Come visit myself (Leanne Fredrick Millinery) and some dear friends, Freeman-Birch Millinery, Hats by Clare Spicer and Climbing Rose Clothing at our tables on 24 & 25 November in South West London, UK and 1 December in Ewell, Epsom, UK. More market info
Winter Holiday Drawing on 15 December 2017
Loads of ways to enter to win a place
in my London Hat Week 2018 Hatpin workshop. More drawing info
My last visit to Ireland was February 1998, so when California friend, Laura, suggested we meet up there this Autumn, I was all in. Arriving at the Dublin airport, I was delighted to see a larger than life, image of milliner Martha Lynn, representing the craft of Millinery. I love when millinery gets visibility, especially on a large scale.
Thanks for advice from my London friend, Lis, we went to Bray. It was the perfect balance of things to do without being a busy city. We enjoyed a couple days of coastal hiking, exploring, shopping and a few pints.
I brought home a little treasure from Greystones Antiques. This simple little buckle I am sure will end up on a hat.
Laura and I headed north to enjoy the streets and treats of Dublin for a couple days before returning to our respective families. We grabbed the first Sightseeing bus we came to, for a quick tour of the highlights of Dublin, then it was time to go hat shop hunting.
I feel like I found the pot of gold on the first shop, which was Anthony Peto‘s hat shop. Thank you Anthony and Petra for taking time to talk to me without any notice.
Anthony’s main showroom and workshop are in Paris where employs a full team of skilled crafts people. His Paris business has been around for 25 years, while his Dublin shop has been open since 2015. Anthony Peto hats are stylish and well crafted. He offers a variety of styles for men and women. While grabbing the like to his site, I re-discovered this video showing one of Anthony’s team, making a strip straw hat in about 7 minutes. Anthony Peto’s website news page. I would love to have one of those sewing machines and a straw spinner like he is using.
While trying to find another milliner in Powerscourt Centre, Dublin, I stumbled across a costume design exhibit called Frame 7 by Marion Cuddy. There were some hats, which is always delight. I believe the milliner was Michael Mullins.
Nearby was milliner and fashion blogger Jennifer Wrynne’s boutique. She been a milliner since 2011 and opened the boutique in 2016. Her hats were primarily special event hats.
I love window displays that include headwear, especially when it is clever and creative. Thank You, Irelands Eye . On a side note: I wish the fashion magazines did a better job of including headwear in their features.
Inspiring, brave and bold, Claire Garvey Couture makes crazy fun hats and clothes. Claire had recently bought her shop after 18 years in business. I think this is what she said, I was so agog looking at stuff I didn’t write it down. Congratulations Claire!
I feel very lucky to have met two amazing hat designers and visit their shops, made a couple of new friends (Kelly & Lynette) and most importantly, connected with my long time friend, Laura. Until next time, Ireland, Thank you.
Bridport is a small villiage in Dorset, in the south of England, just 1.5 miles from the English Channel. I had heard of the Bridport Hat Festival for several years and this year I finally entered images of a hat in the contest. I was delighted to have been shortlisted and sent in my hat for judging. I took the train/bus down from London on Friday afternoon in early September. If you can get a seat with a table, long train rides are perfect for finishing a hat and meeting nice people.
There were hats in nearly every Bridport shop window and the charity shops had loads of hats for sale at great prices. Above are my favorite charity shop finds of the weekend, although I didn’t buy any of them. An eccentric grey hat by Pop Goes the Weasel, a lovely but far too small, white felt by Graham Smith for Fortnum & Mason. A Frederick Fox in a fawn with black ribbon & flower trim and another no-label hat with loads of stitching.
From Bridport I enjoyed a walk that lead me by the river then through three fields, down to West Bay for the evening. (Images L-R, water mill by brewery-Bridport, Harbour West Bay, Dorset Coast – West Bay, Station Kitchen – West Bay). It was a gorgeous day and I savored a delicious dinner at the Station Kitchen. I appreciated a cozy night’s stay at a vegetarian B&B, The Old Mill House in Bridport.
The Old Mill House was not much to look at from the street, but had gracious hosts and a small bridge over the river in their serene garden.
The highlight is seeing the variety of hats. A lovely couple wore Twin Peaks, hemp hats from Kathmandu by Elephant Road, a couple in matching outfits, and my strip straw hat with wavy border and vintage flowers. I think this hat below, a hand felted scene of Poseidon/Neptune was stunning. Can you see the horses coming out of the sea foam on the left and sea creatures following behind on the right?
