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Blocked Straw Hat

Design Concept & Execution

 I was asked to create a blocked straw hat of my choosing for my Millinery course, so I decided to construct a hat inspired by the story of a mourning wife who had lost her husband at sea during the turn of the century. As a way of remembering her husband, she took an ascot of his and wrapped it around her beach hat. To accomplish this vision I made the hat in two parts, using a white straw hood to pull and stretch the crown and brim over two separate wooden blocks. After using gelatin sizing on the straw pieces I assembled the hat using a buckram head sizing collar for support and a silk organza lining for the interior crown. I then took a striped silk taffeta that was reminiscent of historical ascot prints and I draped the fabric onto a hat band and added tails. To complete the hat I seamed the brim edge by added pipping from the same striped fabric to accent the asymmetrical shape. Altogether, these elements came together to create a wardrobe piece for the woman who lost her husband at sea. 

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