A Hat for Rasha

Rasha and TomThis lovely couple are my good friends Rasha and Tom. Don’t they look amazing! This was taken at their friends Nick and Jo’s wedding back in August 2012, so as per the last post this is a bit of a catch up. I’ll make it into 2013 soon, I promise!

Anyway, Rasha’s hat: Rasha already had the dress and wanted a smallish headpiece to complete her outfit – nothing too large as she hadn’t worn this kind of hat before. When I saw the colours in the dress I thought it would be fun to use that palette, and the pattern and floaty cut of the skirt immediately suggested the little silk flowers I had learned to make with Rose Cory. So I went fabric shopping and came back with some goodies:

I love buying fabricsWe decided on a simple navy wool felt for the base, so I started to think about the shape of the hat. Rasha liked button shapes but ultimately wanted something a little more elongated and less conventional. I was particularly inspired by this bespoke wooden fascinator block on Anna Agyekum’s blog - a lovely blog with lots of beautiful dressmaking and some great ‘how to’ shots that I really enjoyed.

Anna Agyekum fascinator blockUsing this idea I set about cutting up some polystyrene:

marking out base block

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P1030291Messy but loads of fun as always. The final shape was rounded off and I gave it a ridge along the top to add some depth. Next came blocking and assembly:

Pins and Petersham ribbon hold the felt in place along the ridge

Pins and Petersham ribbon hold the felt in place along the ridge

removing felt from block

removing felt from block

wiring along edge

wiring along edge

stab stitching Petersham ribbon, which is then steamed to smooth into place

stab stitching Petersham ribbon, which is then steamed to smooth into place

final stitches

final stitches

So now the fun bit was the placing of the flower. I first thought I would only put one flower on the headpiece, but as I worked it just needed some balance visually, so I tucked a smaller one just under and behind the first.

pretty silk petals

pretty silk petals

just one flower

just one flower

a little front heavy

a little front heavy

view of the finished flower - I enjoy making these a lot

view of the finished flower – I enjoy making these a lot

balanced with the second flower

balanced with the second flower

side view to see the shape

side view to see the shape

beading the leaves to give them some weight and sparkle

beading the leaves to give them some weight and sparkle

finished!

finished!

The full-length final outfit - I loved Rasha's shoes and bag which inspired the beading on the leaves on the hat

The full-length final outfit – I love Rasha’s shoes and bag, which inspired the beading on the leaves on the hat

I was really happy with the final result and I’m glad to say Rasha was too. I hadn’t managed to see her in the full outfit before she left but I was very excited to see the photos, which she kindly agreed to let me share. Rasha has just moved back to Dubai but I’m hoping she’ll do some advertising for me out there – maybe some hatmaking would help fund a trip to go and visit :)

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