What a Great Hat on New Day Cleveland

It’s always fun to talk about hats! I was recently on New Day Cleveland to talk about Kentucky Derby Hats, which are such an integral part of the Derby experience.

There are a few ads at the beginning of the clip so please be patient! The entire clip is less than five minutes. Please click on the link below to see my segment.

Kentucky Derby Hats!

One correction…(I guess I was nervous!)…I was one of three hundred milliners from 68 countries in The Great Hat Exhibition, not one of 67 milliners. And the host, Natalie, threw me for a loop with the question about where I get my hats. I must have looked like a deer in the headlights! But she steered me back on course gracefully. Always fun to “be on set,” and work with the wonderful professionals onscreen and behind the cameras at Fox8 Cleveland.

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!

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 whatagreathat@gmail.com for details or to sign up. Happy hat-making!

In-Studio Perspectives

Happy Wednesday!

It’s a busy time in the studio as I prepare to send a slew of hats to Louisville, Kentucky. I’ll have some of my hats for sale at Clay and Cotton, a boutique with cool clothing and home accessories. If you’re going to be in Louisville anytime soon, be sure to stop in. Here’s a sneak peek at some of the details…

And if you’re going to the Derby or a party here in town that requires a fabulous hat, be sure to contact me soon!

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In-Studio Perspectives

Hello Fellow Hat Peeps,

Those of you living in the Midwest understand the degree to which the cold and snow is on our last nerve. To counter, I have turned to spring. This little fascinator features vintage flowers and a wonderful pink dotted netting, also vintage. The base of the piece is covered with a pretty floral fabric and I added a feather just for fun. Such a happy piece. It’s a terrific look for any upcoming spring or summer event where you’d like to make a splash. Although it’s non-traditional for the Kentucky Derby, it would be the perfect solution for the woman who doesn’t like a big brim. You’ll definitely be noticed in this one! You can check it out further in my Etsy store.

Floral Fascinator for Spring/Summer 2014

Floral Fascinator for Spring/Summer 2014

Paula’s 2013 Entry in the Kentucky Derby Hat Contest

Paula Singleton's 2013 Kentucky Derby Museum Hat

Paula Singleton’s 2013 Kentucky Derby Museum Hat

I have entered the Kentucky Derby Museum hat contest every year since 2010. I am pleased to announce that for the fourth year, one of my hats has been selected to be a part of the annual display. This year’s entry is a lovely spring green asymmetrical straw hat featuring black and white ribbon with stripes and dots. A huge spray of feathers gives it height and presence. I am honored to have been selected again this year.Here’s a link to the other hats that made the cut. As you can see, there are some fabulous styles to compete with! http://www.flickr.com/photos/77780824@N08/sets/72157634195543015/

What a Great Hat! Accepted by Kentucky Derby Museum Annual Contest

For the third year, I entered a hat in the Kentucky Derby Museum’s annual hat contest. I’m pleased to announce that my hat was one of 20 selected for display in the museum for a year. Entries arrive from around the world, so I am honored that my hat was chosen for this special exhibit. Here’s a link to all of the winning hats: http://www.derbymuseum.org/hat_contest.html

Paula Singleton’s 2012 Kentucky Derby Museum Hat Contest Winner

Queen’s Jubilee Hat Contest

What fun to be in a national contest! Although I didn’t win my hat was in the top ten percent of votes, which pleases me greatly. Thanks for your encouragement and kind words throughout the process. The hats that won are very worthy. Here’s the link one more time to see the winners.  http://www.talenthouse.com/hatalk-dillon-wallwork-milliner-contest

The Kentucky Derby is finally behind us. I had an exciting moment closer to home when one of my customers won a local hat contest. Here’s her winning look.

This is how to dress for the Kentucky Derby

How many occasions require a look from head to toe that’s totally special and over-the-top? Well, the Kentucky Derby comes to mind since is all about the hat and the clothes. I’m partnering with Audrey’s Sweet Threads, a fabulous women’s boutique at Eton Collection, to bring together great hats and lovely clothing to help you look your best. The outfit in the photo is a gorgeous tiered lace dress with subtle shots of gold. See how the light filters through the hat onto the model to produce a lacy effect? So elegant. Find Audrey’s Sweet Threads at 28601 Chagrin Blvd. in Woodmere. (216-831-8880) You can see two more of my hats to the left of the mannequin in the photo below.

A Great Kentucky Derby Look by What a Great Hat and Audrey's Sweet Threads

Custom Made Kentucky Derby Hats

A group of women recently came to see me about making custom hats for their trip to the Kentucky Derby. It’s always fun to custom design a piece to go with a particular dress or outfit. And Derby time is the perfect opportunity to use over-the-top profiles and embellishments. Here’s a peek at one of the hats I designed to coordinate with a beautiful coral dress.

Pink and Orange Kentucky Derby Hat