Friday, May 30, 2014

Hatstruck Couture Millinery, Millinery Competition--Elegant, Fun Couture Hats, 2014

OK, I'm back.  In my last post I mentioned that I was going to conduct a millinery competition.  I must admit that all of the details have not been finalized, but the important thing is that there will be a competition and that there will be winners and fantastic prizes, most of the junk, sorry I mean prizes will be things that many milliners would love to have.  I'm just over flowing and I've decided to do a self intervention; I'm sure this will end when something else strikes my fancy.  Since I'm trying to generate some excitement around here, at least for a second, this will not be your conventional contest.  I hope you've noticed that I'm not a very conventional person.  This is my fantasy competition, except that you can't erase individual likes and dislikes, something that, no matter what, is still a part of decision making.

I couldn't post without a hat, and I didn't want to go into my hat archive, so I've started making the hat at your right.  It has not been completed yet, but I'll write more about it in another post.  Now to the competition stuff.

The Theme:  Elegant, Fun Couture Hats
Please, this is serious.  Only submit serious hats.  I have a board on Pinterest labeled "Millinery:  Fun Couture Hats.  There I pin hats that I feel are fun and unique and/or hats that I study and learn from, as I do on all of my boards.  Your idea of a fun couture hat may be different.  Please take a look.

Competition Dates:  June 5 to August 15, 2014
The deadline to submit your hats is 12:00 a.m., Pacific Standard Time--the States' West Coast--August 15, 2014.

Number of Hats to Submit
You are only allowed to submit one hat.  I feel that the load of more than one hat is just too much for the judges to deal with, at least for me that is.  Sorry, but at least you can make that one hat your best hat ever.
  •  The hat must be made between June 5 and August 15 (like I can monitor that :) )
The Prizes
The prizes will consist of a variety of millinery supplies (straws, felts, hat stretchers, trim, etc.), an ugly, sorry, I mean a lovely five piece sectional hat block, books, etc., and a little cash if I have any, seriously, if I have any.

Distribution of Prizes
The Best in Competition will choose the prize of her/his choice first.  The Second in Competition will choose her/his choice second.  Prizes for the remaining winners will be written on paper and pulled from a bucket.  I said I was unconventional, didn't I?  One time I won the highest place in a competition, but I would have loved to have received the second place prize.  Also, I once won at a lower level but I felt that the prize I received was better; so, why not let the highest winners pick the prizes of their choice.

The Judges and Judging--To Be Announced at Later Date
There will be from three to five judges; I will be one of them.  Why three to five?  Because I'm biased as to what I like, and I really would like to have judges of varying tastes.  A score card will be distributed to the judges, and each category can be given a one to 10 rating, with workmanship weighted to two.  So it would be possible to get a score of 10 in each category, except in workmanship with a possible rating of up to 20.

  • Categories:  Workmanship, Originality, Balance (overall appearance), Color (remember that color means more than bright vibrant colors), Presentation, Theme Appropriateness; and standing on it's own, Judge's Choice.
The winners will be those having the highest scores.  If there is a tie between highest scorers, those will be sent back to the judges for further consideration.  Hopefully, with a range of one to ten and two to 20, this will not occur.  Winners will only be chosen based on their scores, ALL SCORING BEING INDEPENDENT.  So, the total highest score after all categories have been added up, will yield the winners.

Winning Categories (Tentative--I may have to work on this.)
 Best in Competition, Second in Competition, Most Innovative, Most Representative of Theme, Workmanship (weighted--this must be high in order to win Best in Competition), Best Overall Design, Individual Judge's Choice (three to five--OH YES!).  I was in a competition once, having three judges, where two judges chose my hat and one felt that another should win Best in Show.  One of the judges kept moving the award from my hat until the other two judges gave in.  Another time one of three judges said that he preferred my hat.  This happens all the times with others.  So this is a chance for each judge to pick her/his choice.

You must be a follower of this site and you must live on this planet; so yes all are welcome to submit a hat no matter where you live in the world.  If you decide to unfollow this site, that is totally up to you.  However, I would love for you to stick around.