The Bridport Hat Festival is a fundraiser for various charities. One of which is Brain Tumour Research. They seem to be at a lot of the events I attend. I like collecting their annual hat designer badges.
At one of the charity fundraising stands a gentleman was enjoying selling 2nd hand hats by coming up with some outrageous claims. I bantered with him a few moments, then just as I was ready to decline and depart, I saw another unlabeled stitched beret, in gold and it fit me. If you’ve been following my blog posts, I have come across several of them in my adventures in Southern England. Who made these hats? The price was right and it came home with me.
More crazy hats from jesters to lampshades. A couple who went with a breakfast theme of a skillet with bacon & eggs and a large fried egg. Hats with loads of stuff on them to a US political themed hat.
Then in the vendors hall I spotted this little wire framed gem. I will be teaching a wire frame half hat class during London Hat Week in 2018, Cocktail Half Hat with Daisies. It also came home with me, as another sample of how versatile the wire frame technique is to make charming hats.
Finally, the catalyst for my journey the Milliners and Hatters Open Competition. The hats were on display all day in the Town Hall. At the end of the day the hall was cleared, then set with chairs with a center aisle. Each hat was modeled and awards were given. I didn’t bring home any prizes but it was fun to have my hat on display and then modeled at the end. The hat on the far right was the overall winner. I think they will eventually get photos of the hats on the Bridport Hat Festival website.
My learning opportunity came when the hats were modeled. Despite having a center back mark and comb for placement, my hat ended up backwards and on the wrong side of the model’s head. Luckily it looked beautiful from all sides, but it really would have shown better if it had been worn properly. Live and learn, next time I’ll make it super obvious.
Bridport was a lovely town and we had great weather. I think it would be a good place to take my family for a little holiday in the future. Thank you Bridport for a fun day out.
We did something new for this summer holiday. Cycling with family and friends along the Danube in Germany. In my case it was Hattin’ Around the Danube.
How do you like the cycling caps I made for everyone? I used a free pattern by Dill Pickle. The pattern, instructions and caps were great, however I found the pattern ran a little small. Most of us needed the “large” and the 23.5″ (59.6 cm) head needed the “xl”. We used fabric pens to sign and decorate the caps.
Regensburg, Germany was a great place to start our trip. Architecture, history, river, good food and the start of what could be called the ice cream trail. It also had the best hats & hat shops of the trip.
HutKönig is a long establish hat shop with an excellent reputation and helpful staff. The couture felt hats were gorgeous. I loved the shapes, the colors and layered trims.
Take a look at their old glass tank steamer and hidden behind, a burgundy embosser with gold tape. Mental note, add embosser to the hatting/millinery equipment wish list.
I took loads of photos of hats, but this little miniature millinery shop was too cute to leave out of the post. They are made from real straw, felt and lace. I love digital zoom.
HutKönig actually had 5 hat blocks for sale. All of which were for small head sizes, but I can put a sock on it. I decided on this one after much deliberation. I was hesitant to buy too many hat blocks on the first day of our trip, although the tour company moved our bags from place to place.
Lilo is a marvelous small hat shop. Lilo, herself, was absolutely lovely and kind enough to take a few minutes to talk with me. Her hats are charming and her look is distinctive. I saw a few of her hats in boutiques elsewhere in Regensburg and recognized them as Lilo’s.
Straubbing, Germany was met with a hot and exhausted group of cyclists. I brightened up when I saw this adorable little fellow in a straw hat with his parents in the town square.
I spotted one hat shop called Luise Danner der Hutladen, but sadly we were pedaling again the next morning before they opened.
Deggendorf, Germany was the smallest of the towns we stayed in. It was also the shortest day of cycling which is good as it had been very warm for this London based family. We arrived early enough to have a look about and the hat shop was still open.
Olga’s Hut und Mode was several rooms, upstairs with a friendly poster of Olga, pointing the way. Olga was in the shop and kindly allowed photos, but we had language issues. I told her about my blog and gave her a card, she nodded and then showed me a selection of blue hats. To be fair, blog starts with “B” and my card has a blue hat on it. If only I’d followed through with my Duolingo German lessons.
Passau, Germany is where the confluence of three rivers join, the Inn, the Ilz and the Danube. They are often represented by three colors, Green, Black and Blue respectively.
