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Tuesday, December 18, 2007

bhat5_3368.jpg  Last seen around these parts in November, my new grey felted bucket was waiting for a little Elf Love.

I put this hat through 2 rounds of felting; the first time I blocked it out over a form that was too square and too big. It went back into the hot sudz once more and when I was satisfied it fit me right (I tried it on over a plastic bag On My Head while it was wet), I then blocked it over a coffee can padded with a towel.

This week I gave it another shave because the fabric of the hat right out of the washer was a little nubby, hairy and pilly. But, did you know that was been part of the process in finishing some types of wool cloth for a very long time? They get *cropped* by a machine with high-speed rotating knives in a series not unlike a lawn mower.

bhat6_0676.jpg  I used a BIC.

Then the fun started! Here’s what some of you wrote on how to embellish the plain flannel hat.

Toby writes: “How to dress the hat?
Hmmm – well, how dressy do you want it? Conservative: I’d got to a fancy ribbon store and find some black and silver or perhaps some other color and silve/or grey ribbon and make a hatband – maybe even a small bow (if that is your bent). Not so conservative: Scarf in grey and other colors and tie it as a hatband. Really not conservative – cut down a small belt in any color – anything under an inch would probably do the trick here.”

KarenB writes: “Great ideas, Toby! I, too, was thinking hatband. But a textured one; either woven fabric, leather or braided ribbons.”

Deb in PA: “Another idea would be a shawl pin mounted on the side. There are some beautiful ones on the net. I love the idea of the scarf and belt. Very interchangable. People will think you have a new hat every time you change the accessory.”

Adrienne: “That had is a great background. I would not use a ‘permanent’ embellishment on the hat, becuase it is so very versatile. Red rose one day, pink chiffon scarf the next, black satin ribbon with white polka-dots, purple with green striped grosgrain. That hat is a background for anything.”

Jenifluer writes: “Feathers. Grey tweed and johdhpurs are meant to go together so I think a few nice irridescent black tail feathers on one side would finish it nicely.”

WOWOWOW! I love all these ideas. Here’s what I came up digging through the treasure chest that is my closet:

bhat4_3828.jpg

I have a *small* collection of scarves. Shown at top around the Bucket is one that is from India and is quite intriguing. It is made from black netting and is decorated with beads and sequins in spiral & floral motifs. At the ends, there is fringe made from the fabric…

bhat1_3898.jpg

Next, one of my favorites from my stash of men’s pocket squares. I love men’s silk pocket-chiefs! I believe Ties & Silk Pockets are one of the only and most interesting ways men have to express themselves decoratively in their dress. When I spot a particularly well put together set (unmatching but co-ordinated) in the wild, I go crazy for the man… Ahem. Silk Pocket Squares can go a lot of places: around the neck, tied to a bag, and here as a Hat Band! This is my favorite one: dark turquoise with red paisleys…

bhat2_3884.jpg

Into the ribbon basket and we come away with a heavy corded bi-color braid that looks quite saucy around the hat…

bhat3_3881.jpg

Although I loved Toby’s suggestion for the belt, I just couldn’t bring myself to trim one to size. (I’m on the look-out for fashion shorties though and who knows what might pop-up?) In the meantime, I found another belt-like substitute. Here we have some black Snap Tape I had left over from a project. I like the look of the black against the grey with the studded sliver accents from the metal.

Today, it is my favorite!


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