You must submit at least four views of your hat and the images must be clear--front, back, side, and underside--unless the design of the hat does not call for four.

Hat Details

If you are uncomfortable submitting construction details for your hat, that's quite acceptable.   However, outer details--fabric used--should be submitted with your hat for description purposes (for example, my hat above:  Feather cocktail hat, supported with vintage crinoline (crin) tubing and headband, trimmed with a red feather--or something like that.

Where to Store Images?
I have created a group, Hatstruck Couture Millinery, on Facebook where most of the images will be stored.  If you are not a FB member, please email the images to me at; however I would prefer that you post them to the group.

Note on the image to your right that there are two references to photos.  The "Photos" circled in the image is the correct location to post your images.  Click on "Photos" and create an album for your images.  Label your album as follows:

Hatstruck Couture Millinery 2014
Elegant, Fun Couture Millinery Competition," YourNameHere
HatMaterialsHere (outer covering--see above under Hat Details for an explanation).  If these instructions are not clear please leave me a comment on this post.

A Suggestion for Newbies
I figure that all of us are at different levels in our millinery journey.  Some may not possess the workmanship skills, but may have great design skills, or they may be very innovative.  I would love for all to be comfortable submitting a hat.  I must admit that I have a thing for workmanship.  However, in the real world innovation and design may many times win out; actually they are extremely important because workmanship can be mechanical.  But in order to win the Best in Competition, workmanship must be in place.  So if you are new to millinery I would suggest that you don't tackle something that is beyond your skill level.  It would still be possible to make an absolutely beautiful hat, well designed and neat, and still win the big prize, provided that you stick to this suggestion.   Also, I have a another Pinterest board, Millinery: How Other Milliners and Hatters Do It, where I pin many millinery techniques that I find on the Web, some are merely references for my followers, as I don't always agree with some of the techniques and/or workmanship, but you will also find some good things there.  Do some research and practice. 

Good Luck!  I'm sure I will have to revise some of this stuff.

Monday, May 5, 2014

Hatstruck Couture Millinery Brainstorming a Possible Millinery Contest

I've had two site contest giveaways and one sort of silent giveaway.  However, I've never had a millinery contest.  The "sort of" was to be a "silent" giveaway where I was going to do a giveaway to the next person that made a comment on my blog, but the person never picked up the gift (contacted me).  I didn't want to go through having to check all of the memberships; so, without announcement, I tried to go the silent route, unannounced.  I don't even remember the winner's name.  I'll try that again in the future because it did cut down on the work, and eventually there will be a winner that picks up her/his gift.  The first and second images here show the gifts I gave away for my two announced giveaways.

Anyway I need to generate some excitement around here.  In order to keep doing this thing I have to keep myself entertained.  So I thought, "What about a millinery contest?"  I have no idea of its structure yet, but I'm thinking the following:

  • Participants have to be a blog member; 
  •  Three judges having varying tastes--HINT, HINT, are you interested?;
  •  Winning categories, maybe:  (1) Most Innovative; (2) Most Representative of Theme; (3) Workmanship, (4) Best in Contest;
  • Prizes:  a box of goodies from me.  I give pretty good gifts, even if I have to say so myself.  My gift box would include, but would not be limited to; straws, leather and suede pieces, jinsin, fur felt, horsehair, hat stretcher, etc.  I would also welcome sponsors--HINT, HINT--in order to give away even more goodies; and
  • Other prizes would probably include a little cash or less millinery supplies.

I just figured out that I would drop the second and third places and award gifts only to the winning categories.  Oh, I changed again:  Best in Contest, being also first place and there would be a second place--who knows at this point.  The Best in Contest would be the highest winner, picking up the majority of the category places, one having to be workmanship. 

I figure that all of us are at different levels in our millinery journey.  Some may not possess the workmanship skills, but may have great design (maybe another category) skills, or they may be very innovative.  I would love for all to be comfortable submitting a hat.  I must admit that I have a thing for workmanship.  However, in the real world innovation and design many times win out.  But I have to restate that in order to win the Best in Contest, workmanship has to be in place; this I will definitely not change!.

What do you think?

#Hatstruck #millinery