Tuesday, June 14, 2011

Me so bicorny!

Okay, corny is more like it.  In any case I thought you'd be interested to see my bicorn progress since it seems not too many people I know have made one of these from scratch.  I used the pattern in From the Neck Up enlarged to 200% for a mini size, it's the picture to the left.  By the way, if you're thinking about making hats this book is the hat making bible and is very worth getting.

I didn't take construction pics I'm afraid, but my basic steps in making a buckram fabric covered hat are:
  • cut 2 sets of pattern pieces in buckram and fuse together to form one set of pieces.
  • zigzag millinery wire to one edge of each join - so tip, crown bottom (where it joins the brim) and brim.
  • mull - white glue a pieces of flannel onto all buckram pieces that will be covered with fashion fabric.
  • cover with fashion fabric then sew pieces together.
  • sew bias strips to brim edge to cover millinery wire.
  • make and sew in lining, attach combs or loops to pin on head if needed - always leave the lining for last, as my friends know many of my hats are unlined because I ran out of time!
Bonus: I discovered you can actually mull the pieces at the same time if you layer flannel, buckram, fusible, buckram, pressing cloth then flip it over and add another piece of flannel in place of your pressing cloth.  Be sure to ALWAYS use a pressing cloth when fusing buckram, it's so porous you'll ruin your iron if you don't. 

After that I cut out some silk shantung and glued it to the mulled pieces with a thin layer of white glue I let dry a bit to the just tacky stage.  I cut the crown part on the bias and stitched the cb then pulled it over the stitched crown. 

Now I'm in the process of sewing bias strips to the edges of the outer brim.  This hat is a bit complicated and I thought the best construction method for it would be to finish each piece then sew them together, you can see all the pieces ready to be put together to the right, the crown and top are pinned together, the strange eye shaped piece will be attached next then the outer brim which is the traditional "bicorn" shape.  You can get an idea of how it will look when I'm finished in the pics below.

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