January 27, 2013


'Madeline' on Leslie

'Madeline' ~ wet felted merino and silk
with organdy ribbon


What exactly is it that is so appealing about the 1920's flapper style?  Yes, it's the pearls, short swinging dresses, dancing and bobbed hair but most of all it's the cutest little cloche hats!  I like how flapper style represented a new direction for women and a sense of individualism but it's more than that.  It also represents a unique expression of freedom, not only from 19th century pre-war conservative social mores and cumbersome, long dresses of voluminous yardage, but also freedom from not being permitted to think for one's self. Just because you were a woman.

I think of flapper style as a new directon in feminine confidence, signifying a rebellious attitude, as a result of women's emancipation and escape from restrictive, narrow gender roles.  In that role the Roaring 20's created an iconic fashion image that today, almost a century later, is still readily recognizable, delightfully feminine and full of fun.  On top of all that, you'd be hard pressed to find prettier and more flattering hats!  Everyone looks good in a cloche.  My latest felting projects decided to become flapper style as they emerged from the felting process more by accident than by design.  I''m happy with the results and plan to make more.

'Madeline' ~ front

 Fanny with Goldie's ruffled wristlets ~ hand knit
merino and silk

Maggie with 'Clara Bow' ~ wet felted merino wool

'Clara Bow' ~ side

Colour inspiration of Jeffrey's fox
~ photo by Jeffrey Denard

Jeffrey's fox was my colour inspiration for the 'Clara Bow' cloche. My friend Deb Denard's son Jeff took this amazing photo near Fort McMurray, Alberta, where he is working. This lovely little fox came very close to him.  Mr. Fox in his winter coat is a sight to behold.  I loved the rusty orange colour tinged with gray and decided to try out those colours on a hat.  I probably wouldn't have chosen to put gray and orange together if left to my own devices!  As usual, nature never disappoints and I really like the results, so thanks to Jeff and to his foxy friend! 

Here's how I did it....

Laying out orange fibre on side two of the resist. 
 You can see side one underneath, already
layed out and wet, with the gray and orange 
edges folded over for the seam. 

Side two with three layers of fibre

Adding some gray fibre to side two

Wetting with warm soapy water and rubbing the
fibre in between screening to start the
felting process

Drying by the fire. I cover the wooden hat block with
 saran to keep it dry while shaping the wet hat.

Finished with a beautiful feather
Irresistible felted roses made just for the fun
of making something so pretty

Made from merino wool and silk

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