Due to the expense of all the pre- made millinery products I decided to make my own felt skull caps as felt is rather inexpensive in itself. I have backed the felt with a heavy weight black interlining to strengthen the fabric. To make the caps it involved using the steam iron to gradually soften and stretch the felt around the shape of the head block and pinning it in place. Each cap does take quite a bit of time and patience as each section needs to be heated up and stretched around the head and securely pinned into place. It is not possible to try and by-step certain parts of the processes, for example not putting in as many pins, as without each step it is impossible to get a perfect finish.
|Felt Stiffened with Interlining|
The interlining stiffener does make the process a little harder as it takes longer to work the felt around the head. It also makes it more difficult to completely smooth the gathers of the fabric out around hem of the felt, but this is nothing a little perseverance cannot overcome.
|Head Block Mannequin|
|Pinning the Felt around the Head|
Once the felt had been moulded into place I used a strip of binding along the hem to prevent the felt from shrinking back to its original shape. This was tacked and then sewn in using a zigzag stitch on the sewing machine; the excess felt can then be trimmed off. Each hat has been an individual learning process in itself. Determining how much fabric to use was the biggest challenge, as it is not until the hat has been fitted round the head that one knows how much felt is actually needed. I finally worked out that each hat uses around a 12inch square of felt to allow enough excess for it to fit. As the skull caps purpose is to purely maintain the shapes of the headpiece they do not need to fit tightly to the head, so the different sizes of peoples head do not need to be taken into account as the caps are just placed onto the head.
|Pinning the Felt|
|Finished Skull Cap|