Wednesday, March 25, 2009

On Grain, Off Track: Vogue 8405

Oops. I just realized that I completely forgot the best hat award for my millinery workshop on Sunday. I said in my class write-up that whoever wore the best hat to class would get a prize. I remembered to bring my box of candies and even my camera, but no goodies for the student with the coolest, most memorable chapeau. Actually, only one student wore at hat. That was Bernadette (Bernie) in the above photo. She blocked the hat she's wearing in another class. I was so impressed. I love the embellishment too - it reminds me of the Jessica McClintock Venice appliques that are all over Vogue Fabrics.

Anyhow, Bernie and the other student, whose name I forget, were all keen on making the fedora style hat (view D) from Vogue 8405. I, on the other hand, decided to use up this damaged fabric - black flowers bleeding blue on a white background, so I opted for view A with its large brim. We all set down to work well before the clock came close to striking 1 p.m., and didn't even come close to finishing our projects by the time the workshop ended at 4 p.m. This is what happens when you make a lined hat on a fabric with a grain. (In my previous class, one woman walked out with a finished unlined felt hat, minus the petersham sweatband. Impressive! She arrived early and didn't rest for a minute during the 3-hour class.)

Here's what we learned this past Sunday:
  • The lay-out for view D is completely wrong. Nothing is on grain, according to the Vogue Patterns instructions. Not one part! So follow your gut instincts. Align the pieces with the selvedge edge as you would with a skirt, a shirt, or any other garment.
  • Pre-treat your fabric to banish fold lines. My nameless student couldn't get rid of the fold lines in her fabric despite pressing, pressing and pressing. She ended up buying more fabric just so she could get started on her project.
  • Hair canvas* is not an embellishment, it's an essential part of the hat. It gives the brim and crown structure. Next time I write up the class description I'll make it crystal clear we're sewing a hat from start to finish, not gussying up a storebought version.
  • Finish the hat first, and then trim it. Otherwise, you might buy feathers, buttons and ribbons that just don't work on your completed hat, which truly might look just fine and dandy sans stuff. You'll save yourself money, time and grief.
  • Have fun. It's just a hat, not wedding dress.
* The link is for $24 a yard of pricey hair canvas. Rest assured, it also can be found for about $7 a yard, on sale, at Vogue Fabrics.

1 comment:

PhantomMinuet said...

What an adorable hat! I love the embellishments.