Monthly Archives: May 2014

3 Day Felt & Straw Blocking Workshop

J. Matthew Phipps | May 27, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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Just finished 3 days of a seminar with Wayne Wichern ( in Seattle. It was a fantastic weekend. Learned an incredible amount that has already boosted our skills.

I ended up blocking a really nice straw cloche, that was for Mary, and a military/stewardess inspired women’s hat, and finally a bowler out of fur felt for me.

I’m going to post pictures shortly.

I did get raves on the Hillbilly.

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Finished Hillbilly

J. Matthew Phipps | May 10, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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The Hillbilly is finished. I had a good amount of burlap that I purchased to experiment with and settled on that for the hat band instead of a ribbon or leather.

The crown is lightly stiffened, and the brim edge has been needle felted back on itself to form a welt and add structure. The brim is stiffened only a little and left purposely floppy.

I’m in love with the colors and pattern that emerged from the wool.

Hillbill Finished II

Hillbill Finished III

Hillbill Finished I

I was toying with the idea of making a hat liner out of the burlap, but decided against it. I did add in a leather sweat band.

Head over to Hats Off to You to order your own custom made Hillbilly.

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Hillbilly Cut

J. Matthew Phipps | May 5, 2014 | COMMENTS:1 Comment »
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The Hillbilly has been shaped, rinsed, and now the brim has been trimmed.
Hillbilly First Cut
I’m loving the pattern that has shown up.
Hillbilly First Cut II
And, now for the inside of the hat. The outside was laid out with a zig-zag, the inside was laid out with a straight line.
Hillbilly First Cut III
The hat has interest inside and out.

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Hillbilly Drying

J. Matthew Phipps | May 3, 2014 | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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The hat is up for drying after a shrink to about 1/3 of the starting size. The variegation is really coming through. Once it is dry and lightens up, it should really show up.

Hillbilly Drying I

Hillbilly Drying II

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Hillbilly Beginnings

J. Matthew Phipps | | COMMENTS:No Comments »
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This is the start of layout for my next hat project. My vision is for a floppy backwoods hillbilly hat.

I’m using this super rich sandalwood merino roving.

Sandalwood Merino

Laying the wool out on the resist, it’s almost ready for prefelt.

Layout Begins

Stay tuned as this comes together.

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