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Frnando

New in Town
Messages
2
Thank you guys for your recommendations! I will try a lighter sand grit and I will get some of those felts to practice.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,717
Location
vancouver, canada
I have placed a few orders lately with an ETSY site....VintageTrims. They have a decent selection of vintage grosgrain in various widths....mostly 1 1/2" and some 2". She sells it by the yard for a reasonable price and her shipping is reasonable too. If you are looking for a small amount of ribbon for a project check out her site. Her customer service is superb.
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
Keep us posted on your progress. Have you watched the YouTube video of Art - Vintage Sillouhettes? It is a condensed 30 minute video of the making of a fedora. Worth a watch.
I watch that video about once a week, and every time that I watch it, I pick up something new, the last couple of times I turned up the volume to hear what Art was saying in the video, the machines that he was using were a little noisey. The ironing and sanding machines would come in handy, if I were making a lot of hats. VintageTrims is a good place to buy Grosgrain ribbon, I have bought a few 5 yard rolls of ribbon from that shop, great customer service, fast shipping.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,717
Location
vancouver, canada
Here is my hat makers $200 tip of the week. I have long looked a pictures of the antique conformateurs and drooled in envy. For my clients I can deal with face to face I have been using a $10 Flex Curve (used by woodworkers for pattern templates). It worked well but it appears a little bit cheezy to me. ( i love tools!). So on my recent trip to southern Oregon I ventured in the Cowboy Corral and bought the modern plastic version of the conformateur. Since I came home I have been using both on my customers as a side by side test. Well the results: my $10 version while appearing a bit cheezy and low rent works just as well as my new $200 gizmo. Although the $200 version is visually more impressive and helps to "sell the sizzle" of a bespoke hat experience the stark reality is I could have saved my self the $200 and stuck with my cheezy solution. The blue plastic strings are a poly outer layer with a lead core....they are bendy but hold their shape if handled gently..
CIMG0595.JPG
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,717
Location
vancouver, canada
Here is my hat makers $200 tip of the week. I have long looked a pictures of the antique conformateurs and drooled in envy. For my clients I can deal with face to face I have been using a $10 Flex Curve (used by woodworkers for pattern templates). It worked well but it appears a little bit cheezy to me. ( i love tools!). So on my recent trip to southern Oregon I ventured in the Cowboy Corral and bought the modern plastic version of the conformateur. Since I came home I have been using both on my customers as a side by side test. Well the results: my $10 version while appearing a bit cheezy and low rent works just as well as my new $200 gizmo. Although the $200 version is visually more impressive and helps to "sell the sizzle" of a bespoke hat experience the stark reality is I could have saved my self the $200 and stuck with my cheezy solution. The blue plastic strings are a poly outer layer with a lead core....they are bendy but hold their shape if handled gently.. View attachment 455061
A distinct benefit of the plastic conformateur is that once I have the shape of the head set I can then mark out a template and provide the client with a band block to match their actual head shape. I have also thought that if the online client is in doubt I cah ask him to order a Flex Curve (Ebay or Amazon), confirm the shape of their head by photo and measure sent to me.....and at least determine the LOval or RegOval.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,717
Location
vancouver, canada
Just placed my half yearly leather sweat band order. My supplier informed me that prices have risen. I laughed......he replied it sounds like you are not shocked or even surprised . I replied....it is just a matter of how much so I reserve the right to be shocked. It is not that bad considering his tannery of choice declared bankruptcy in June and delivery of the sweats is two weeks sooner than before. All in all I am not shocked and pleasantly surprised.
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
Here is my hat makers $200 tip of the week. I have long looked a pictures of the antique conformateurs and drooled in envy. For my clients I can deal with face to face I have been using a $10 Flex Curve (used by woodworkers for pattern templates). It worked well but it appears a little bit cheezy to me. ( i love tools!). So on my recent trip to southern Oregon I ventured in the Cowboy Corral and bought the modern plastic version of the conformateur. Since I came home I have been using both on my customers as a side by side test. Well the results: my $10 version while appearing a bit cheezy and low rent works just as well as my new $200 gizmo. Although the $200 version is visually more impressive and helps to "sell the sizzle" of a bespoke hat experience the stark reality is I could have saved my self the $200 and stuck with my cheezy solution. The blue plastic strings are a poly outer layer with a lead core....they are bendy but hold their shape if handled gently.. View attachment 455061
That plastic conformateur is a strange looking contraption, it would be interesting to see it in use. I purchased one of the Flex Curves on Amazon that looked like a white 2 foot ruler, I sent it back because the lead core did not extend from end to end, I used it on my head and it was not long enough and my head measurement is 23 1/4", so if you're thinking about buying a flex curve, buy the blue color, stay away from the white ruler flex curves.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,717
Location
vancouver, canada
That plastic conformateur is a strange looking contraption, it would be interesting to see it in use. I purchased one of the Flex Curves on Amazon that looked like a white 2 foot ruler, I sent it back because the lead core did not extend from end to end, I used it on my head and it was not long enough and my head measurement is 23 1/4", so if you're thinking about buying a flex curve, buy the blue color, stay away from the white ruler flex curves.
I purchased mine from Lee Valley Tools online. A Canadian company that stocks high quality wood working items. The Flex Curves come in 24" & 36" lengths.
 

belfastboy

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,717
Location
vancouver, canada
I am pleased with myself having amassed a supply of blocks and flanges that meet my needs.....except when they don't. Received an order from a female client the other day with a size 51cm head, regular oval. With 55cm as the smallest block I have I have a problem! But I happened to remember seeing blocks on the Millinery Warehouse website and recalled they had some really small ones. I thought at the time...."who the hell has a head that small?". So now I have a vintage block on its way to me in a size 53cm. Not ideal but waaaay closer than I was and I think I can finesse it to fit. Now if I can sell another hat in that size I can recoup my money!!!!!
 

