brim in order to shape it to perfection (a hat block allows the sewn braid to be ironed into perfect shape). Unfortunately there was no time (the two cork sheets -3cm and 4cm- are still in my workroom waiting to be transformed into a brim block). It took me too much time to work out the HOW of this hat, and the clock was ticking. Sometimes it’s better to have a finished product that is beautiful and almost perfect, than to have a half finished hat that is becoming perfection, but is not finished when the deadline hits. The brim was shaped free-hand will sewing.

More soon on my groovy 60’s leather cap!


  1. Cristina!!! It’s beautiful or should I say “they” are beautiful… The pink bow is super I love it!, if this isn’t La Dolce Vida in a hat then what is I aak?? I’m glad you took that class!!!

    Comment by S. Montez Murphy — June 25, 2011 @ 6:04 am

  2. PS. I can’t wait to see that Groovy Cap….

    Comment by S. Montez Murphy — June 25, 2011 @ 6:07 am

  3. Thank you Montez, your opinion means a lot to me.
    The Groovy Cap post is on its way, probably tonight. Let’s hope these posts means I will be bringing new life to the blog, I’m afraid it has been unattended for very long.
    This november it will be 5 years since I started blogging!

    Comment by cristinadeprada — June 25, 2011 @ 6:24 pm

  4. Absolutely brilliant AND beautiful.
    I hope you win!

    Comment by margo — June 26, 2011 @ 9:50 pm

  5. So beautiful! I absolutely love these straw hats! Wonderfully done!

    Comment by Tierre Joline Taylor — June 27, 2011 @ 7:19 pm

  6. Love all your hats but your stitched straws are awesome! I’ve never mastered stitched straw and admire those who do. Our machines at FIT were always in disrepair when I was in school. Will be rooting for you to WIN the competition.

    Comment by Kate Pernia — June 27, 2011 @ 7:31 pm

  7. Cristina,

    What a beautiful design and excellent work. I truly hope you win!


    Comment by Austin Gray — June 30, 2011 @ 9:42 pm

  8. Super Impressive design! LADY, you’ve got MADSKILLZ!!!

    Comment by Jean — September 1, 2011 @ 4:41 am

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