Make a Fascinator Workshop

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Anyone can learn to make a fascinator!

Join me at the What a Great Hat studio in Fairlawn, Ohio on Saturday, February 6, 2016 or Saturday, February 7, 2016 from 10 am – 2 pm and learn to make a fascinator that’s perfect for Valentine’s Day or any special occasion. You’ll learn how to make petals that cover a circular straw base, a feather bundle and gathered netting to create a whimsical and unique headpiece.

All materials and instruction are included in the fee of $85 per person. Preregistration and payment are required before attending. Basic sewing skills are helpful but not required.

If you would like to attend, please contact me at or 330-592-2295. Preregistration and payment are required.

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!

In-Studio Perspectives

 Hello Lovers of Everything Millinery,

As a member of the Milliners Guild of New York, I am participating in an exhibition in White Plains. It’s based on a program the Guild initiated over a year ago, called “One block, many milliners.” The challenge was for each milliner to block one straw hat and one felt hat on the same block, which was passed from milliner to milliner over the course of a few months. The hats – which don’t even remotely look alike – are on display along with other couture hats by select milliners. I’m honored to be a part of it!

The exhibition is at Arts Westchester, 31 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains, NY. It runs through April 12th. If you’re able to attend, please let me know your thoughts! I’m sure it’s an amazing display.Hatitude exhibition

In-Studio Perspectives

January is starting with a full schedule of workshops and custom orders, which is great news.
I had the pleasure of teaching a felt flower pin workshop last Saturday to seven wonderful women. It’s always fun to see the variety of what’s created in my workshops, and I am always pleased with each person’s interpretation of the project at hand.
I’m teaching another of these workshops this coming Saturday, January 11. I have two spaces available in the 10 am – noon workshop and two spaces open in the 1 pm – 3 pm session. Please let me know right away if you’d like to attend.
Here are some photos from the event. More photos are posted on my What a Great Hat Facebook page.

Busy hands

Busy hands

One-on-one with my niece, Bridget

One-on-one with my niece, Bridget

Workshop felted flower 5

Winterfair Art Show in Columbus Next Weekend

Winterfair – my last big show of the season – is coming up soon. It’s a high-quality show featuring more than 400 artists and is held in the multi-purpose building at the Ohio State Fairgrounds next Friday, December 6th and Saturday December 7th from 10 am – 8 pm; and Sunday, December 8 from noon – 5 pm. Click here for directions and additional info

I have many new items to choose from and the fingerless gloves made from recycled sweaters ($34) are back by popular demand. They’re a great stocking stuffer and appeal to girls and women of all ages. Here’s a sneak peek…

Fingerless Gloves feature a slit for your thumb to keep your fingers free for texting, reading, etc.

Fingerless Gloves feature a slit for your thumb to keep your fingers free for texting, reading, etc.


Pretty multi-color wool newsboy cap

Hope to see you soon!


Save the Date for a Millinery Arts Coalition Exhibition

Wow, it has been a busy month! Now that the Kentucky Derby is behind us, I’m focusing on my upcoming summer shows. The first one, which I’m really excited about, features spectacular millinery from some of my Millinery Art Coalition friends. In addition to mine, the work of Dee Hall, Lee St. Marie and Donald Wasson will be on display at the BOX Gallery from June 14th through July 27 in a show called “Millinery as Sculpture.”

Please plan on coming to meet the milliners on Friday, June 14th from 5:00 – 8:00 p.m. at the opening reception with wine and light refreshments. We have challenged ourselves to create some wonderful pieces for this show, so I hope you’ll be able to come by.

The BOX gallery is in the same building as the Summit Artspace Gallery. It’s located at 140 East Market Street in Akron, on the corner of East Market and Summit Streets. The BOX is on the third floor – follow the signs to the elevator and then press 3. More info is at Park in the lot behind the building or across the street.

While I don’t want to reveal too much before the show, here’s a sneak peek at one of the hats.

A tiny slice of millinery to be featured in the upcoming show

A tiny slice of millinery to be featured in the upcoming show

Mad Hatter Event Photo

The Mad Hatter event last weekend was a lot of fun, but we’re only halfway through the event! It also runs this Friday (March 15) and Saturday (March 16), from 10 – 4 each day. There are still lots of pretty hats to enjoy – buy one, get one half off and buy 2 get one free on select styles. This customer went away with some gorgeous winter hats and she looks stunning in them!

Pretty in her new cloche

Pretty in her new cloche

Millinery Arts Coalition

Soon after I met Donald Wasson, my millinery instructor, I was seriously bitten by the “I must do this professionally!” bug. He quickly introduced me to some of his former students who have carved out their own niches to become professional milliners.Together, we have formed the Millinery Arts Coalition. We have held a few events in the past and hope to do even more this year. Our next event, Millinery as Sculpture, is an exhibition of our work that promises to be creative and different! It will be held at the BOX Gallery in Akron June 14 – July 27. Stay tuned for more information on this exciting event.

The group recently met to discuss strategy and swap some hat blocks, the forms over which we stretch straw, felt or other materials to form differently shaped hats. These are my colleagues Dee Hall and Lee St. Marie; coalition members Cynthia Lundeen and Donald Wasson are not pictured. Happy blocking, my friends!

Millinery Arts Coalition Members Dee Hall and Lee St.Marie

Millinery Arts Coalition Members Dee Hall and Lee St.Marie

Fabric Shopping in Toronto

A few days in Toronto last weekend yielded some fabulous new fabrics for hats-yet-to-be-created. I found some beautiful faux fur, lovely wool boucle, and great trims. Now I need to get busy! Reminder: Ohio Mart is just around the corner…it runs Thursday, October 4 through Sunday, October 7. Maybe some of my new fabric will have been transformed into  hats by then. Stay tuned!

Faux fur from Toronto

What a Great Hat Open Studio Saturday


My studio will be open this coming Saturday, September 15th, from 11 am – 3 pm. I have a lot of new things for you to see and will be discounting a few hats from the past – some of the “arty” pieces that have been in shows and galleries as well as some styles I’m no longer making. The red and blue beret below was hand felted and hand beaded – originally priced at $160 it’s now just $60. The newsboy cap was originally $98 and has been marked down to $58. Hope you’ll stop by to see what’s new for fall and winter…and while you’re at it, take advantage of some great bargains from prior seasons!

Hand beaded and hand felted wool beret

Tan and teal Newsboy cap