Thursday, May 26, 2011

French Flowermaking and Wire Frames--Chicago

I recently taught two one-day classes at TLD Design Center in Westmont, IL (Chicago), a venue I've taught at many times. The classes were French Flowermaking and Wire: Fascinators and Bridal.

Below you see the class collection of finished flowers. Most were made from silk fabrics but I know of at least one cotton flower in the mix. Nice, huh?

I'll be teaching a flowermaking class in Berkeley, California, at the end of July. Be sure to check out my 'classes' page on my website for dates and other information.

Pretty petals all cut out according to the supplied patterns. Some ladies chose to create flowers with multi-colored, multi-textured petals. Some of these fabrics are hand-dyed. Beautiful!

Here's an example of a silk chiffon that has been hand-dyed. Lovely color combination. She created this dyed piece in an earlier class at TLD. TLD teaches many, many different fiber-related classes. Check them out!

Laura and Mary Alta begin the shaping process. Each petal is shaped with heated flower tools. Different flower tools create different shapes.

Kathleen and Peggy hard at work!

Mary Alta's completed flower. You will note that each and every one of these flowers is different, even though everyone started with the same pattern. This is the beauty of flowermaking! Variables include: different amounts of sizing on the fabrics, amount of heat and pressure on the petal pieces, the kind of fabric being used, the way the petals are assembled...all contribute to the uniqueness of each flower.

This particular flower is composed of embroidered cotton. Embroidered fabrics can sometimes be difficult to shape since the embroidery threads 'hold' the fabric in place and don't allow it to be shaped as easily, but this is so pretty!

Lovely and suitable for so many uses on hats, gowns, home decorations and more.

The second class I taught was meant to teach some very basic skills in working with millinery wire. Because of the Royal Wedding event and the attention it brought to both bridal and fascinator type headpieces, the class used the wire skills to create their own headpieces.

Peggy's completed form, wrapped in black eyelash yarn to cover the wire. I don't have a picture of her completed piece but I love the form just like it is!

Laura created a very nice form then wrapped it in hand-dyed silk.

Michele used a multi-toned yarn to cover her frame. Here you see her adding beauty-marked veiling to a certain 'space' in the form. Nice use of veiling! You'll see the completed piece further down the page.

Mother/daughter team of Dwana and Donna showing off their big-looped wire pieces. While these are not finished products, they do show great promise! Wish I could see their final embellishments!

Jennifer created a wonderful mass of wires, each wrapped in brightly colored Indian sari fabrics. What more do you need?

Pretty Edwardian-inspired wire frame, covered in lace, veiling, trims and a fabulous applique piece. Looks oh-so-vintage with a modern twist. Love it, Kathleen!

Michele's finished piece with some great 'bobbing' crystals. See the way she's added the veiling to just a small portion of 'space' on the frame? Very nice!

So that was Chicago! Next teaching gig is Washington, DC, where we'll be making Big Beautiful Brims--covering buckram frames and creating large fabric covered brims. Class is already full!

Be sure to check out the other classes I'll be teaching the rest of the

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Buckram, Bird, and Nest--The Hat!

Last post I promised to show you the progression of a custom hat I made for a client going to a Spring dance...which would also have a hat contest. She is a funky, cool dresser; lots of European designs, lots of abstract cuts, fun layering of pieces. Love her style! And she wanted a hat that would NOT be typical, something that would compliment her style.

Oh, and she is a collector of bird's nests, and wanted that to be the focus of the hat. Scroll down and follow the making of her hat. What fun this was!

I started with a Juliet shaped buckram frame. Client loves neutral tones so we decided to stay with black, to go with the fabulous black tulle skirt she was going to wear.

I've covered the buckram form with black velour. She loved the black patent leather bird I had on hand, but requested that she 'fly.' Hence, the black millinery wire you see here.

We also wanted to incorporate bits of straws, the kind a bird might use to make a nest--here you see sinamay and tangle tuft.

