Saturday, April 27, 2013

The Mushroom Hat , and a couple of other items

      Back again - it's been a busy couple of months full of distractions. Before it appears that I never really finish anything, I'm happy to post a picture of a completed object from a previous post - the  black handkerchief linen 18th century neckstock.

               Here you can see the tabs added since my previous post, and if you have really good eyes, you can see the buttonholes. No, they are not handmade. I decided just to get the darn thing finished. I also ended up folding a couple of layers of the excess linen into the the inside of the neckstock as interfacing rather than using a layer of canvas. I didn't want it to be too thick or too hot to be comfortable in the crazy heat we usually find ourselves in at summer events. In any case, the DPO has a new neckstock and will no longer have to feel the shame of inferior neckwear.

              Next up is the hat which I completed for the Spring Encampment last weekend at Locust Grove. I have had the straw hat and the ribbon  for about two years, so this was definitely unfinished business. It was intended to go with a brown raw silk dress I was also going to make for the cooler weather events, because I am occasionally allergic to wool, and I find silk to be very warm and light. The raw silk is not strictly period correct, but it doesn't have many slubs and could pass as homespun quite easily.  I had gotten the dress mostly together before I started this blog. It was just waiting for a little bit of finishing which I also did last week.

                The hat was originally going to be covered with a cream and brown striped fabric, but then I realized I would be very limited as to what I had to wear it with. I decided on the chocolate color when I found another piece of fabric in my stash that had this brown and the green, yellow and brown you will see in the ribbon trim. That fabric was intended for an 18th century gown, and having this hat might just give me the nudge I need to do that one, too!

               I got it in my head that this hat should resemble a mushroom. I don't know why. But there it was, and so this is what I did...

Chocolate brown linen stretched over a straw hat as a base. You can see the stitching around the crown that holds it on and tightens it as you make subsequent passes with the needle and thread.
A gathering stitch was done around the outside of the large circle of linen to help pull it taut to the inside.

A strip of sage green linen gathered at both edges and shaped to fit the underside of the brim. The outer edge was then blind stitched to the brown linen on the top. I actually had to redo this when I realized I didn't want the brown to show from underneath. I had to roll the green edge up more toward the top of the hat.

Large hand stitches attach the lining at the base of the crown to the straw through the crown itself. Any stitching that shows on the outside will be covered by the ribbon.

Pleating the luscious silk ribbon to the edge of the hat,

The pleated edge in closeup. Shiny!

I was going to do the standard bow at the back, but couldn't make it work, so I came up with the idea of a rosette. The ribbon edges are gathered by hand, and stitched  largest to smallest onto a piece of crinoline.

Like this.

The finished hat. I stitched a copper filagree metal button into the center of the rosette, I also pleated ribbon around the crown, which looks pretty and hides the previous stitching.

The underside of the hat. A narrow piece of silk ribbon hides the gathering stitches on the green linen, and then a piece of buttercup yellow ribbon is attached for a tie.

The finished dress and hat. It's very plain, but that was what I was after. I used the J.P.Ryan Robe l'Anglais pattern for the dress. It is a round gown, all of a piece instead of having an open front with a separate petticoat. I actually have a second petticoat under this, but the fabric hangs rather heavily, so I don't look very puffy. The front  of the bodice is held together with hooks and eyes and is boned to  keep it nice and flat. I need to redo my stays, but I am not sure I am up for that.

The back of the gown showing the pleating (which drove me nuts on this dress) and the sleeve ruffle.

    By the way, raw silk is a bear to work on. It ravels, it tears up your fingers and your needles, and it doesn't crease well. But it has lovely drape and it IS nicely warm.

     Oh, and I made another 18th c. shirt - this one a commission for a friend, who was also going to the event. So that makes 4, count 'em, 4 projects to check off!!

    Still working on those darn trade shirts-   note to self - never do two shirts with hand
 rolled ruffles at the same time...

Thanks for reading!