Sinamay experiments: a more ambitious shape

interpreted from one I saw in a very posh London shop.

(With apologies to the very posh milliner, whose hats are obviously much classier-looking than this! And well worth £700)

front view on model

Front view, on Isabel

Side view, showing construction

Side view, showing construction more clearly

closer view on a cushion

A closer view, resting on a cushion

Please scroll down for the full set of pics and a description of how I made it.
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The basis of this is a mould made from artists' plaster-bandage, roughly the size and shape of the top of my head, smoothed down a bit with sandpaper & DIY filler and painted to seal the surface.

Then I used this to shape the skull-cap shape underneath - it was just a question of damping the sinamay and stretching it and smoothing it over the mould. If you have a proper hatblock you can pin it, but being a cheapskate I had to use a combination of tucking the edges under and securing with a big elastic band. Then I dried it with a hair-dryer.

The brim part was trickier. It's two layers of sinamay, cut to shape and then curved to fit over a saucepan of boiling water, using a variety of implements such as wooden spoons and smaller pans to achieve the curves.

I bound all the edges with bias binding - mostly hand-stitched, because machine-stitching stretches the sinamay out of shape - and stitched the brim to the cap in a few random places.

The decoration is a feather mount from Randall Ribbons, some ting-ting (dyed and curled florists' twigs) from a shop in Whitby and one of the peonies I got from Poundland, all hot-glued into place.
The whole is held onto the head with a thin elastic band under the hair at the back of the head.

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