Wednesday, 5 October 2011

A grand day out...

On Monday, myself and my Mum had the most fabulous day!  We did a hat making workshop at the wonderful Hats from the Hall...

I have wanted to try my hand at some basic millinery for a while but struggled to find something that wasn’t too far away.  I came across Hats from the Hall which is based in Mountsorrel near Loughborough.  As Mum is also into all things creative we booked for both of us to go for my birthday treat!

The workshop is set in the most amazing venue, Mountsorrel Hall, where Louise, the tutor and owner of Hats from the Hall, lives!  We arrived to a very warm welcome and enjoyed a cup of coffee (great start!) as we chatted with Louise, her fabulous helper Vikki and the other ladies. We then went into the workshop and showroom area, fully kitted out with hat blocks, felt, sinamay, feathers, beads and anything else you could wish for!

Louise had set out a collection of hats and fascinators that would be possible for us to complete in a day, cue lots of fun trying them on! These included sinamay hats and fascinators along with felt hats.  Mum and I settled on the same basic design of a large ‘saucer’ shaped fascinator on a headband.  (Some of the other ladies opted to make felt hats so it was great for everyone to see a variety of millinery techniques)  We then had the difficult choice of what colour to create our pieces in! I first opted for a turquoise/teal but swapped at the last minute as Mum spotted a gorgeous coral shade! Mum went for pistachio green before seeing an unusual black and cream check which took her fancy!

Louise then showed us how to use the blocks to shape the sinamay (quite a physical process!) These were then sent to the drying cupboard and (after a break for cinnamon swirls and coffee) we started to concentrate on how we wanted to decorate our pieces.  Louise showed us several techniques using the sinamay.  It is such a versatile material, you can fold it, fold it, press it, curl it, the possibilities are endless! 

I intended to take more photos throughout the day but Mum and I were so involved we forgot!

Tomorrow I’ll show you the finished pieces and exciting projects in the pipeline!

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