Tuesday, August 4, 2015

Silk-Covered Hat: Research and The Plan

I was jonesing for an 18th century project, and I really wanted to play with some silk.

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.