Cycling in Germany along the Danube

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 & Rosenrot but 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.

 

Hattin’ Around Rye & Hastings, UK

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.

London Hat Week 2016 Wrap Up

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Leanne with Stephen Jones.

London Hat Week 2016 (LHW2016) was a success! My workshops were well attended with good reviews.  I packed in as many event as possible and loved the variety. Everything from the Hat Walk with Laird Hatters, Champagne High Tea at the Villandry, The Hilary Alexander and Stephen Jones interview at the Dirty Martini, Hat Exhibition at Coventry University in London and movie night at The Cinema Museum to watch the documentary, Mad about Hats. Here is my summary of the week. Note: the following video sometimes loads slowly.

London Hat Walk and Interviews from Phase 7 on Vimeo.

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Impromptu photoshoot with dapper fellows from Laird Hatters
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Milliner from Netherlands and Ana Pribylova from UK/Australia

Hat Walk with year was a little different than the last couple and I’d say very successful. Laird Hatters sponsored the event and we were treated to a spot of tea and cake at The Espresso Room to start our journey at their New Row shop and a reward for finishing at their shop on The Strand with a lovely chocolate and a little tipple. The walk route was good fun featuring a leisurely stroll to Trafalgar square, where we stopped to take photos, chat and regroup, then continued on to the end point. I met several fabulous women from the Red Hat Bees of Bardwell, a woman from Scotland, as well as the Netherlands and Spain.

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Delightful Milliner from Scotland
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Avid hat wearer and photographer

There was also an Interview of Georgina Abbott and Becky Weaver, Founders of London Hat Week.

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Hilary Alexander and Stephen Jones interview each other at the Dirty Martini in London, Oct 2016

The Stephen Jones interview by Hilary Alexander was absolutely charming. The two had a lovely chemistry that comes from years of working in the fashion industry where they were familiar with the same people over many decades. The venue, Dirty Martini was fun and interesting but ill suited for this event. Many of he attendees I have met over the years. It felt like a fun reunion.

 

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Guy Morse-Brown Hat Blocks at the LHW Market

The Market Place venue had amazing murals and architecture, but I stayed focused and true to my mission to explore the millinery supplies. 😉  I alway love a chat with Catherine and Owen of Guy Morse Brown.

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Masario at the LHW Market

I bought a few bits from Masario and some felts and Petersham from Parkins.

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My pretty new orange felt hood and matching Petersham from Parkin at the LHW Market
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Who knew you could get Ostrich leg leather at Walter Reginald at the LHW Market.

I am looking forward to heading over the East London to visit the ladies at Walter Reginald, leather specialist. They were fantastically helpful and educational. Who knew there is Ostrich leg leather. I am also wanting to try out fish leather. I touched it for the first time, and was surprised at how “leathery” it felt.

Hattin’ Around Classes and Milliner’s Roundtable at London Hat Week 2016

@Mrs_Gaskett picture on instagram of nautilus she made in class.

My first cockade workshop with #hattinaround great session #LHW

A photo posted by mrs_gaskett (@mrs_gaskett) on

A Study of Peaks workshop covered a lot of tips and techniques on materials and shapes.

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Milliners Ribbon – Petersham workshop, learning about basic things, how to make a head fitting and shrinkage to advanced trimmings such as Cockades and the Nautilus. I also demonstrated how to do some vintage trimming from hats in the V&A Museum of Childhood collection.

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The students were a delight. I had people from all over the world with varying levels of interest from ladies who have been in the millinery business for 20 years, to others who enjoy it as a hobby. I received great reviews and everyone said they learned something new.

A big huge thank you to Baxter Hart and Abraham for their generosity of ribbon and information about Petersham. Go see them for supplies, they are in Luton and have always been wonderful to me. The best part is they are patient with new milliners.

Milliner’s Roundtable

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There were lots of good tips from the Milliner’s Roundtable.  A mix of milliners  from Australia, France and a strong showing from the UK crowd.  Several ladies from the South London as well as two who are near the same village in southern England, who knew of each other but had never met. Here are some ideas to help build awareness and a following that I really appreciated:

  • Giving talks at a local venue about hats or hat making?
  • Doing a charity fundraiser that features your hats, like a ladies tea with hats being modeled?
  • Approaching an empty shop owner who might appreciate an attractive window display while waiting for a new tenant.

Champagne High Tea at the Villandry was fun, but perhaps a poor choice of events to attend, as I had cut out refined sugar and alcohol from my diet. I have been to better venues for High Tea in London, but I always like trying some place new. The best part was getting to chat with charming people from the UK and Europe. We even swapped photos of hats we liked at the exhibition.

