Saturday, May 15, 2010

howl, winds, because she is dead and gone, gone, gone

I find a little variety in my sewing essential to keeping it interesting. If I had a job where I had to sew the exact same thing over and over I'd get bored pretty fast. With some things, stockings and panties and such, I try to spread out the construction process as much as I can, only making a few at a time, or it gets old FAST!
So, for the sake of mixing things up a little I have been experimenting with making hats.
Making hats is fun, sure, but I will tell you what, it will never be my full time gig! It is so SO so much work! This bonnet, here, has been in the works for quite a while. First I had to draft the design and experiment with materials until I found the right blend of techniques to create it. After that I set to work on this lovely black silk dupioni fabric that had little beads stitched into it at every pin-tucked point. It quickly became obvious in my pre-production experiments that the materials required to make the brim stand out in a nice stiff arc would mean that every single bead needed to be removed from the outer fabric and sewn back on by hand after construction.
Tying this little number under your chin with a black ribbon seemed obvious, but after putting all that silk and all that effort into it, I just couldn't bring myself to using polyester ribbons (most satin ribbon is polyester). Instead, I went all-out and bought lovely double-faced silk satin ribbons to tie it with.
After a week of construction I was faced with the final challenge: hand sewing the lining into the hat. This is where I bogged down. I have an amazing knack for distracting myself with other things when I really should be working on a project. I made a couple of bindi. I mopped the bathroom floor. I spent too much time reading Mental Floss online. Finally, tired of looking at this thing on my ironing board, I knuckled down to it yesterday and polished it off, lining, beads, and all. I felt terribly accomplished!
In case you think this was the first and only time I have managed this procrastination-a-thon, I must admit that I have another black silk hat in the works (a pill box with peacock-y teal lining) that I have managed to "work on" for the last two years, now! It's all hand sewing, and all in awkward ways. And to top it off, I am reinventing the wheel as I go along because classic millinery materials are just not available the way you might like them to be these days.
Just remind me that my next project needs to be less experimental!