Saturday, 22 October 2011

My blue hat finished!!

We've had them returned now, athough we haven't got the grades yet (yikes!).

So I've now had time to take some decent photos of my first proper hat.

Arctic Convoy Exhibition

For a long time now, I've been interested in the stories of the unsung, and largely ignored men who took part in the most dangerous shipping operation of World War Two - the Arctic Conveys that sailed from Scotland, around the top of Norway, through the Arctic seas to dock in northern Russia, carrying much needed weapons, and food to the Eastern Front.

Churchill called the journey they made "the worst journey in the world".  Dozens of ships, both Merchant Navy and  Royal Navy were lost, either due to enemy action, or to the weather conditions, and thousands of men lost their lives in the freezing Arctic seas.

So, (the point of this post), I was very interested the other day when I found out that the National Maritime Museum have put together an exhibition about the convoys.  It's on now, at the museum in Greenwich, and it runs until the end of February 2012.

See the website for more info:

While I'm on the subject, there was an interview with a veteran of the convoys on BBC Radio 4's PM programme last week - if you can access i-player, it's very much worth listening to -  The interview is about 42 minutes into the programme.

Thursday, 13 October 2011

The blue hat... now finished and in for marking.  I don't have any pictures of it completed yet, because I managed to make the deadline for the college brief clash with a work deadline, and had no spare time for photographing, so it'll be a few weeks till I can take some.

Anyway, until then, some more 'in progress' photos that I haven't shared yet...

Firstly, my crown.  I decided to use a quite classic crown block, with a little dip at one side (originally I chose a more squared, flat top crown, but changed my mind before blocking). 
As part of the challenge of this brief was to learn how to make a whole hat from one hood (or hat blank), it wasn't a problem that I didn't have enough felt  left to block the whole crown.  I used buckram to extend the crown to the full height of the block. 
Obviously, the other option would have been to make a hat with a shorter crown, but I wanted to learn how to extend it, so decided against that.

Next picture is of my brim, all ready to add to the crown, with the headfitting petersham all sewn in.

And finally, the silk that I used for the trimming.  This is a slightly off-white china silk - originally I'd planned to use it as it was, but it just felt too broght when applied to the hat - so I decided to dye it.  I dip dyed the two pieces by hand, having first rolled it and tied a bit of ribbon round it to give the colour a little texture.

As I said, more pictures to follow of the hat after it's been marked (eek!!!).

Monday, 3 October 2011

Possibly slow comms for the next few days...

My communications may be slightly off for the next few days / weeks. 

I may be less likely than I usually am to pick up the phone or answer the door.
Usually, that's because I simply can't hear either when I have machines going,  (I've been known to have the phone on the table beside me and not hear it ring).

Unfortunately, this time there's a more sinister explantion - I've been threatened by an unscrupulous individual (or pair of individuals), who is refusing to settle his bill.  The police are aware of the threat, and are taking action, and they have advised me not to open the door, nor to speak to those concerned.

Anyway, upshot being that anybody calling is even more likely than usual to get the answering machine, and we'll  get back to you!!

Normal service will (hopefully) be resumed shortly, and I'll be back to writing about fun stuff, like hats and dresses and corsets!!

Sunday, 2 October 2011

Falcon and fetterlock livery

A piece I delivered this week - already to be seen on my facebook page -  a blue and white livery coat with a falcon and fetterlock back badge.

The back badge is cut from woollen fabric (the Hainsworths unfraying kind), and all the stitching is done by hand.