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Movie Night at The Cinema Museum, the Museum is in the Victorian magnificence of the old Lambeth Workhouse, where Charlie Chaplin spent time as a child, in Kennington.  It isn’t the easiest of places to find but it is a treasure.  I joined other milliners to see an informative and interesting movie about the making of fur felt, the plight of the beaver and the impact of mercury used in hat making. Mad about Hats was a labour of love for director Olivier Vandersleyen and his family. Here is the Mad about Hats trailer.

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I am seated in the grey fedora, next to the sign. The director and his wife are standing behind the sign, hatless.

Hat Exhibition at Coventry University, London was a sight to behold. Hats from around the world in many ways. I posted several pictures on my Facebook page.

So much of millinery and hatting is done in isolation, at least for me. Late evenings or while my children are at school. London Hat Week is an opportunity to connect with people of similar interest from all over the world.  Thank you Becky Weaver of HATalk and Georgina Abbott of Atelier Millinery for creating this wonderful event.  I look forward to more at the next London Hat Week is planned for Spring 2018, dates TBD.

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Leanne at London Hat Walk

My Hat in a Gallery!

I would like to introduce, Migration, a hat I made of teal pleated sinamay with hand beaded butterflies and a seed beaded crown. This piece was inspired by a mix of several pieces from the Victoria & Albert (V&A) Museum of Childhood (MoC).

Migration Morley Gallery

Over the last several months I have designed and made three different hats for three hat contests. Not all the hats made it to the second round of judging, but to my delight I got an email that my hat, Migration, was accepted by the V&A Inspired by… contest and that it would be exhibited at the Morley Gallery in London.

Inspired by acceptance

If you would like to read more about my “Inspired by…” entry, Migration. I am in the Exhibition Catalogue on page 3.
If you want to learn more about the UK based “Inspired by…” contest or details on the exhibition Inspired by…2016 is on exhibit from 17 May 2016 – 17 June 2016. Please check the website for the details regarding opening hours.

Migration 2 Rear Right web

Migration 3 Left web

Migration 4 Features web

I recently attended the Gallery Preview and Awards night at Morley College. It was a thrill to see a hat I made on display in a gallery. I just discovered a video of the event on the Inspired by…website. My hat shows up around :13 as well as my family and I on the left side at 1:21 for 1 second! It was a lovely evening with good weather, fabulous music, and creative people.

Inspired by… is an event for adult learners throughout the UK to submit photos of a piece of art/craft they have created with inspiration from something in the V&A collection. The V&A is the world’s leading museum of art and design, housing a permanent collection of over 4.5 million objects. The V&A Museum of Childhood (MoC) is located in Bethnal Green and where I drew my inspiration for this piece. MoC have effectively created a place that is interesting and fun for both adults and children.

I have been attending classes at Morley College for several years and it is a wonderful place to learn new things and meet people. Many of my friendships have grown from classes at Morley.

Migration 5 In Progress

This is a collage of images highlighting the pieces I was inspired by as well as the hat making process.

Inspired by… at Morley Gallery is a small and diverse exhibit, I encourage you to go take a look. It is around the corner from the Imperial War Museum, just a short (5 -15 min) walk from Lambeth North or Elephant & Castle tube stations and Waterloo station.

Loving living in London!

and remember…interesting people wear hats.

Winter Holiday Markets and Wonderful Hats

I had the joy of seeing many of my hat class friends put their hats out for sale at both Temple Church and   Morley College Winter Fairs last week. The cold brought out the winter hats “On the Street” at Somerset House, and my daughter made me a tree ornament. Take a look.

 

Temple winter fair Petula Maggie

Holiday Markets are always fun. I love seeing the amazing creativity and craftsmanship of people, especially my friends.

The first was a fantastically hidden market, the Temple Christmas Fair on Thursday, 3 December at the Middle Temple Hall. It was an intense and beautifully dark carved wood venue with gorgeous products for sale. A couple of hatting friends from Morley College and Edwina Ibbotson‘s were selling their own custom made hats. Petula and Maggie must not have slept for a month prior to the show. My picture above only shows and few of their charming hats.

 

Temple Church

Not to go too far a field, but the Temple Church was selling a book at one of the stalls that was about the truth and fiction of the Knights Templar and the Temple Church in London. I had no idea that going to a Winter fair was going to link up with the Knights Templar from the book Da Vinci Code. I love London.

