Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Hatstruck Couture Millinery Class: Felt Blocking, March 8, 2014

OK, I''m running behind; no excuses.  I still have two posts that I need to address, plus the person that won the silent gift contest has not come forward.  Getting those issues out of the way, temporarily, I thought it best to move on and announce my upcoming felt blocking class.  It's a one-day, eight-hour plus class; I've never been a clock watcher.  I know, I know!  I hate one-day classes because I can't give homework, and I can't give constructive criticism after a student has worked on her/his hat at home.  Well the world is moving faster than I am, so I have to be more innovative when teaching a class.  How? Actually it's quite simple.  It's a combination of teaching students millinery techniques and trying to teach them how to see.  If anything I've learned over the years is how much better off those are that can see compared to those that cannot see. This is true for all disciplines.

Have you ever noticed that some milliners never get any better.  Many times it has very little to do with the number of years a person has been a milliner or the person that the milliner has studied under.  Basically, that stuff can be saved for a resume.  Yes, it sounds impressive, but if you can't see, you can't improve your work.  Now we're not talking about style and/or design skills here; we're talking about technical skills.  There are fabulous designers out there with horrible technical skills and no one even notices.  Well, there are some of us that notice, those of us that are so cursed that we can't enjoy the designs because we're too busy looking at those pulling stitches, that blocking job that looks like cellulite, that covered brim with the falling underside, that brim that looks like it's flying in the wind even if there is no wind blowing, etc.  Yes, it is a curse.  I think I've written this before.  I definitely need to return to couture millinery.  For me that's frame covered hats.

So what are the barriers to seeing.  Today it's the teacher, etc., that passes out stickers to everyone because they don't want anyone to feel bad about themselves.  Sometimes I'm guilty of this.  In order to say something nice about horrible work, I'll find something nice to say.  For instance I'll say:  "What beautiful whether we have today!"  I love it when someone points something out to me that would helps me to improve.  This is much different than when someone points something out to me because I'm doing it different from how they would do it as in, "This is the correct way to do that." When I started out in millinery, if you didn't earn the sticker, you didn't get the sticker.  My millinery teacher, Mrs.  Eloise King, would make you tear your hat back down to the frame while telling you what was wrong with it!

What You Will Learn in the Class--I Hope

So, back on track--the class.  I'll try to teach you how to see; this can't be learned in a day; you really have to practice this skill.  Even I'm going blind or I'm loosing my perspective on what good really is.  You'll learn how to block fur felt so that no sizing will be needed, and you'll even be able to walk in the rain without your hat loosing its shape (that's Southern California rain).  You'll learn how to put in a head size band.  You'll learn how to attach a headband (outside) that hugs your hat without gaps.  You'll learn how to finish brim edges (various finishes).  You'll learn how to polish your felt, if needed.  You'll learn how to "drop a wire" in a certain type of brim...and no, a dropped wire is not sewn to the hat (in most cases)! It floats! What you will walk away with is a professional looking hat.

Email me at if you are interested in taking the class.

When:  March 8, 2014
Time:    10:00 a.m. to 6:00 p.m.
Location:  Torrance, California


  1. Oh! I might be interested! Can you tell me more about cost, etc?

    1. Hi Melissa, I'll send you what I sent to my mailing list recipients.

  2. I love reading your blog, not just gaining loads of info, but challenging myself to work ideas out myself. I do seem to be engaging in the "too much thinking, not enough doing" school of thought, but this often shows up technical issues before they happen , though sadly not all :-) the main reason I love your blog is the way your personality really comes out, just a shame I am an ocean away from doing one of your courses.

    1. Hazel, I also have a tendency to over think things. It's good for us. ...and I do more thinking than doing, but I still like it. Maybe one day you'll vacation here, and then you can take a class. Thanks so much for your kind words.