Tuesday, December 29, 2009

Hat Block Alternatives

You would think that if I started a blog that I would have projects lined up for posting; not so.  Sure I had a few ideas, but as always I'm more creative at the last hour.  As I looked around my room I studied felt, straw, and buckram material tied to traditional hat blocks that had been neglected for months, even a year or more, but the most exciting thing in the room was the the the ceramic hourglass vase covered with buckram foundation material. You see not only do I collect traditional hat blocks I also collect wooden bowls, metal bowls, ceramic vases, and just about anything I think would yield a beautiful hat.

Thrift shops, and most recently, HomeGoods--a discount store, are the places to shop!  My makeshift blocks cost anywhere from under a dollar to around $15 dollars.   A block the size of the large dark bowl above would cost anywhere between $120 and $250 or more dollars.  Additionally, I do not pin into my traditional blocks unless I absolutely have to.   These are my sculptures, my works of art..., but I will push pins into these bowls, etc., without a second thought.

My hat making material of choice is buckram (the material covering the vase).  Buckram is a heavily sized cotton material, that when dampened and stretched over a block, conforms to the shape of the block.  Of course it's also used dry for flat patterns that will be covered with various materials, as is the dampened, blocked, and dried buckram.  Knowing how to work with buckram will allow a milliner to create any shape she desires.

Sooooo, stay toned. I can't wait until I post again.  Now which one of those bowls, etc., will I use to create my next hat.

Thursday, December 17, 2009


Couture millinery is my favorite hobby and I've been creating hats for about 25 years. I've taken millinery classes for most of those years because I believe that learning never ceases. For the past three years I've participated in the Los Angeles County Fair's millinery contests.  In 2007 I entered two hats, for which I received two First Awards and the Craftsmanship Award; in 2008 I won Best in Show, Most Innovative, and two First Awards.  I tried a little harder in 2009 entering four hats, and again winning the Craftsmanship Award, Best in Show, three First Awards, and a Second Award.

Finally after years of putting off creating a blog site I've convinced myself to "Just Do It."   I'm giving up years, days, and hours of trying to talk myself out of doing something I've very much wanted to do for what feels like an eternity.  I've always had a desire to sincerely promote couture millinery, and this will be my goal through this blog.

I need your help in order to keep this site fresh and fun.  You will help me by leaving lots of comments and even suggestions.  I need to know how you feel about what I have published, plus I need to know what your interests are. In turn I will try to be as responsive as possible.