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Book explaining the Knights Templar, Temple Church and the Da Vinci Code

Morley College hosted its Winter Fair on Sunday, 6 December. Many of my Jane Smith, Hat Class friends, Stefania, Dusia, and Clare, were there with their hats, even Jane herself. There were so many hats that they ran out of display space. Morley is also a lovely venue and the main hall has large murals along both walls, that deserve more than a passing glance.

 

Morley winter fair Clare

The Somerset House is hosting outdoor skating this Winter and Fortum & Mason have taken over part of the building for a swanky Pop-Up Shop.

Somerset House

One of the best parts of this time of year is that it is cold and people on the streets are wearing warm hats. These lovely ladies allowed me to capture them while doing a bit of shopping at the Somerset House.

Somerset Lade in dark trilby

Somerset Lady in Grey hat

Somerset Lady in Beret

Hopefully I will be organized enough next year to post the dates of these fairs before they occur.

Also on the winter hat theme, my daughter surprised me with an adorable ornament for our tree. She made it while I was out at the Morley Winter Fair, from a shape found online and a piece of Harris Tweed from my fabric stash. It even has the date in the loop.  The second best part…she cleaned up the project mess before I got home. I love her and my new ornament.

Bowler ornament Eliana

and remember, Interesting People Wear Hats.

On the Street – Real people in London HA4

HA 4 On the Street

I take to the streets of London to see what hats people are wearing a cool day in March.

I usually ride my bike to hat class but not today, I had a meeting after class. I love riding my bike. I ride for sanity, fitness and transportation, and on hat class day it is for all three. However on the days that I cannot ride, the best part of not riding my bike is I can wear one of my adored hats, or test drive a new hat. This day I choose my grey fur felt fedora. I will do a podcast about this specific hat at a later date.

Leanne in Grey Fedora

On my walk to Morley College from the Elephant and Castle tube station, I noticed a sign for a new exhibit at the Imperial War Museum (IWM). I have not been yet, but I will go see Fashion on the Ration – 1940’s Street Style, apparently they are also offering a 40’s style lunch for group bookings. I’ll have to go check it out.

Just after snapping a photo of me in front of the sign so I don’t forget. This is my current note taking and reminder system…take pictures of it.

Pink Beret

As I set off down the street a striking older woman approached.  She was so lovely and I was only a little late for class. I asked if I could take her pictured. She agreed and then promptly told me she was 87 years old. She was absolutely charming with her magenta coat, dusty rose wool felt beret and large single pearl hat pin. We had a lovely chat and I learned that she is a turn local Londoner. Born just a few block to the West side of the IWM, moved a few blocks to the East side of the IWM at age 6, then to the North side when she married at 22, where she’s lived ever since.  We parted ways and I went off to work on my 1840’s style straw bonnet.

Wool Caps

After hat class I set off for Oxford Street by way of the Lambeth North tube station. Still feeling brave (Brave is my word for the year) and energized from my successful encounter with the little lady in pink, I mustered the courage to ask these two people if I could photograph them in their hats. They were surprised, but delightfully agreed. The lady in the green wool hat was from East Africa and the man in the black cap was from Germany. I love the diversity of London!

Stained glass at MacLaren Hall

I headed across town just after class to take a look at the venue for the London Hat Week, Milliners’ Questions Time event, that I am moderating. Tickets are now available for £16, so if you are interested, follow the links. It is in a listed building and I’ve attached just one of the beautiful stained glass windows.

A walk down Oxford Street is always a wonderful time in people watching. There were many people wearing your basic knit hat in all its various forms, there were a few deer stalkers and the occasional fur cossack.

This lady was happy to allow me to capture her cowboy style hat.

Cowboy style

My biggest challenge of the day was the flat cap. There was something about the gentlemen wearing the flat caps, and there were a lot of them, but I just didn’t feel comfortable approaching them. However, this kind man agreed to pause a moment on his hurried run to the tube station. I just adore the flat cap and his smile.
Flat cap on Oxford St

Spring colors in the Oxford Street windows – It is all about yellow and blue. From children to adults to handbags, yellow is everywhere with compliments of blue.

Colour Yellow Blue

Current Events

Austro-Hungarian Empress Elisabeth’s riding hat fetches 134,000 euros (110,500 GBP, 186,500 USD) at an auction in Vienna on 5 March 2015. If that isn’t if hats can appreciate in value and not just in the eye of people, it I think we can look forward to seeing more hats around town.

Empress Elisabeth, called “Sisi” by family and friends was a beauty and free spirit who continues to intrigue biographers, novelists and film makers, was assassinated by an Italian anarchist in 1898. for more information see the article in
Reuters.

Thank you little lady in the pink beret, you made my day.

And remember, interesting people wear hats.