What better than a silk covered hat?
I'd done one already, but I trimmed it rather specifically to match the Borderline Obnoxious Pink Caraco. I wanted something that would match anything, and I wanted to use a hat blank I had on hand. That blank happens to be large, and I didn't want to cut it because a) nervous and b) these hats are the cool sort of project that you can remake multiple times, so I wanted to keep my options open on this pristine blank.
So my first thought was:
The Fruit Barrow, by H. Walton, 1779
Because it's *gorgeous* and the right size and black and covered in ostrich feathers and...
...and yeah, I have no clue where to find really nice ostrich feathers. And what, black? Put a black hat on my head for our often-very-warm events? Hi, head, step inside this oven.
Suddenly I liked it better in the painting than in person.
And then I found cream silk taffeta on sale for obscenely cheap.
So cream it was.
There are tons of images of cream and off-white silk-covered hats. So many options for trimming and styling these, and I love the layered textures of the ones that are single-color. (Though the Unknown Lady's blue silk is lovely, too.)
Portrait of a Young Lady with A Fan, http://www.sothebys.com/en/auctions/ecatalogue/2015/dillee-dynastie-experts-collectionneurs-pf1541/lot.119.html
Portrait of an Unknown Woman by George Engleheart, http://collections.vam.ac.uk/item/O82022/portrait-of-an-unknown-woman-portrait-miniature-engleheart-george/
From the collection at Williamsburg, http://thedreamstress.com/2013/03/terminology-what-is-a-bergere/
From the collection of the Chertsey Museum, http://chertseymuseum.org/search_collection?previous_filter=sack+back&filter=dress+silk&offset=475&item=19588
Mrs. Oswald, by Johann Zoffany, about 1763-64, The National Gallery
I have the top covered and am working on designing the trim--I am leaning toward the crown poufs of Mrs. Oswald and the Unknown Lady, and considering some knife-pleated brim trim, too.