April 16, 2007

Making a cloche hat from the italian hat block – trimming off excess felt

Trimming the felt off with a scotch paper cutter - click to enlargeThe hat came out of the block quite easily. I had pulled it well under to avoid pinning on the brim of the block (it’s quite a fragile block), but then I had to cut a lot of the extra felt in order to pull it out. It’s always tricky to cut felt while it’s still on the block because one risks cutting down to the wood and damaging the block. Well, here you have a good solution. I tried it and it works, the new 3M/Scotch paper cutter. A clever little invention that believe it or not will cut through felt, making it safe for your block, because the blade is protected in such a way that it will not enter in contact with the wood.

Another view of the cutter - click to enlarge





uneven edge after trimming all aroundOne has to be careful when using the cutter because if you apply to much force you might end up cutting something you didn’t want to cut! After cutting all around there could be an uneven edge that needs to be trimmed with scissors.
In the end I cut the felt closer to the edge, because it looks nicer on the finished hat.

After trimming the felt - click to enlarge


  1. Good tip!

    Comment by jill — April 17, 2007 @ 12:58 am

  2. […] Finally I took the felt out of the block but not before trimming out the excess felt with a new toy I recently bought myself at a craft fair. It’s called a chenille cutter made by Olfa. It’s similar to the paper cutter from 3M that I showed you on this post, only this works much better because it’s intended for cutting several layers of fabric, and the manufacturer even says that’s good to cut felt. I thought it was made to cut chenille, but after looking around on the web I see that it’s meant to make chenille, or at least something that looks like it, pretty cool actually. […]

    Pingback by The rantings of a MAD HATTER wannabe… » Making a brim block out of cork - Felt out of the block and oops… — November 28, 2007 @ 4:55 pm

  3. Hello. I am trying to make a cloche hat from a recycled felted sweater. I took the sweater out of the hot water, and pulled it tight over my hat block, let it dry, and nothing happened. Do you have any suggestions to help it keep its shape??

    Comment by Nay — December 12, 2008 @ 7:27 pm

  4. Hello. I’ve never used a recycled felted sweater for a hat, but you will certainly need some sort of stiffener to make it hold its shape. A stiffener can be diluted white glue, gelatine, shellac, or special millinery stiffener. I don’t know any formulas because I used prepared stuff. It seems there’s something out there called hydrolac B5 that works nicely, if you do a search you will find a supplier. First try in a little sample before stiffening the whole hat.

    Let us know how it goes.

    Comment by cristinadeprada — December 12, 2008 @ 9:27 pm

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