I can make a hat on my table without extending the leaves! It has been a little while since I actually made a hat and I was itching to go. A lady on one of the FB groups posted a photo of a hat she made from a tutorial in Felt Magazine, issue 17. I thought it looked interesting and so bought a digital copy and printed out the tutorial. I actually ended up buying about 6 issues and now have a subscription! They make very good reading.
I had two silk scarves that I don’t really wear. I used to wear them together. They have the same colors, but different designs. The scarves are quite narrow and that made them nice to wear together. I thought I would use them to make this nuno felted hat. I had merino in 19mic in a lovely pink. Here I am trying out the design. I used prefelt ribbon for the stained glass effect. This was my first time using it.
This hat is supposed to be a concertina hat which is why the resist is so tall. Although I tried to follow the instructions faithfully, I didn’t make the same size resist. In fact, there was no instruction on how to work out the size of resist the author used. I basically used an A1 piece of paper to make the template which was smaller than what the author used, bearing in mind I have a small head anyway. Here is my wool layout, only two thin layers. I did measure out the wool as suggested. I don’t have any process photos of the silk layout as I think since I paid for the magazine, you can do the same if you want to know how to make this. I didn’t have any plain dyed silk for some relief in the design, so I used viscose instead. It was a risk that paid off.
One good tip I will share is that the author used shelf liner, the open weave kind, to aid with felting and fulling. I used it to sit on top of the piece once the silk was all laid out. When I used the sander, the piece didn’t move. Sometimes you get movement with plastic when sanding and this didn’t happen as the shelf liner is anti-skid and I have bubble wrap on my sander. I shall be using this method more often.
As you can see, the hat has shrunk considerably during the fulling stage. I was a bit concerned at first about using only two layers as I like a sturdy hat. You really do need to full it to a nice firm felt. It took a long time as I needed to be gentle due to the silk. I wanted a brim and since I had extra room on the top for the folds, I fulled the piece down to my head size above where the brim was going to be. That is why the shape of my hat is different from the resist. When I got to this stage I left the hat to finish the next day as I needed the table and I was a bit tired.
Here I have the hat drying outside on a breezy day. This wig form is what I use to make hats for myself as it is small. It also clips on the table, so is useful for craft fairs or when making multiple hats. I have two more of these in other sizes and they are not very expensive. I did try the hat on during the folding stage. Although you can see the material, you don’t really see much of the actual design. I think I shall make a smaller template next time and just go for a cloche without folds so that the design can be appreciated more.
Once the hat was dry, I gave the brim an iron with a bit of spray starch as I didn’t want it to be too floppy. I have bought some hat stiffener, but I thought I would try the starch first if it didn’t work the way I wanted it to. Fortunately it did the trick. The brim is not sticky and you wouldn’t even know I used the starch if I didn’t tell you.
Sorry about the quality of the photos, but my camera wasn’t liking the light this morning. You can wear the hat any way you like, but I like it this way. I have a little crown on the top of the hat. It is very light and would be suitable for an outdoor event even this time of year. I used only 40g of wool, not including the silk, viscose and pre-felt. The brim is great as I can wear my glasses with this hat and it keeps the sun out of my eyes. I’m thinking I may need to make a matching scarf with the leftover pieces of silk! 🙂