Sunday, March 5, 2017

Making a blocked French Hood

Making a 500 year old hat with modern millinery techniques. French hoods are typically made like all buckram covered hats: cover will a mull (French fleece, flannel, very thin quilt batting). Hand sew. Cover with silk. Hand sew. Connect the pieces. Hand sew. Make billiments. Hand sew. All that hand sewing takes a long time, and if a hat takes me a long time, I have to charge people a lot more to buy it. Plus it's a bit tedious and I have a short attention span. So, when I was at Millinery Meet Up, I met Darryll Osbourne and his lovely wife Renee of Hat Blocks Australia And he has this fabulous little hat block, part of the Rebecca Share collection. It's a little crescent, and perfect for a blocked French hood. Now I know that isn't how they were made in the 1500's, but a blocked shape is a lot easier to deal with.  The cresent is only part of the hat though, for the brim/base I relied on a pattern from Tudor Tailor I had a damaged felt in a gorgeous period appropriate burgundy. Most French hoods were black or red, though I see a lot of re-enactors having them made from fabric matching their gowns. Taking a deep breath, I cut into my felt, cutting the base, which is very similar shape to the brim of the Tudor coif, and the crescent. I then steamed and blocked the crescent, careful to not pin into the fragile ends of the block. After blocking, I wired the crescent and the base. The crescent was designed to wrap around the wire nicely. I didn't add enough seam allowance to the base, and it has started warping under the weight of the crescent, so I wired and covered with a matching grosgrain. Fortunately my grosgrain is a very close color match and blends well into the final hat. Attached crescent to brim, and then the fun part: billiments!  I used what I had on hand, ouches I lurched from Truly hats.  They are lovely, but a bit heavy.  I'm planning to make my own hat jewelry for the next one.                                             Next I lined the hat in a lovely linen.  My online communities said they wouldn't expect a lining in this hat, though if it had been made of covered buckram it would need to be lined.  I may skip this step next time as it was pretty time consuming.  I used a very fine, lightweight linen, whip stitched into place.  It has a "bag" which would keep hair from touching the hood itself.   The little organza ruffle around the brim was trickier than I expected.  I have a lovely pleating board, and some lovely metallic organza silk.      Unfortunately, the pleats look too large, I think 1/4" would work better, so I end up running a gathering strip and pleating the organza that way.  The pleats aren't as tidy as I would like, definitely something I will do differently next time.  Final step!  The hood part!  Usually made from velvet, but I have silk on hand and it's a bit easier to work with and stores better.  Most people would wear a French hood a couple of times a year, not daily.   Funny moment when I got my black silk out, what happened here?  It looks like I chewed off part the last time I used it!  Sewing the hood together was pretty simple, I used the Tudor tailor pattern for that too.  Ta da!  Popular with princesses of all ages. Then my fantastic friend, Michelle Ma came and took some pictures of it! Photo by Michelle Maphoto by Michelle Ma Photo by Michelle Ma  

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