Bespoke Hat Blocks… DIY!

I have over a hundred hat blocks accumulated over the last twenty years from various sources and I love each and every one of them!  All of them have a story. Some from retired milliners, some passed on to me by the families of long-ago milliners, some I have commissioned and had made, and a large amount from Ann Bennett, the lovely octogenarian who first introduced me to millinery proper.  Ann died some years ago but some of her blocks are still my favourites (dating back to 1948 as the newspaper stuffed into the spinner holes evidences).  Many blocks are similar so rather than buy any more I am trying my hand at re-shaping some of the duplicates……

The first photo is my kitchen (with my homemade blackberry vodka in the background), a workmate and block which I am carving with a spokeshave.  It is a most enjoyable occupation but very time-consuming.

The second photo is the finished and sanded block.

The third is trying out the shape by blocking it with a sisal cap and lots of steam.

Hurrah, the last picture is the finished article.

(apologies for the photography, I used my phone for these)






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