Who?

A-List Customer
Messages
372
Location
Vernon, CT
I am pleased with myself having amassed a supply of blocks and flanges that meet my needs.....except when they don't. Received an order from a female client the other day with a size 51cm head, regular oval. With 55cm as the smallest block I have I have a problem! But I happened to remember seeing blocks on the Millinery Warehouse website and recalled they had some really small ones. I thought at the time...."who the hell has a head that small?". So now I have a vintage block on its way to me in a size 53cm. Not ideal but waaaay closer than I was and I think I can finesse it to fit. Now if I can sell another hat in that size I can recoup my money!!!!!
I thought I was a bit of a pinhead at 55 cm.

Do you happen to know the approximate age of this female?
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
I recently re-worked one of my hats, I took my brown hat apart down to the felt hat body and gave it a complete work over. My brown hat started out as a camel color 160G pure rabbit fur felt that I purchased from the Milliner Warehouse. I decided to try and change the color a little, so I used red hair dye on the hat, the color changed a little and the red dye really didn't show until recently, I pounced the hat and then rubbed the felt with a light coat of coconut oil. I cut the brim down, made a new hat band using a vintage brown grosgrain ribbon, bashed the crown and brim. The hat has a mottled look to it, kind of gives it a worn look, an improvement over the way the hat looked before. Here is the results of the re-work.
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AbbaDatDeHat

I'll Lock Up
Messages
8,008
I purchased mine from Lee Valley Tools online. A Canadian company that stocks high quality wood working items. The Flex Curves come in 24" & 36" lengths.
Always risky guessing the a woman’s age. So many ways you can go wrong.
ALWAYS multiply by the safety factor .5 when guessing age.
NEVER guess if they are pregnant!!
Man’s rule to live.
B
 

Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
I am pleased with myself having amassed a supply of blocks and flanges that meet my needs.....except when they don't. Received an order from a female client the other day with a size 51cm head, regular oval. With 55cm as the smallest block I have I have a problem! But I happened to remember seeing blocks on the Millinery Warehouse website and recalled they had some really small ones. I thought at the time...."who the hell has a head that small?". So now I have a vintage block on its way to me in a size 53cm. Not ideal but waaaay closer than I was and I think I can finesse it to fit. Now if I can sell another hat in that size I can recoup my money!!!!!
Wow, 51cm, I have seen some vintage hat blocks on Etsy that were small, I thought that the blocks were too small for adults and that the blocks must be for children and wouldn't need any of them, because they wear ball caps if they wear hats at all. Plus the other reason that I do not need any additional blocks is that so far I am only making hats that will fit my head, size 7 3/8" or 59cm. I need to sell some hats or stop making them, running out of room to put hats.
 
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Darrell2688

One of the Regulars
Messages
141
I re-worked my grey hat this week, took it down to the felt, re-blocked and then pounced the felt using 600, 800 and 1,000 grits, after I finished with the pouncing the hat feels lighter and softer to the touch. This what it looked like before pouncing:
20220808_214447.jpg



After pouncing I changed the hatband and bashed it with a single crease across the top of the hat. Reworking the crown is 4 7/8" high at the front of the crown, 4 1/2" at the rear of the crown, I cut the brim down to 2 1/2" width, hat size 7 3/8", the hatband is 1 1/2" wide grosgrain ribbon a Fur Grey color, I used some steel grey grosgrain ribbon in the bow knot, it highlighted the knot a little. I am still lerarning, pouncing the felt produces a much better hat, lighter and softer, the hat is 100% rabbit fur, I purchased from the Millinery Warehouse.
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20221111_195741.jpg

Maybe some better lighting will work for my photos?
 
Last edited:
Messages
16,307
Location
Central California
I re-worked my grey hat this week, took it down to the felt, re-blocked and then pounced the felt using 600, 800 and 1,000 grits, after I finished with the pouncing the hat feels lighter and softer to the touch. This what it looked like before pouncing:
View attachment 464325


After pouncing I changed the hatband and bashed it with a single crease across the top of the hat. Reworking the crown is 4 7/8" high at the front of the crown, 4 1/2" at the rear of the crown, I cut the brim down to 2 1/2" with, the hatband is 1 1/2" wide grosgrain ribbon a Fur Grey color, I used some steel grey grosgrain ribbon in the bow knot, it highlighted the knot a little. I am still lerarning, pouncing the felt produces a much better hat, lighter and softer, the hat is 100% rabbit fur, I purchased from the Millinery Warehouse.
View attachment 464328
View attachment 464329
View attachment 464330
View attachment 464331
View attachment 464332
View attachment 464333
Maybe some better lighting will work for my photos?


Looks to have some serious reverse taper. Nice!
 

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