Monday, March 28, 2011

happy customers

Got a happy letter from a satisfied customer. He included a picture, too!
He happens to be standing by another delightful Trulyhats customer, and they both just look great :)

Here they are:

I LOVE getting letters like that.

This year has been the year of the Cavalier hat for me. I've got orders for two more of those in the works, and have maybe four on the shelf. I'm hoping to have those to sell at Stargate Baronial. (We'll see how the Texas folks feel about the Cav hats. My hopes are high.)

Thursday, March 24, 2011

The outfit...and the hat

The very nice customer said I could post his picture!
Here he is in his spiffy ensemble, for which he wants a new trulyhat: (the hat pictured is not the new trulyhat)

THIS is the new trulyhat:

I love this combined gold and copper ornament combo. I may have ruined my leather punch making the hole in the gold thing, but it's really pretty and was possibly worth it.

Yup - all done. Boxed up, weighed, stickered, paid for and waiting for complimentary carrier pick-up.
Have all of you discovered Click-N-Ship yet? I tell you, it took some pretty grumpy local post office ladies to make me search out online options, but now that I have it all set up I'm never planning to personally go to the post office again. I'm the best evangelist that the Click-N-Ship people could ever want.

Anyway - won't he look fabulous! I really love the super tall bowler hat style. I remember doing the super happy dance when I found that block on eBay. They come out really looking like the portraits, and that makes me smile BIGtime.

Mr Nice Customer (above) has promised me shots of the updated ensemble (apparently he's got some new pieces in the works) and I'm really excited to see those photos. I guess the hat has to actually get picked up by the postage carrier first. (I just can't type "mail lady" without sniggering like Beavis and Butthead)

Waiting....not my strong suit.

Thursday, March 17, 2011

yummy rusty coppery brown feather choices

I don't usually have quite so many feather choices for when a customer asks for rusty coppery accents. I was thrilled to be able to send him this picture just now, so he can choose what he wants to go with his outfit.

Ooh - I want to post his picture too - he has this fabulous Elizabethan ensemble that he wants a hat to go with, but I haven't asked his permission yet. Will do so - and hopefully will post the very nice shot that he sent me.

I Should have ordered from this feather place immediately (they had a screaming deal on 100 feathers and would let me mix these and other awesome and subtle colors) However - after I got this small order, I went to place the big one and the price had gone up too high. ($3.95 per feather is way higher than it was when I first ordered samples from them) (Hmm...though that price DOES include shipping.....hmmm)
Here's the link, just in case anyone is interested.:

I may end up ordering from them anyway just because of the fabulous, subtle colors they have.

Please note that the color names in my picture are probably not the color names they offered. The feathers did not come labelled, and one of the feather colors I ordered (and not sure which one, above) is called "luggage". Though I don't know which one that is - I'm sure that I like it.

I enjoy fun but semi-unhelpful color names. My new favorite lipstick, for example, is called "twilight".

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

new faux blackwork coif!

Here we see an actual picture of me WEARING hats I've made!
I think the squeaky new faux blackwork coif (faux as in modern machine embroidered - not printed) works pretty darn well, and is actually a linen blend! I have another one cut out  but not made yet, and I have lots of that fabric. (figured I'd make a shirt out of it if the coif thing didn't pan out.
I was kindof surprised at how much happier I was wearing a very plain black hat when it had the embroidered coif under it.

(thanks again to Denise for the picture!!)

Monday, March 14, 2011

Some shots from last week's "Hat Class" with Izzie Lewis

My awesome little felt hat - using Izzie's cool hatblock collection!

We have a string in this groove - so that it dries with this indentation. Can't wait to SEE it!

 Izzie Lewis, showing a student how to block a straw hat (I think that's the straw) I've never done that...yet.

Me - working on getting the string deep enough into the groove.

Thursday, March 3, 2011

Where has THIS been all my life??

Well, OK, maybe not my whole life.  How bout - where has this been all the time that I've been making felt hats? This, my gentle readers, is my New Favorite Thing. It actually deserves a name, it is so awesome, but for now we will just call it "The Precious."

It is actually called a Rounding Jack and it is a custom made reproduction of a vintage hatmaker's brim cutting tool. Here is the etsy store link for the brilliant, BRILLIANT man who made it for me:

Up untill the arrival of The Precious, I had been using a bunch of cardboard templates of varying sizes to mark, and then hand cut the brims of my hats. These cardboard template have seen better days (years) as the felt is often still wet when I put the templates on them and cardboard templates no likey repeated exposure to dampness. That, combined with years of use has made the template edges not very consistent anymore, which really is the point of them. It was time to have them remade - and I thought to do them out of thin plywood with a handle on each one or something, but that was going to be pricey and a pain to store, and I could never find the one I wanted anyway, etc, etc, etc.


I found a video on one of the hat forums on which I lurk (or maybe it was ebay?) of one of these reproduction rounding jacks, and I could hardly sleep for the wanting of it. One tool - for meauring and cutting a perfect, smooth edge, adjustable to any brim width I could possibly need??? Run - do not walk!!
 Trouble is - they were pricey. Some of them REALLY pricey, and I've always got supplies that I need to order.  I hemmed and I hawed, and I looked at it daily with covetous lust. I sent the link to it to my husband with a note that said "Your wife really REALLY wants this."

Neither the birthday bear nor Santa delivered the goods. (they delivered other awesome goodies - just not THIS)

Then - I did well enough at the 12th night sales booth in January that I decided to bite the bullet and order the least expensive, no bells or whistles version of this tool - and just see if it could replace all my crummy cardboard templates.

Ordered it.
      Waited for it.
        Counted the days.
Then, this last Monday, The Precious arrived.

 A NEW tool - that uses easily purchaseable utility knife razor blades so that when it gets dull, I can put a new one in and keep working.
(blade can be raised and lowered!!)

It has a brass plate underneath the blade that goes under the brim of the hat - to protect my work surface from being cut by the blade.

I have one custom order hat and several spec hats on blocks right now, and I couldn't WAIT to try it out. I started with the Spec hats, just so I had some practice using it before I used it on the expensive custom cavalier hat. I needn't have worried - first time, it worked like an absolute DREAM:

 Second time great too - I lowered the blade a bit
Tried it on the third spec hat, and felt like I'd been using the thing for years. (sorry - no picture. It's an adorable little black perchy hat, soon to be making an appearance)

Finally - went to the Custom order.  I got kinda misty, it was so clean, easy, and awesome.

I'm absolutely in Love with my new toy tool. I would sleep with it like a teddy bear, but it DOES have a razor blade in it, so I've settled for just writing it this little blog post of eternal devotion. I may now need one of everything Mr DeCou makes.

I'll end with a gratuituous shot of my actually kinda clean workshop, which I hope get get back into over lunch today to wire and size all the newly trimmed (brimmed?) hats:

And that is all. I'm so thrilled!! No - I have to say it: Not thrilled, I'm Brimming over. :)