Check Out My New Website!

Alice and queen reduced

Hi Everyone,

I have been working diligently on a new website that gives me more flexibility and allows me to procrastinate without putting other people up against my last minute deadlines :o)

Here’s a link to the new site. The URL is the same –

I would sincerely like to hear any comments you may have, negative or positive. I will be adding items to the online store daily so rest assured that there’s much more to come on that front. But otherwise the site is more or less finished with the exception of some minor tweaks.

I value your input!



Photo Credit: Black Box Photography; Hats: What a Great Hat!; Makeup and Hair: Beauty Therapy; Flowers: The Budding Tree




Blocking a Wool Felt Hat Workshop

Creating a hat with two hands and your imagination is rewarding and fun. Three students recently completed the Basic Wool Felt Hat Blocking workshop at What a Great Hat! Each completed a hat from start to finish in the two-day class. The hats were completely hand blocked and hands sewn for a true couture experience. Well done everyone!

2016 kicks off a workshop a month at the What a Great Hat studio. Next up is how to make a Valentine’s Day fascinator on February 6 and then How to Embellish a Kentucky Derby Hat on April 2. Please email Paula at for details or to sign up. Happy hat-making!

Style Monday

Last week on Facebook I saw this great video showing some creative scarf tying techniques. I love wearing a great scarf with a hat, so check it out and maybe you’ll be inspired to try some new knots with your favorite scarf. For the scarf tying video, click here.

hat and scarf

hat and scarf 2

In-Studio Perspectives

JM2One of my customers loved the two peach cloches I recently created, but peach just isn’t her color. So we took the basic idea and tweaked it. She has been wanting a black cloche with a simple embellishment – something that can be worn every day that also has an understated elegance. We came up with this design – another vintage straw, hand sculpted into a shape that flatters her and embellished with a crinoline (millinery horsehair) bow and band. A pretty vintage button finishes the look. Everyday chic!


JM Back

In-Studio Perspectives

In the past, I have made hats for Stan Hywet Hall & Gardens’ Murder in the Mansion event, which happens every autumn after Ohio Mart. It’s a campy, fun murder-mystery event that is always a hoot. This year the character I’m dressing from the neck up wanted something a little trashy and out of date…you see, she is a working woman (not a prostitute) in the early 1920s and is hanging out with some shady characters (no surprise). Here’s the hat. I can’t wait to see the entire outfit…

Madeline 2014


In-Studio Perspectives

It took me all week, but I finally got on a roll last Friday. I just ordered these straw hoods and love the black and tan weave. They’re fun to block and so I went to town using my hat blocks and also some free-form sculpting. These are still in progress so you can’t really tell what they’ll end up looking like but stay tuned to my Facebook page (click here to “like” What a Great Hat if you haven’t already!) to see the results. A sneak peek at one of the cloches is found below. Fun, fun, fun.

Straw hats in progress by What a Great Hat

Straw hats in progress by What a Great Hat

Straw cloche with rolled band by What a Great Hat

Straw cloche with rolled band by What a Great Hat



In-Studio Perspectives

You know how much I love a good Kentucky Derby hat! Every year I submit a hat to the Kentucky Derby Museum’s annual contest. This year’s entry is hand blocked with a hand-sewn silk band around the brim edge.I made the polka-dot sinamay extensions the same way, attached them to the crown, and topped it all off with an oversize rose and hand-cut red feathers.

If selected, the hat will be on display in the museum for a year. I have been fortunate to have had a hat selected for display each of the past four years. Here’s this year’s entry…wish me luck!

Hat by Paula Singleton of What a Great Hat

Hat by Paula Singleton of What a Great Hat