The Continuing Saga of the 1870’s Bustle Hat

www.faycullen.com, Victorian pocket watch detail

Victorian pocket watch detail from http://www.fayecullen.com

Once I had 5 minutes of time to breathe, I realized the Bustle Hat class was coming to an end on the 30th. Everything was coming down at 6pm: the course videos, access to the course handouts, and the fabulous Facebook class group. With typical “whoa – I bet I can finish this up today” over-enthusiasm I watched the rest of the videos, made sure I had downloaded all of the course handouts, gathered up my mountain of trim and started working on the hat.

Finishing up the underside of the brim only took 30 minutes or so, even with all the hand sewing.

Next it was finally time to attach the brim to the crown (or is that vice versa?).

This hat has a wickedly curved brim. I found out this detail makes stabilizing the little bugger a bit tricky – especially for an aspiring millinery student, such as myself.  One day I may choose an easy first project, but it will probably be by accident. *rolls eyes*

In any case, the instructions were to make life easier for myself by tacking the center front and back in place, then by tacking the sides, and then start the real hand sewing to permanently attach the crown. All I can say is…what a PIA it’s become. I know this is the hardest part, but really now.

It quickly became obvious that I was not going to finish the hat by 6pm, no matter how much time (or blood) was spent. So I posted the “this is as far as I got” photos, thanked everyone for a wonderful class, and bowed out with as much grace as I could manage. Here are the last official photos of the hat, still in progress:

Hat perched atop water bottle - crown pinned to brim

Hat perched atop water bottle – crown pinned to brim

Bias trim draped loosely around base of crown to show future placement

Bias trim draped loosely around base of crown to show future placement

I now have the center front and back tacked into place, but am wrestling with the sides. Even with the pins in place, as soon as I touch the thing it wants to pop loose from the curve. *grumble/whine/complain*

Side view of brim, correctly shaped with pronounced bend

Side view of brim, correctly shaped with pronounced bend

The brim is now curved into its final shape and its is a real nightmare to handle. I find myself spending my spare moments wishing I had a cobblers sewing machine, or a power stapler with ginormously long arms. It’s going to be slow going for a couple of days – I’m afraid I can’t rush this step without incurring a near-fatal injury.

But, silly me – I’m still in love with the stupid thing and can’t wait to start playing with the trim: lots of netting, flowers, leaves and that odd, oval ornament thingy in the center front that needs a bit of inspired imagination. Still a good bit of play time left, though, and I’m rather pleased about that.

The goal - from an 1871 fashion illustration.

The goal – from an 1871 fashion illustration.

Advertisements