I located one hat shop, Edelweiss & Rosenrotbut they didn’t want any photos inside the shop which is unfortunate as their displays were upholstered in bright green moiré.
It was a wonderful trip with loads of ice cream for the kids, a fair bit of käse spätzle (German style Mac n’ Cheese) which just might be my favorite german food and the guys enjoyed a little beer. Fun, friends, family, cycling and hats. It was a good holiday.
It was suppose to be about camping, but for me it was about hats. A girls weekend away included a visit to Rye, Hastings and a camp out in the woods.
Saturday on the way to the Wood, we stopped in Rye, an old town in South East England for a few hours. Rye is one of the Cinque Ports and has a lovely old town center.
With lots of historic character, vintage shops and best of all the hat shop, Hearld & Heart. You may recall the name Hearld & Heart from my interview with Jane Smith, they did the amazing hat that Andie McDowell wore in Four Weddings and a Funeral (94).
A few hats and thimbles in a small local museum, not the museum in the tower as they were hanging the closed sign as we approached the gate. 🙁 The Harlequin, a secondhand book shop, had two darling pink vintage hats.
I have not yet been able to embrace the loads of floppy petals, but I am trying.
I love that there is something different happening on each side of this dusty rose hat with velvet trim. It looks like Pinokpok to me, but I think it is actually parabuntal. If anyone knows for sure, please let me know.
I adore living in London, but a night out of the city is a welcome change. I love sleeping under the stars with a canopy of leaves overhead. Even being awoken with a cacophony of bird song at morning light is needed every once in a while.
Day two, we packed up and were off to Hastings. The town known from the Battle of Hastings in 1066. It is a fishing & port town, popular for holiday getaways.
Wardrobe Clothes Agency had loads of vintage hats, every piece distinctly different. A white with black lace pillbox, a red and pink feather cocktail hat, and a sheer brim on a wire frame with pearl details.
I am completely enamored with the wire framed cocktail half hat. I will be teaching a workshop on this style of hat. Please sign up for the Hattin’ Around Newsletter for the announcement of workshop dates.
The white silk with black stitching was my favorite. OMG look at all that stitching! The design is also very clever.
Wardrobe Clothes Agency (teal turban with bow) and Voodoo Sirens (black trilby with large ribbon bow), both are Edward Mann hats. I really must do some research on him, as his nautilus hat was a huge inspiration for me.
It was my good fortune to be in Hasting when there was a Steam Punk event. Steam Punk folks do amazing costume. A velvet top hat with goggles and feathers, a voodoo hat with a skeleton and crow, a red vinyl captains hat and a pith helmet with goggles are just a few of the hats on show. However, I saved the best for last. His nickname is Moose and he trimmed his own hat. I believe he said there are 82 brass rivets. The craftsmanship was superb.
Thank you to Hatz and Thingz, for the tickets to the Steam Punk event. It was late in the day, he had three tickets available, and there were three of us with a little bit of time remaining before we needed to head back to London. Hatz and Thingz is a new shop, offering both men’s and women’s hats and various vintage items and steam punk accessories.
The longest hatpin I’ve ever seen, ±33cm (13″) and a few hatpin holders. Hatpins are another of my hat related fascinations. Please sign up for the Hattin’ Around Newsletter, a hatpins workshop will be coming soon as well.
I hope you have enjoyed my few hatting highlights from Hastings and Rye.
Kensington & Chelsea College (KCC)
Higher National Certificate (HNC) Year End Collections 2017
Hosted on 1 June 2017 at Kensington & Chelsea College, London UK.
This year was another delightful exhibition of some talents new millinery designers. The nervous excitement could be felt throughout the room as the milliners stood beside their collections to meet, greet and answer questions about their work. There were fabulous shapes and creative use of materials, everything you would hope to see at a millinery exhibit. The milliners are listed in order of how I walked around the room. Thank you for an inspirational evening.
Hannah Lewis – Hatterly – Fluidity, Movement & Motion
Carole Denford of The Hat Magazine, was spotted at the event. That woman must have Hermione’s time turner from Harry Potter, because she is everywhere.
Farewell KCC, until next year. I couldn’t resist this lovely image of the Imperial Wharf Station looking toward the Design Center as dusk.