Starting to come together! I've attached the bird to her wire, the messy straw bits, and the moss green nest.

Here you see how I've bound the end of the beauty-marked veiling that will be added to the hat. Veiling needs to be bound on the ends before being attached to a hat or fascinator.

I used a tiny bit of super glue to attach the egg to the nest. Also, I've attached the veiling to the hat.

Next I added the lining to the hat. I attached all the elements of the hat before I added the lining so that no stitch lines would show. The lining hides those stitch lines and make a nice finish on the inside.

Here you see the lining stitched in. For some reason any kind of slick/shiny fabric shows stitch lines much more prominently than they show in person. Hence the pick marks you see in the photo above. Bummer.

Here she is! I just love this hat and that the client wanted to step out on a limb, so to speak, in her choice of design.

Close-up of the nest and egg.

And here is the client when she picked up the hat! She was sooooo pleased!

Next post will be from Chicago classes--flowermaking and wire (bridal and fascinators). See you then!

Monday, May 9, 2011

Fascinators, Kentucky Derby, Hat Wearing Events for Spring

Hello, everyone! It has been an incredibly busy Spring. I've been making hats non-stop since January. First for the hat show (several posts back), then our city's largest hat-wearing event in early April--Azalea Garden Party, then Easter, then the Royal Wedding, then Kentucky Derby.

I'm posting quite a few of the hats and fascinators I made for these events. Most were made to coordinate for specific dresses, but some of these were made for a trunk show before our local Royal Wedding event where, I'm happy to say, almost everyone there wore a fascinator! Thanks, Kate Middleton!

Sinamay base with 12" diameter silk flower, vintage green veiling, stripped coqs, curled biots, and a swirl of vintage rooster feathers.

Close-up of the fabulous vintage veiling--delicate and stylish.

Made for a client who had not been, up until this one, a hat-wearer. In fact, she specifically didn't want a hat that would draw attention to herself. However, after she wore this hat, gained some 'hat confidence' she came back and had me add more feathers and some hot pink veiling for another event. I love that kind of story! Now she is a dedicated hat-wearer!!

Close-up of the dyed peacock feathers, coarse petaled flower and a bit of the sinamay.

This hat was made for one of my models from the Spring in Paris show in March. She wanted a show stopper and this what she got. I love the way this hat turned out.

Made for the official photographer for the Azalea Garden Tour. She needed a hat that didn't have a brim, so that it wouldn't interfere with the camera, and one that was NOT traditional. Hence, the free-form, tri-colored sinamay fascinator. I actually added a vintage button to this after the picture was made, but was too busy to make another picture. Yikes!

Another custom-made hat to match a dress. Love this big lily.

Close-up of the lily and the peacock eyes. Guess you have noted that I love the green peacock feathers since they were in another hat further up this post.

Grape parisisal bowl base, 12" magenta flower, and ripped horsehair. This was made for the trunk show and was sold to a very happy customer for Kentucky Derby.

Vintage ribbon, fuzzy pussy willows, yellow rose, and forget-me-nots, all from my collection of vintage embellishments. This was one of my favorite traditional styled hats I made this season.

Black calla lilies, beauty-marked veiling and some rhinestones on the stamens. I added some aqua stripped coqs and this little darling went to the Kentucky Derby!

Vintage blocking net (lacy) form with multi-colored posies, some soft veiling, and a tuft of ostrich feathers.

Close-up of little yellow fascinator.

Simple and sophisticated. I made this as a give-away for a lucky attendee to the Royal Wedding event we had at the beautiful mansion next door to the shop. Confetti feathers!

Custom-made for a grandmother for her newborn grandson's christening! And she has the personality to pull it off.

Store sold. Made for the trunk show. Horsehair, guinnea feathers, and netted 'jewels' on a hairband.

Hope you enjoyed these. My next post will be about a custom made hat you are going to LOVE. I'll be showing each step of the process. So stay tuned! Thanks for reading and happy hatmaking!