Sunday, 23 February 2014

Module 3 - Chapter 11 - Composite Sheet with Completed Accessory I decided to make the hat. I plan to make the design from a fabric made from machine stitched cords, the base being wired and spiralled. The crown is to be decorated with fabric spiralled flowers.


I sketched various styles and sihouettes, experimenting with the size and shape of the crown, the brim, and the spiral shape on top.


I settled on the design that I felt was most pleasing and balanced, whilst giving exciting scope to display my corded fabric and flowers.


I made a simple construction from corrugated card to check the dimensions and actual measurements needed.
I then made a construction cardboard that I could use as a template.

I cut the crown of the hat and the spiralling topper from a double layer of simnay to give strength and body to the hat. This will then be completely covered with cording and flowers.

I loosely whip stitched spirals onto circles of hand dyed scollata fabric by machine, then cut a spiralling shape. This was then gathered and spiralled to form a flowers.

The flowers were beaded randomly in the centres.

The brim is to be made from machine stitched and wired cord which is then hand stitched together in spiralling patterns to form an openwork brim.

After a month of twisting and stitching the cords, the brim is complete, but disaster strikes! It appears that the wire chosen is not firm enough and the brim 'flops'!

Sian suggested using a stronger wire, either as an invisible support system, or one that adds to the design. Sian also very kindly asked the advice of one of her fellow members of the 62 Group, Mary-Anne Morrison. Mary-Anne was very generous with her suggestions, one of them was to continue the flowers onto the brim of the hat to, in some way, pull it up. This idea excited me, and upon scrutinising Mary-Anne's website, and seeing some very inspirational spirally headpieces, I had the idea of putting the two suggestions together.

Going back to my original designs, I referred to the 'clematis' fascinator.

I think I can use the spiralled brim of the hat as a sort of trellis, and by cord strengthened by using some firmer wire as suggested by Sian, I can create spiralling tendrils 'growing' from the crown of the hat, across the brim, lifting it and holding it in position. Flowers can then continue to extend across the brim giving a much more coherent construction than my original design.

I plan to finish the crown and the spiral detail topper before deciding exactly what is needed.


  1. I've been looking forward to seeing this Julia, since the tantalising glimpse on Facebook. I love your Orbit-inspired "Mad Hatter" hat and I think it is going to be absolutely gorgeous. The flowers trailing onto the brim is going to look good and unify the two parts of the design. Can't wait to see it finished - hope you can take it to Summer School.

  2. Your hat is looking so exciting Julia. Looking forward to seeing the end result.

  3. I admire the way you work through the design process and I think your sketches are really good. The whole thing looks amazing, especially the way you've stitched the brim to make it look so light and airy.