I have been looking around for a classic Dior brim but haven’t had any luck finding just what I was looking for. I researched purchasing one, but it just isn’t in the budget right now. In fact, the budget is pretty much non-existent since so many of the art shows have been cancelled.
During the lock down, I visited Hat Academy, an outfit that provides online classes, and purchased a class on how to make a hat block. It is taught by UK milliner, Ian Bennett.
It took some calculating (not my strong point!) and help from my intern, but we figured out the placement of the spokes on the wire frame. Next came covering it in paper and a boatload of masking tape.
The next step was to cover it inside and out with packing tape, which helps to waterproof the paper and add another layer of strength.
All that was left to do was take it for a test drive. Here’s the finished hat!
All in all, a great project. I was happy to have another set of hands, however. It took the two of us a total of about 15 hours just to make the block. But the materials were a tiny fraction of the cost of a wooden block. I’m not sure how many hats I will be able to make on my handmade block; it won’t last forever like a wooden block. But in the meantime, I’m happy to have a new tool that didn’t cost an arm and a leg!
While many of us think of a fedora as menswear, it’s fun to mix it up and create a feminine take on a classic menswear look.
I hand dyed this dark blue and camel straw early this year and purposely let the blue bleed into the camel color. When I was ready to block the hat into a shape, I decided on a fedora style because I liked the idea of the organic shape the dye created in contrast with the structured shape of a fedora.
Now this is not a classic fedora with a pinched crown; this one has an asymmetrical dip on the side. And I left the brim a bit longer on one side for additional asymmetry. It’s edged in navy silk with a silk band and bow.
I had fun mixing up masculine and feminine in this one of a kind hat.
Be sure to wear a hat this weekend for all of your outside activities! Hope you have a meaningful Memorial Day weekend.
All eyes (ok, maybe not all, but a lot) are going to be focused on the upcoming wedding of Megan Markle and Price Harry this Saturday. What designer will she be wearing? Will she wear a traditional veil?
I have heard from several friends and customers (some of which have purchased a hat for the wedding, even if they are viewing it in their homes) that they are having a proper tea and hat event to celebrate. Sounds like a great excuse to wear a hat or fascinator to me!
Ms. Markle looks great in hats. I wonder if she will embrace hat wearing as much as Kate, the Duchess of Cambridge. What do you think? Are you planning on watching the royal wedding?
The British Royal family arrive at Sandringham to celebrate Christmas Day Featuring: Prince Harry, Meghan Markle Where: Sandringham, United Kingdom When: 25 Dec 2017 Credit: Ward/WENN.com ORG XMIT: wenn33520376
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.
I was recently contacted about partnering with the Ohio Lottery and their InspiredOH campaign to share the story of What a Great Hat. I’m lucky to be an inspired Ohioan and to have the opportunity to talk about my business and creative process.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org for details or to sign up. Happy hat-making!
Today’s hat is a sweet little toque that reminds me of a layer cake. Or a fancy energy dome if you’re a Devo fan :o)
It’s completely hand sewn with layers of vintage straw and netting. There are some holes in the netting but they don’t distract from the hat at all. An interesting pyramid-shaped Aurora Borealis rhinestone embellishment sits at the front. The maker is Helen Brounet, California. I’m guessing early 1960s. It’s for sale in my Etsy shop.
Have a wonderful weekend and stay cool under a wide-brimmed hat!
This is one hot hat! No designer label, just a union-made label. It’s blocked on a base of cape net and covered one-by-one with neon pink feathers. This one just makes me smile.
I once made a one-by-one feather hat. It was about half the size of the hat below and it took HOURS to assemble. First, the feathers must be “gone through” and the fluffy bottom sections stripped away. Then each feather, one at a time, is carefully glued to the base, overlapping artfully. This one has the added beauty of the side feathers flipping over the top to create sort of an Elvis-like ducktail swoop.
As usual, I’d love to have seen the original owner decked out in this hat and her finest dress. Fun!
I love this hat! The base is cape net so it’s light and airy. It’s covered with fine maline and the maline is also ruffled over the small brim. Black silk flowers surround the crown. So simple but super cute. The maker is Cathay of California, probably 1950s.
This hat is so interesting. When I first saw it from a distance, I thought the pom-poms were made of fur. Instead, they’re made of straw. The base of this hat is a very fine black straw, blocked into a sassy shape. The “under-brim” is an orange crepe fabric. The label says Veola Modes, NY. It was sold at Wm. Taylor Son & Co, London, Cleveland, Paris. Since the original owner lived in Cleveland, I’m guessing she bought it there.What era do you think it’s from hat specialists? I’m guessing 1950s.