Module 3 Chapter 10 – Part 2

The next thinking stage

I knew at the time I posted the first part of Chapter 10 that the thinking around placement of yellow spiral shapes on the hat form (both 2-D and 3-D shapes) was underdone and I’m grateful to Siân for some wise advice about thoughts to try out.

The larger, 3-D spirals

Siân suggested that the composition works best where the spirals echo the rhythm and direction of the purple spiral.  I realised when I was playing with yellow-green corrugated spiral shapes that I had my spirals running in the wrong direction to make this work properly (counter-clockwise rather than clockwise) and that, if I cut them the other way, I could arrange them so the curved edge of the curled-up spiral would be parallel to the large curve on the purple form.  In the photographs in the next section it is possible to see how this arrangement works – with fewer spirals, arranged so the curved edges are parallel and so that the ends of the spirals themselves are stepped to echo the curvature of the back edge of the purple hat shape.  There are four on the front surface of the hat and two on the back surface at the moment – I’m reserving judgment as to how many I end up with until I’m working with the ‘real life’ hat.  I’ve also added wire spirals to the pointy ends of the curled corrugated shapes to replace the beaded wires running from the pointy purple bit in the previous iteration of the design – these will be beaded on the ‘real life’ hat.

The 2-d stitched spirals

During my first pass through Chapter 10, I was tending towards using radial straight stitches for the stitched spirals (see the top sample, image 1, reproduced from the previous post).



The thinking was that the spirals would be stitched either on the outside or the inside of the hat form but would not appear on both sides.  It’s likely that the purple form will be built from three layers of sinamay – it is possible to see stitching on the first layer from the other side of the third layer if three pieces of sinamay are stacked together.  I’m now tending to do for the middle sample for two reasons:  first, I think, having represented the spirals with paper cut-outs on the cardboard mock-ups in the images which follow, it might be preferable not to have the spirals so densely stitched and second, it is far easier to get a neat result on the back of the stitching with the running stitch spirals than with the radial straight stitches and, if the spirals are going to show through, they need to be tidy.

Siân suggested that I consider some options for placement of the stitched spirals: to accentuate the larger, purple form by placing the stitched spirals along the edges; to cluster them in the depths, becoming sparser as they move towards the edges and points, or other ideas.  Having played with the painted paper cut-outs which are standing in for the stitched spirals on the model, one thing I decided was that the stitching would not be an all-over design but strategically placed on the higher parts of the form, on the outer curve of the hat, and running up towards the highest, curved part of the purple spiral where the 3-D spirals are.

Stitched spirals: first thoughts

Images 2 to 7 show the purple cardboard form with 3-D spirals placed on the curve, and ‘stitched’ spirals towards the lower parts of the hat form.

2. Front view


3. Front again, from a higher vantage point


4. Right hand side


5. From the rear


6. Left hand side, looking down


7. Left hand side again, showing outside of hat


The 3-D spirals were unfurling a bit by the time I got to the last photograph.

Stitched spirals: second thoughts

These stitched spirals are too big!  The next set of images show a further attempt at stitched-spirals-in-the-depths but with smaller spirals, more size variation, and smaller spirals further away from the base of the hat.

8. From the front


9. Right hand side (3-D spirals unfurling again – grrr!)


10.  The back, with the stitched spirals climbing up towards the 3-D ones


11. The right hand side, with the stitched spirals spiralling upwards


I was much happier with this version and thought that placement of the spirals made more sense in echoing the large purple spiral.

Stitched spirals: third thoughts

The next set of images show the spirals defining the edges of the purple form.  Again, there’s some size variation; this time, with smaller spirals further from the edge.

12. From the front


13. An elevated front view



14. Right hand side


15. The back


16. From the back again, but showing the 3-D spirals (sorry it’s a bit gloomy)


16. From the left – that’s a lot of uninterrupted purple!


Decision time

For me, I think it’s the second version with smaller spirals mainly in the depths; variation in spiral size, and spirals climbing from the depths towards the 3-D spirals.  I’m still not sure at this stage whether the stitched spirals will be expressed on both sides of the 3-layer purple spiral form – this will require a bit of experimentation once I get to the sinamay.  One thing I am planning to do, though, is to smooth out the re-entrant angle near the 3D spirals – image 17.  That will make the grosgrain ribbon binding work better, too.




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