The Sewist

I sew, knit and crochet hats. (Not all at the same time. Whaddaya think I am - a machine?)

Sunday, May 13, 2007

The Making of
A Matador Hat

This is what you do when you don't have a Saturday night date. You make a hat for a friend who needs a topper for a her Second City sketch, which is titled, "Toro." Of course, you only unleash your Inner Creativity for a pal who's Special, because I had a magnificent headache. The last thing I wanted to do last night to was to be crafty and make a headpiece. But I'm Loyal to a Fault (I can't help it, I'm a Scorpio), so on an evening when I would rather foxtrotted with a super-cute boyfriend or at least snuggled up with the same to watch "Workout" re-runs on the tube, my ex-American Institute of Architects colleague Mary and I walked down three flights of stairs to my storage unit to excavate a hatblock. When I couldn't locate that (and I dug in my office, my bedroom, and elsewhere), we improvised. Actually we did what a lot of super-stylish ladies did back in the day when they wanted a hat but didn't own a hatblock: we used a wood salad bowl. Yes, the very object you use to eat your greens! I covered two wads of Crayola Model Magic Modeling Compound in foil, taped those two babies to the round vessel, covered that with wet black felt. Then I wrapped rubberbands around what looked two miniature Mickey Mouse ears. Voila! Matador hat nearly complete.
Since the felt wasn't 100 percent natural, I sprayed it with Sullivans Fabric Stabilizer to stiffen the fabric. My hope is that when the hat dries, it will hold its shape better than shellacked hair.
I also created another hat, same formula, instead I drenched the felt with Aleene's Fabric Stiffener. I'm eager to see which hat turns out better - the one with Alene's or the Sullivans' version?
Even with the neurons duking it out in my brain, this whole experiment got me thinking about how it's infinitely more gratifying to make something from scratch than to actually buy it. Sure Mary and I could have bought her costume prop at a store or even ordered it over the Internet. But now we not only have a hat for her skit, we have war stories and I have a stellar excuse to see Toro. I can pretend I'm costume designer extraordinaire Colleen Atwood (who actually started her career making hats) and pose with the actor who wears my black felt concoction. I can barely wait. Pictures will be in order, don't you think? When was the last time you made a hat on the fly without a pattern or block?

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Blogger Thoughts on Life and Millinery. said...

Last week I made a hat without a pattern or a block!
Check it out on my blog. We may all be on a roll: Milliners Unleashed!

9:22 PM  

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