Monday, 26 December 2011

Make your own felted fascinator by Anna Agyekum

So a while back I bought a set of hat blocks form eBay. They were a very basic set to start with because i was not sure if i would be any good. They were still a pretty hefty price (£110 if i remember rightly) so I persevered. When I got the hang of it i found some beautiful vintage half head facinatiors on eBay. I loved them but they were way out of my price range so I commissioned a guy form the original hat making company to make one for me and he did. 

So when I choosing my felt I thought a better go with the black so its a little less in your face than my usual hats. SO first you put your felt onto the wooden hat block, making sure you have an extra inch or so to turn underneath the block:

Gather your essentials scissors, iron, kettle, washing up liquid and starch spray. Put your kettle on heat up the water you want the water to be nearly boiling. Put washing up liquid all over your felt in a spiral. Then cover it until damp with hot water. DO NOT TOUCH the hot felt until it is comfortable to touch otherwise it will really really hurt!Rub the soap into the whole of the felt until you can see bubbles all over it like a light foam. Get it into all of the creases of your block making sure there are no wrinkles. If you do get wrinkles try to work them out from the top of your block to the bottom. As you do this the felt may start to dry don't be afraid to add more water!

Your hat should start to look like this. Put a piece of cloth over it to protect the felt and start to run your iron over the block. This will pull out the soap and excess water and start to form the shape in its dry form. Make sure you take the cloth off and look at your hat as it will occasionally slip and need to be adjusted.

Then spray the starch all over the felt this will wet it again. Let it soak in a little then repeat the step above covering the felt with a cloth and ironing.

Turn under the felt and  iron it cut the excess leaving a centimeter. Then leave it to dry naturally this will ensure it it bone dry and stiff.

So after you have trimmed your  excess its time to hide it. For this you will need some grosgrain ribbon, chose a colour close to the colour of your felt. I have chosen bright blue so you can see it. Use your magic Gutterman glue (this is the best glue I have ever found all the strength of super glue with non of the sticky fingers). Put a small amount of the glue all around the edge of the hat making sure you have enough excess to turn under (around 1cm).

Turn under the excess and glue it down then press down your edges to make them nice and smooth.

I have chosen to use beads as my decoration so I have begun by gluing beads into the creases of the hat. 

So I have been gluing hundreds of beads on for days so I thought I would show you were I'm at so far. I fain pic to follow soon! only a few hundred left to go!

Anna Agyekum is a designer and milliner living in London. Influenced by the beautiful fabrics of Ghana she began designing and making clothes in 2008.
After an inspirational trip to Accra, Ghana, Anna was able to collect a new range of fabrics which have formed the basis of her new collections.
Millinery and Teaching began in 2010 after searching for the right accessories for her photo shoots and falling to find anything bright enough! 
There quickly became a demand for the classes, which have been taught in homes and venues across London for hen parties birthdays and everything in-between.
Check out Anna's website:

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