Tuesday, February 14, 2017

Whimsical Hats for Valentine's Day

Gene Marshall 

Miss Marshall's delightful hat was inspired by these delectable concoctions....Enjoy!

1939 Chesterfield ad courtesy vintageadbrowser

February 1940 Life cover

Love this! Reminds me of a little usherette pillbox hat.

Photo courtesy corbisimages

Retro crochet hat pattern, circa 1940's

Joan Crawford, circa 1920's
Photo courtesy Vintage Gal

Happy Valentine's Day Sweeties!

Thursday, December 8, 2016

Heavenly Hats for Winter 1940-41

Two guaranteed to put stars in your eyes....an off-the-face silhouette in beaver (top) and a manipulated ruffled brim in velour. Both from Luxor Hat Co., New York.

A marvelous tilt topper with dramatic side feather from Alfreda, New York.

A charming little tilt from Vogue Hats by Garfunkel, New York.

Source:  The Millinery Monitor, October 1940.

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Hats for the Zodiac

The prediction is important sales figures for these marvelous Moonglow felts from Salfair, Inc., New York. They were available in Black, Brown, Wine, Gold, Vernon Green, Soldier Blue, Plum, and Red. Here are four styles that were featured in the October 1940 issue of the Millinery Monitor, a trade publication devoted solely to ideas for the sale of millinery.

Style # 267 - Virgo

Style # 264 - Libra

Style # 260 - Sagittarius

Style # 257 - Capricorn

Thursday, November 3, 2016

Lecie Originals

Fall, 1943
Fall, 1946
Fall, 1942
Fall, 1946

Lecie Originals was a division of Rosenthal Ackerman Millinery Company, St. Louis/New York.

Monday, October 24, 2016

Repurposing a Found Object to Make a Felt Fashion Doll Hat

Miss Gene Marshall

This delightful 1950's era lampshade style hat was made from wool felt molded over a found object....in this case, an old vinegar bottle. You can easily make stylish hats for your favorite miniature diva by using simple objects as a hat block.

The first thing you'll need is an appropriate bottle for your hat. You might just find the perfect one in your kitchen or bathroom. If not, check out the beauty and skincare aisle at your local drugstore or even the condiment aisle at the market. Make sure the bottle is long enough to allow for the felt to stretch down, and that it is the same size or smaller than your doll's head. If necessary, you can pad a smaller bottle with muslin or felt to make it larger. The 16 oz. vinegar bottle used in this tutorial measures 4 1/4" around the cap and 6 1/4" around the "brim".

Additional supplies needed:
A good quality wool felt.  I used a 9" x 11" piece.
Rubber band
Saran Wrap
Steam iron or steamer
Press cloth
Assorted ribbon and trim

Step 1.  Prepare the "hat block" by covering the bottle with foil. Cover the foil with saran wrap.

Step 2:  Thoroughly wet felt under the faucet with hot water, stretching the felt in all directions. This will loosen the fibers and make it easier to stretch and smooth. Blot excess moisture with a paper towel. Center the felt over the bottle, smooth down sides and secure with a rubber band. Begin pulling and smoothing excess felt below the rubber band until it is smooth and wrinkle-free above the rubber band. Take your time. Once you are satisfied with the results, let it dry for a least 24-hours. Tip: To make sure the "crown" remained well-defined as it dried, I wrapped a piece of saran wrap firmly around the cap and secured with a small piece of scotch tape as shown above.

Step 3:  Once dry, remove the rubber band, and take the hat off of the bottle. With scissors, trim just above the indention line created by the rubber band.

Step 4:  Determine the desired width of the brim. Turn under the excess amount. This will clean finish the inside of the hat and give support to the brim. Place your hat back on the "hat block". Cover with a press cloth and steam the brim. Let dry thoroughly. You are now ready to trim your new hat.

Phoenix Gene Marshall wears Smart Set from Ashton Drake.
Portfolio from Mattel.

Here is a simple alternative for finishing the edge of the brim:

Trim the edge with scissors to the desired finished width. You can use dressmaker's chalk or even painter's tape as a cutting guide if needed. I find the hat is easier to mark when left on the "hat block". Soften the cut edge of the felt by lightly sanding with the finer side of an emery board. Click HERE to see a variation of Gene's lampshade style hat using this finishing technique.

Wool felt is available from Edinburgh Imports, Inc.
The Art of Making Miniature Millinery by Timothy Alberts, Hobby House Press, Inc.