Custom Hat For Preakness

Custom Race Wear – Preakness

It all started with a skirt. A really great skirt that’s perfect for a horse race. My customer wanted a hat to go with it that had a touch of whimsy and a lot of impact.

The biggest challenge was to dye the parasisal straw to coordinate with the pretty pear green in the skirt. Through trial and error, I was able to come up with a color that worked great. From there it was a matter of pulling in the other colors of the skirt, including a terra cotta riding pant on the women featured on the skirt. Fortunately, I had a ribbon that was woven with terra cotta one way and green the other for a perfect complement. Dotted netting, black, white and green feathers, a custom made silk and striped band and dotted ribbon finishes the look.

An added bonus: the hat looks great worn as intended with the embellishment on the right as well as turning it around and wearing the embellishment on the left. Such a fun and colorful ensemble!


What a Great Hat to Participate in the Great Hat Exhibition in London March 22 – 28, 2018


I’m pleased to announce that my fascinator has been selected to be included in The Great Hat Exhibition in London at the end of March. It joins more than 300 hats and fascinators from 37 countries.

My piece was inspired by volcanoes, swirling hot lava and fire. It has a sinamay base and is topped with sinamay and feather “flames,” and swirls of crinoline.

If you’re in London March 22 – 28, stop in and see this fabulous exhibition and be sure to take pictures for me since I won’t be there in person.

The exhibition is a part of London Hat Week. The Great Hat Exhibition 2018 organizer is X Terrace Fashion Platform.  Tickets are available through the X Terrace website. 

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




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!


Hat of the Week

The hat of the week is inspired by fashion from the 1920s. I’m currently creating a hat for a historical costume from the 1920s and wanted to try this shape, since both the crown(top) and brim are traditional 1920s shapes. The costume hat will be made of felt to go with the outfit but I made a prototype in straw to take it for a “test drive.”

Will bring you photos of the final hat when I’m finished with it. In the meantime, enjoy this pretty summer hat and learn more about it in my Etsy Store.




Vintage Hat Friday

Good morning!

Today’s vintage hat is all about summer. Such pretty, delicate roses and violets are perched on the wavy brim of this garden-inspired beauty. It does not have a designer label and it’s completely stitched by hand, including the grosgrain ribbon edge. I’m guessing 1950s or early ’60s. It’s available in my Etsy store.