Sunday, December 18, 2011

Chicago & DC Millinery Classes--Flowermaking, Flat Felt, and Felt Blocking

Last post of the year, dear readers!  We'll start fresh in 2012!

Spent a lot of time in November teaching the last two classes of 2011.  It was a whirlwind year of teaching and I thank all the venues and the many, many students who spent their hard earned money and time to come take a class from me.  I'm very honored to have met and worked with so many this past year.

First--Chicago!  Two one-day classes at TLD Designs in Westmont, IL.  Looking for some great fiber classes?  Check them out! 

The first class was Blocking Felt, and was meant for those who had never blocked felt before.  We started with very simple blocks--pillboxes, gentle domes, Fedoras.  After a bit of confidence building they progressed to some free-form blocking.  Try it some'll have a blast.  Sorry I don't have any pix from that class as my camera battery went down on me.  Shame on me!

The second class was entitled The Complex Block--Blocking Fur Felts. Students worked with the dozen or so  complex hatblocks I sent in from my studio.  These are from my collection and included quite a few puzzle blocks.  Enjoy the pictures of these ladies and the hats they created.  Learning to steam and pull hoods over a block is a little more challenging than most imagine, but worth it in the end.

Love the large beret you see in the pictures above.  Note that the hatblock has cinch lines to pull in the felt to make the headsize opening.  The first picture shows what it looked like when it came off the block before the excess was cut away.

And isn't this a great hat?  Sorry I didn't make a picture of the block.  It will fit further down on the head once she get the petersham sewn the above picture there are lots of pins underneath!  Ouch!!  Love this shape, one of the puzzle blocks.  I have it in the shop in navy with some pheasant and turkey feathers on that high side of the brim.

A seemingly easy block in the picture above, but wait!  The brim must be pulled over and under to create a slightly rounded brim edge.  So what happens is that the edge of the hood is pulled back into the headsize opening underneath.  Not as easy as it looks my friends!

Next stop--Alexandria, Virginia...a suburb of Washington, DC.  Class was held at The Art League School, one of my favorite places to teach.  If you ever consider taking one of my classes there be forewarned...they fill VERY quickly so don't wait until the last minute.  I'll be teaching there twice next year.  

This class was Retro Hats From Flat Felt Skirting and French Flowermaking.  The thought being that they could use the flower on their retro-inspired felt hat.  Above is the final group photo of lovely, lovely flowers made in class.

Some of the fabrics drying after they have been processed.

Petals and parts have been cut from the silks, cottons, velvets, linens, and other yummy textiles.  Love to see a flower with different fabrics, colors, textures all mixed together...that is, if they are all complementary colors.  We had some beautiful examples in this class, as you saw in the group photo above.

Below you will see a few of the retro-inspired hats made during class.  Some students used supplied patterns, or used some of the flat felt vintage hats I brought along for inspiration, or came up with their own designs.  This class did an INCREDIBLE job with the flat felt!  LOVE, LOVE, LOVE!

OK, so that's it for me for 2011!  I'm busy planning for my teaching trip to the International Millinery Forum in Australia in just a short few weeks.  I'll post about that when I return at the end of January. That will undoubtedly be a wild and crazy blog post with some of those jazzed Aussie hats I love so much!!!

Until then, have a wonderful holiday season...Merry Christmas and Happy New Year!