Build a Base Workshop
I recently had the honor and fun experience of moderating a panel for Emerald City Comic Con. Two friends and I spoke about how to build bases for fantasy headdresses. Belle of Boring Sidney Hats and my friend/piano instructor/all around Renaissance woman Connie helped me out.
We talked about millinery materials that make strong structural bases, showed hats that had been made with each base, and passed around samples. Two brave volunteers came and tried Fosshape and Wonderflex in front of the group, coming up with very workable hat bases on the fly.
We had prepared samples and information sheets for 30 people and ended up with well over 100 in attendance! So for those who didn’t get the information sheet here it is:
Material Pros and Cons
Infinitely flexible, inexpensive
Needs more layers to cover up, not good for solid shapes
Very sturdy, sewable, moldable to small degree
Not as flexible as other materials, difficult to find
Moderately strong, sewable, easy to shape and block
Not as sturdy, might have to cut and splice to follow deep 3-D curves
Very flexible, easy to work with, sewable, paintable
Not as sturdy, more expensive
Moderately moldable, very strong and rigid
Can’t sew through it, more expensive, must splice for deep shapes
Cheap, sturdy, great for flat shapes or one way curves
Not moldable in 3 dimensions
www.hatsupply.com Millinery importer/exporter. Based in Hood River OR, so shipping is fast. Orders placed in the morning usually go out the same day. Buckram, fosshape, wonderflex, felts, wire, pretty much everything you need. $75 minimum order.
www.judithm.com Hatmakers supply. No minimum order, but prices are a little higher than hatsupply. This is where I go if hatsupply doesn’t have what I need.
www.lilymmillinerysupplies.com An Australian company but with warehouses in the US so shipping is reasonable.