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Updates from Wig and Millinery Class

Spring Semester tends to move quickly and February is the month that we have indeed hit our sprint to the end of the year. Before we get bogged down with production work and conferences, I want to take a moment and show some of the work being done in my Wig and Millinery Class.

We are roughly a quarter of the way through the spring semester and my students have already turned in their soft caps project. This was a great first project for me to take stock of each them and to see where their individual skills sets were. As there was not prerequisite placed on the course, the skills and knowledge base are extremely varied. I make sure to pay particular attention to my freshmen students to help fill in gaps and to ensure that both can walk away from this class with a feeling of accomplishment and growth. I still need to keep an eye of my last year construction student and try to find a balance of guiding him and letting him discover how to do the work in his way. Overall, the class was very successful with their hats and each student walked away with a project that was fashionable and wearable.

With soft caps done, we move into structured hats! Structured hats can be a lot of fun and incredibly rewarding; however, they lack the forgiveness of a soft cap that can be forced into place if something is slightly off. Therefore, I keep reminding my students that they need to make sure that they measure everything two or three times and then cut. Although I demoed the core idea of putting together the structured hat last week, more complex shapes and styles can become tricky. I was reminded of this fact earlier in the week when it took me five paper mock-ups to get the right shape for my Mad Hatter styled top hat. The teaching samples that I have are great, but I do find building alongside my students help to keep my skill sets fresh and helps me to think about how to adjust methodology to their unique set of circumstances.

Hat Methodology: Bullet Pointed

  1. Find a hat style you like.

  2. Get it approved by the professor.

  3. Develop your pattern in paper or your molding form.

  4. Create a paper mockup to make sure you like it.

  5. If you like it, then move forward! Or If you do not like it, rework the pattern.

  6. Cut you buckram or mold it over your form.

  7. Wire your form.

  8. Place Baby Flannel or a light quilting over the form to help add the illusion of mass.

  9. Cover in Fabric

  10. Hand it in

My students also must be mindful of the time, as these projects are due right after our Spring Break! The class is designed to move quickly because I know they will each need the latter half of the semester to front their wigs for their final projects. Regardless, I am excited to see these projects develop as I have three students who have chosen mold their buckram over a form to try to get a "New Look and Beyond" style hat, one student who is creating a Mad Hatter Hat as well, and one student who is doing a Miniature Top Hat.

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