Saturday, May 19, 2012

Fat Cat Hats and Sacks is Now Available at Bonnet

I'm very excited to announce that my hat designs are now available at Bonnet in the Pearl District here in Portland.  I just dropped of my first round of spring and summertime hats for women and in a week or two I will add some designs for men...and today we talked about including some of my purse designs as well!  Yipee!

The women's hats that I brought them today are all fabric sewn hats with the detailed top stitching and color accents that I love to do.  I made them light and airy for a sunny day and in some cases blocked them with tulle rather than the usual heavier foundations that I use to construct my hats.  Here's a peek at one of my favorites:

I used a rosey shantung to create a cloche with a six-sectioned beach hat crown and an asymmetrical brim...and then trimmed it with a brooch that used to be a vintage earring.  I top-stitched the crown sections and along the edge of the brim...the tip of the crown has an "art deco" feel to it due to the way I attached the sections and the stitching that follows the seams.

I'm now brainstorming on the men's hats I will take to may be a little while as I've been told that the men in Portland are rather conservative in their hat wearing and the colorful fedoras I've been making probably won't work.  Simple blacks, browns, greys and olives are the colors preferred by Portland men...and they often seek an opinion from friends, partners and others before making a least those men who shop at Bonnet...which surprises me living in the land of VooDoo Donuts and the Portland Zoo Bombers but it only goes to show that there is a lot to learn and consider when you try to make a living as a hat maker!

Bonnet is located at 412 NW 11th Avenue in the Pearl District.  Everyone there is super nice and they have a wonderful selection of hats and accessories for men and women.  I hope you visit them...and perhaps buy a hat!   Meanwhile...

always remember that life is a journey...
it really doesn't matter where you're going
just make sure you're wearing a hat when you get there!

Thursday, May 3, 2012

A Hat Fit for the Queen

I've just entered one of my hat designs in a Talenthouse competition hosted by Dillion Wallwork and HATalk e-magazine.  Milliners from around the world were invited to create hats inspired by the Queen of England and her Diamond Jubilee.  The hats can be seen from May 4th - 11th and viewers can vote for their favorite to help the design receive special consideration by the judges.

My entry was inpired by the Crown Jewels...and the Imperial State Crown in particular.  I used elements from the Royal Collection to create a modern day tiara-styled cocktail hat that could be worn while celebrating the Queen's Diamond Jubilee.  I made everything by hand...from the wire frame supporting the hat to the crystal brooch and hat pin I used as trim...and it required a lot of hand-sewing to assemble it.

I chose a beautiful royal blue/purple silk velvet to create the coils of the headpiece as well as the velvet feather...I played with the edges to create a feathery appearance as I often do in my designs.  I hand-dyed the veil slightly lighter than the velvet so the tiny details in the fabric and trim could still be seen and I swirled the veil to create a crown-like effect.  Then, I made the cross pattee brooch and royal septre hat pin by wrapping and weaving swarovski and vintage crystals with sterling wire.

The design is secured on the head with small hair combs and can be worn in many ways...tilted back on the head like a traditional tiara or tilted more to the front or one side of the head. Here are some other views:

My submission is now available for viewing on the Talenthouse website and I would be so grateful if you voted for it!  Voting opens on May 4th and continues through the 11th.  Here is the link:

always remember that life is a journey...
it really doesn't matter where you're going
just make sure you're wearing a hat when you get there!