You may remember that I went to meet local milliner Beth Hughes a little over two weeks ago. She offered to make a bespoke hat for me and towards the end of last week I went to collect it.
It was beautifully boxed…
And it included a personal note
And here it is!
Isn’t it beautiful?
After trying on several styles on my previous visit, I opted for this felt cloche with ostrich feather trim in pewter, a warm neutral that doesn’t overwhelm, or clash with, my fair skin and red hair.
The Hat Making Process
I loved meeting Beth and was very keen for her to tell me a little about the making of my hat. She is warm, welcoming, enthusiastic and very knowledgeable about face shape and colouring and of course, all types of hats.
Mine is a wool felt in ‘pewter’
The first stage is to stiffen the wool felt, so that is keeps its shape when blocked. The stiffener is painted on to the inside of the hat and then left to dry.
Once dry, the felt hood is softened with steam, pulled on to the hat block and pinned into place and left to dry overnight. The hat block is covered in cling film to protect it.
The hat is removed from the hat block and the brim is cut to size. My hat as an asymmetric brim. Once trimmed, the felt edge is turned over and hand stitched
The Petersham ribbon is hand-stitched over the top to finish off the inside of the brim.
Next the head-fitting ribbon is sewn in. This is measured to reflect the client’s head measurement and then stitched in, to ensure a perfect fit.
Beth also applies a waterproofing spray to the hats at this stage, to improve their water-resistance.
It’s worth noting that whilst it isn’t waterproof, the hat will fair very well in damp weather and when left to dry naturally, will not come to any harm.
Finally, the trim is sewn on. For my hat, Beth made the feather flower by stripping an ostrich feather and reworking it into a round flower shape.
The By Betty label is sewn in and the hat is complete.
Love Liz x
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