My pictures really do not do the hats and head pieces justice. I would highly recommend that you come to the exhibit next year, it is open to the public. Congratulations milliners you are off to a great start. I hope to see you Hattin’ Around. LF
p.s. I have included links to website that were available on their cards at the event. If I have made any errors, please let me know.
My life does not have nearly enough “occasion” hat wearing opportunities, so when I was approaching a milestone birthday I decided it was going to be a hat event. A mini top hat (topper) would be perfect, festive and small enough for easy travel.
I have wanted to make a mini topper for ages. What is it about things in miniature that are so appealing? Beautiful dolls houses, tiny baby clothes, exquisite Fabergé eggs, even well made Barbie clothes I find intriguing. My hats isn’t super tiny, maybe I should call it a midi topper?
Without a firm plan in mind about trimming and nor a 5 piece top hat block, I set to learning how to make a mini topper in sinamay on a buckram and wire framed block, with the mentoring of Edwina Ibbotson during her evening Hat Class. The mystery was how to get it off the block once it is has dried and been stiffened. If you practicing millinery, you will notice the under cut of a waisted topper as a red flag. Unless you use a 5 piece block that you can take the block apart to extract it from the hat rather than pry the hat off the block, an under cut means you either carefully cut the hat, or destroy the block, neither seemed a good choice for a sinamay hat.
What I Learned…
To get the hat off the block without damaging the block or creating a cut edge on the straw, wrap the straw to meet in the back then fold the raw edges to the outside on the first layer. It is tricky to get it to butt together and stay put. I used lots of pins. The second and third layers are butted with the ends folded to the inside. Also use a wide petersham ribbon to hold the waist in while dries. Once off the block you have to sew each layer closed. Starting with the inside layer.
It is made in three pieces, the brim, the crown and the tip (top of the crown), make sure you mark the matching up points, especially for the “round” crown & “round” tip.
Making a band for an asymmetrical hat with extreme and changing angles is really difficult. I finally fashioned a pattern out of some bias muslin. It was not perfect but that is okay. I used the flaws to guide some of the flower placement.
Working within the hat to make invisible stitches between the layers was challenging. I feel good about the quality of finish I achieved.
There are lots of steam punk mini toppers which are fun, but I was looking for something lighter. I have a thing for grey and I had some amazing silver little wired stamens from Masario, which I was hankering to use. I had some leftover grey silk georgette that I loved working with on a previous project and experimented to create little bias cut flowers with a dusty pink bead for the center to add just a hint of warmth.
I was sewing the last bits on just an hour before my birthday party. I am delighted with the result.
I have since carved a mini topper block myself and made a variation in felt. It is a different technique with felt. Hopefully I can do a “What I Learned…” for that hat soon.
I would love hear if you have ideas on how to work with an undercut hat block.
Is Coolie a derogative term? According to Wikipedia and the Urban dictionary, it is. Why then, is it still used so freely to describe the common conical shaped hat most commonly associated with Asian slaves or Asian manual laborers? I blame Hollywood. The actual hat is a Vietnamese hat called a Non-la.
I go through hat phases, and I am currently looking at the conical hat. The dilemma arises with the fact that what I am calling a conical hat, is more commonly known as a Coolie. So, do I use a term that is considered derogative by some (Coolie), or do I use a term that is less known & understood (Conical), there by causing confusion (I am not referring to a Hennin which is also a conical hat) and reducing the effectiveness of my communication? Finally, do I use Non-la which is the accurate term but is rarely understood?
Language is a living entity. Words are invented, their meanings evolve as was evident in my post about the word Vulgar. Words come into fashion and then out. To have a large vocabulary is an asset allowing you to choose a word that communicates more precisely. In this case a hat shape, commonly referred to as a Coolie clearly brings an image of the Non-la to mind, is offensive to some people? Conical is too vague, a cone does not really capture the essence of the hat shape.
This may seem unconnected, but it is related. I was recently reading some older books. I love the little hard bound short story books. I love the texture of the cover, I enjoy the turning of paper pages, and the smell of an old book. I also enjoy hearing how they communicate with each other, especially between the generations and in courtship. Recently I was reading The Twins, a children’s book by L.E. Tiddeman. There isn’t a publish date, but L.E. Tiddeman died in 1937 and wrote between 1880-1931. In just one short paragraph on page 32, she used the terms, gay, cripple, and nigger. Although I found this shocking, there was no malice, it was purely descriptive.
