I kind of left all a bit to the last minute, due to the ongoing work situation....
I'm not entirely sure how I feel about it. If you'd asked me yesterday, I'd have told you I absolutely hated it with a passion. Now, while I'm still not 100% happy with it, I don't think it's as bad as I thought. Of course, I had seconds (well, about ten minutes) to take photos and pack it to go in the post (slightly squashed into the box), so the pictures are dreadful.
I'm also aware that the finish isn't all that good - not up to my usual standard anyhow. Which is always going to make me feel rubbish about anything. There's a marketing tips newsletter that I'm signed up to, and the mantra of the woman who writes it is 'don't get it perfect, get it done'. I can see the wisdom in that, but I always feel rubbish when I have to resort to just getting it done, whether it's for work or for college.
And it didn't help that I had only one felt capeline to make the hat up - and a normal size one at that. Because I did use a huge block for the brim section, I had to stretch it further than it wanted to be stretched - and then stretch the offcuts again to ensure I had enough felt for the uprights of the brim section. Quite simply, I over stretched it. That meant that the felt no longer had enough body in it to hold the shape without extra wiring, and I had to find a way to cover that up (the leather trimming that originally I was only going to put around the very edge of the brim).
I think I want to use this as a step on the way to the finished hat, and to make it again using two felts for the brim, so that the shape will hold without the extra wire, and with a different fabric used for the crown (currently experimenting with embroidery on Hainsworth wool melton).
Anyway, my dodgy pictures of the finished hat...
One thing for this submission I am happy with is the art work. Finding that slightly odd, as that was all way more last minute than the actual hat. And it took hardly any time at all. Total time spent on it, about two hours (and that included one set of sketches that I decided weren't very good, and binned (also known as 'put into sketch book to use as support material for college work' :o) ).
I think these designs may make it into my final collection - three of them definitely, although not all in such a monochrome way as I've drawn them - I'm currently thinking of adding some mauvy colours and some greens, as well as silvery grey.
The random other thoughts.... I was browsing a selection of websites last night, and found a craft fair that has a 'new graduates' section that I think I'm going to apply for. There are only five places available in that part of the show per year, so I may not make the cut, but if you don't try.....
I also e-mailed the big bridal trade fair at Harrogate for prices (always a 'let's hold out breath' moment when you get the ratecard!!), and they have a 'new faces' section. So since I'm (outside college) working slowly on a bridal collection, that's also an option.
And finally, there are two more competitions - the Hat Designer of the Year, for which you have to design six hats to a theme, and the ITS Accessories competition. Realistically, I can't enter both, because I think my head may explode! I've been thinking about which to enter, and it occurred to me that the ITS is an open brief (i.e. you set your own research / theme). So that has made the decision much easier - I can use my final collection for college as my entry to the ITS, so ITS it is!!!