Wednesday, January 11, 2017

Koi Fish Fascinator

The first of my hat projects from my millinery course from this past fall--a straw fascinator! The goal was to take a straw capeline and freeform pin and block it into an abstract shape. I decided to make a fish?

It's not the type of work I would normally do. I'm a person who tends to plan out what I'm doing in advance. So taking on a project where you had to make up what you were doing on the fly was a bit of a challenge for me.

The basics of blocking straw is: you take the straw capeline and wet it with a watered down gelatin mixture. This will make it easy to sculpt and pin. Then you let it dry in that shape. The gelatin acts as a stiffener.

I don't have any pictures of this part of the process because I didn't want to get gelatin on my phone. Haha

The challenge with mine is that I didn't want to do a large fascinator, and only wanted to use half of the capeline. But you can't just cut a straw capeline, otherwise the weave will quickly start to unravel. Before you cut it, you must first do a zig-zag stitch on either side of your cutting line--so the part you want to keep and the excess both don't unravel. I had to do this before I sprayed it with the gelatin mixture so I didn't get that on my sewing machine.

The "head" of the fish is half the crown of the capeline.

I just blocked it on a regular foam wig head. I used pins and bulldog clips to hold it in place as it dried.

Once it had dried overnight I carefully hand-stitched it to a plain black headband.

As an afterthought, I added little fins. These were made out of some of the excess material. They are hand stitched on.

Overall I think it was a neat exercise and a cool project, but I will probably never wear it.

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