Wet Felted Concertina Hat

I am currently taking an on-line concertina hat course with Teri Berry.  I have a Kangol concertina hat that I have had for many years, but it is not felted, it is soft and folds completely flat.  It is one of my favorite hats.  I may not be into handbags, but I do love a good hat.  When the opportunity came up to take the on-line course for making concertina hats, I jumped at the chance.

After completing my reversible cloche, I made another hat with the same template, but I wasn’t happy with the form.  Nothing strange in that as it seems to be me at the moment.  I had found a child’s policeman’s hat to use as a hat form.  I found it in the charity shop for £1 and it fit me perfectly.  Unfortunately, the shape doesn’t really transfer to a contemporary hat.  I got my husband to cut it down so that it is now a perfect form for making a hat for my little head.  Some people use bowls, I find stuff in the charity shop.

I decided to re-work the hat for the concertina hat course.  One of the nice things about working with felt is that you can pretty much re-shape it or turn it into something else.  All that was needed was a bit of warm water and soap.  I re-fulled the form and when I got it to how I wanted it to be I put the hat on the form for shaping.

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You can see the depth of the hat form.  Where the brim folds up is where the top of my ears are.   This form is for a large child and is still a little bit bigger than my head!  I used Merino batt for the inside and a combination of Merino and Corriedale tops for the outside.  I also used a bit of sari silk fibers for a little bit of bling.  A very subtle bling.  I could have made this into another cloche, but I had plenty of height to make some folds and enough for a small brim.  I used clips here as the felt was quite thick and sturdy.   I  then put the hat in the electric clothes airer to dry out.  I left it on the form until I went to bed and then I took it off the form hoping it would shrink a bit more.

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When the hat was completely dry I tried it on and it fit perfectly.  I did steam it in a few places where the clips were to remove some of the marks they made.  I was going to trim the brim in ribbon, but it is quite thick because of the layers as you can see them here.  At first I wasn’t too happy about this, but it has grown on me.  They are not going to come apart.  If they do, I can always do some needlework around the edge or needle felt them down with the embellishing machine or by hand.  Rather than flowers, I made some feathers in the same colors as the hat with the templates I got from Mum’s Makery.

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It looks rather jaunty and stylish!  I think this style would also suit a man and I am thinking I might make one for the hubs, but in different colors.  I will let him choose. 🙂  Now I just have to make the template for the actual course and make that!