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Anslow, Florence / Practical millinery

Chapter VIII: Straw working,   pp. 93-104 PDF (2.4 MB)

Page 99

brim is again commenced 1 in. right of centre back, the right 
side of plait facing the worker, and the sewing done from right 
to left. The heavier plaits have no draw-thread so the " spring- 
ing " and " easing " are a little more difficult to manage
experience has been gained. 
   Take the outline measure of the brim, and join the plait by 
pinning it, but allowing 2 in. or 3 in. more in the ring than the 
actual measurement of the shape, as the size decreases a little 
when the succeeding rows of plait draw it inwards to the head- 
curve. Work the plait round and round, keeping the brim cir- 
cular, oval, or three-cornered, flat or curved, according to pattern 
or block. The method of pinning and sewing is the same as for 
the first method, except that there is no foundation shape to be 
relied upon for strength, and that the sewing must be very evenly 
and well done. Straw is brittle, and if not kept damp during the 
working the thread is apt to cut the strands so that they will not 
hold the stitches. 
   A considerable amount of easing and stretching is necessary 
if the shape is to be perfect when completed and, as the worker 
nears the head-curve of the brim her skill in moulding will be 
well tested. Gussets may be required if the brim is wider at 
some parts than at others, say, for instance, when the sides are 
wider than the front or the back or vice versa. 
   A tricorne shape will require gussets at three points, A, B, C 
(Fig. 2). In working, these graduated rows of straw should be 
stretched rather more than the outer rows in order to do away 
with all unnecessary spring. When the head-part is reached, one 
row of plait must be added (without reducing the head-size) to 
turn upwards inside the head-part and make a support for the 
crown. The brim should now be pressed or steamed, and carefully 
moulded while drying. 
press the straw, place the brim right side downwards on a clean 
board, dip a clean cloth in water, wring it out, lay it over the 
brim and then press it all over with a small-sized hot flat-iron. 

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