Rocking The Cloche

So, after making my Boho cloche hat, I thought I would make something a bit more subdued while sticking to the concertina hat theme for the online course I am doing.  I recently ordered a bunch of Merino wool for making hats, but I also have a lot of Corriedale tops and slivers.  The slivers are good for needle felting and it does wet felt quite well, but it is not so good for wet felted paintings as the wool migrates too much and dulls the top colors down, although it is good for topping up a wet felted piece.  I have also learned that it is not great for hat making, as although it felts really well, it is a little bit itchy, even when sandwiched between layers of Merino!  If the hat gets too itchy, I might sew a hat band on the inside.  I have been trying to use up my Corriedale sliver stash as best as I could so this was a learning curve.  Although I have a lot of bright colors in Merino, I don’t have much in the way of natural colors.  Even the black is dyed.

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I wanted a nice sturdy cloche hat with a brim so I was going to make it with six layers.  I used black Merino batt for the first two layers.  I peeled the batt nice and thin, wet it out, and then I added two layers of grey Corriedale slivers.  In hindsight, I should have just used four layers of Merino batt and forgot about the slivers.  For a Merino batt, the black was quite coarse, so I am not sure if I will order it again.  It was the first time I used it and you can only get the batts in 200g minimum.  I will most likely use it up for needle felting or making a different type of vessel, such as a bag, cozy, or slippers.  For the last two layers, I used a bright white Merino top in Lightning.  It is very white and great for beards and clouds.  I was loving the white, but I knew that the wool underneath would migrate and tone it down.  Perhaps if I did the white first and felted it inside out it wouldn’t have gone quite as grey (I might try that next time).  I added white sari silk fiber and Angelina all over the top for some shimmer and sparkle.  You can just about see the Angelina in the close up as well as some other threads that were in the white sari silk.  I shaped the hat on two different hat blocks.  The wig/hat block you see above is my actual head size (it is child sized), but it is not so easy to make a brim on this type of block.  I used my smallest polystyrene hat block to gauge where the brim should be and worked on that for a little while before doing the final shaping on the wig block.  I had to trim off a fair amount off of the brim as I had modified a cloche template for a fold up brim.  I used the trim to make a band around the hat and then I stitched some beads on the center of the rosette and on the hat band.  Although you can’t tell from the photos, this hat is very sparkly, but in a subtle way.  That is one nice thing about Angelina, it catches the light.  Funny that the sari silk didn’t work as well as expected, even though I did cover the whole hat with it.  I think the migration of the Corriedale wiped it out and only left the colored threads.

The weather is too rubbish today to get a decent photo.  Even when the rain stopped, I couldn’t get a clear picture of the hat as it wanted to go white.  Winter is here now, so I am not very hopeful about posting great photos for some time yet!  At least I have a lovely warm and sparkly hat to keep my head toasty!

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