The terms cripple and nigger are no longer appropriate for common communication. New terms are used that are more sensitive and/or accurate. We have obviously made progress is this area. So, what do I call my Non-la hat? I would prefer to avoid the term Coolie, however I am not sure that very many people know the name Non-la. What would you call it? Would you stay with the commonly recognized term, like Coolie? A vague but inoffensive term like conical? Or, the actual name that is least known – the Non-la?
I recently made a new hat, which I am calling my ‘Non-la inspired conical hat’. Soon I will be adding a new post about making this hat.
I had a brilliant charity shop find of this conical asian hat, but I don’t think it is actually a Non-la. So what do I call it? Here is a link to my A Good Hat Day blog.
I have been wanting to go to The Hat Works Museum in Stockport for years. HATstock made it happen for me. However, I am going to need another day to go up and see the Museum properly.
This was a high density day. Early train ride from London, new city and venue, 6 talks, each lasting 30 minutes, exhibits from milliners with varied styles and materials, a market place of lovely millinery supplies and a beautiful museum. Concluded with a quick search for a sandwich and a 3 hour journey back home. Only for hats or a sick child can I endure that dense and lengthy of a schedule.
Presentations were informative and entertaining, which is a very good combination. Here is a highlight of the talks I attended.
Nick Parkin of Parkin Fabrics
The History and Production of Sinamay movie
Here is a trailer of the movie, but the whole movie is only available through a Parkin Fabrics presentation.
Nick also passed around various samples of sinamay materials. A very light weight and soft fabric used for making wedding garments for the very hot Philippine environment. Unlike the much stiffer sinamay we use for hats.
Then the tighter weave and panning of sinamay which makes what we call pinokpok which is also used for hats.
Sophie Cooke, Amanda Moon, and Siobhan Nicholson
The Hat Stand
Journeys into Millinery
Bink of Pearls & Swine
Social Media and Selling Online
Bink is as bubbly to talk with as she is in appearance. I have seen the Pearls and Swine brand in my social media sites, but I cannot tell which one: Twitter, Instagram or Facebook. With a name like Pearls and Swine I didn’t forget.
Her social media advice was great. Although a bit vague on specific actionable steps which I would have liked, her messages were powerful and clear.
Be active on social media it is much cheaper and reaches further than a brick and mortar shop.
Make it fun for readers.
Be genuine, creative and different.
Build excitement and anticipation in your promotions.
Bink has marketing mojo in more than just social media. When I visited her millinery exhibit, she gave me a little goodie bag with her card, as well as cards of other people. She too is leveraging relationships with other vendors, less formal than The Hat Stand ladies, but still valuable. Look at all these little treasures in the pink and white striped goodie bag.
Rupert told stories told through narration of old photographs that had been lost for generations in various family homes. The pictures had all the costume and glamour of a BBC period drama. Rupert’s sense of humor and story telling was amusing. It was riveting to see these very old pictures and hear stories. Some challenges, some victories, and the elegance of a wealthy family long ago.
Battersby Hats of Stockport, An Illustrated History, by Rupert Battersby.
The Hat factory which has evolved over the years. The large water tower on the left was built after the hat works burnt twice. However once the water tower was built they never had a fire. I suppose the water tower indirectly did the job.
Georgina Abbott and Becky Weaver
LHW goes Regional
I’ve known Georgina and Becky, the founders of London Hat Week since the first London Hat Week several years ago. I always enjoy talking with them. They were at HATstock to promote the idea of building regional hat events. If the energy and excitement of HATstock is any indication, it is a great idea. Personally I would love to visit more regional events. Georgina Abbott owns Atelier Millinery and Becky Weaver is the editor of HATalk.
Here I am pictured with Bronwen (the coordinator of HATstock) on the left, Becky & Georgia in the center, and me to the right.
A Woman’s Hat is Close to Her Heart
I loved Sharon’s presentation. It was a mix of slide show and commentary on hats and the creation of identity. How a hat can change your mood as well as your persona. She touched on the idea of a milliner as a technical crafts person and having the artistic vision to generate a transformation of the wearer.
Sharon is very knowledgeable about hats and history and her diverse career path is fascinating. From lawyer to milliner, to Leeds College of Art tutor to exhibit curator. I would like to spend more time with Sharon and attend more of her talks.
I love getting together with milliners. They are a diverse and interesting mix of people with marvelous stories and skills with a common interest in hats. I came home exhausted but my hatting cup was full.