Hat Making Masterclass with Katherine Elizabeth

Tuesday, 28 January 2014

On Christmas day, I happened to see a little thing on the Time Out London website that got me instantly excited; a millinery masterclass! I did a bit of research on the milliner Katherine Elizabeth's work and was rather impressed by her fabulous Ascot creations. A video of Katherine magically creating an exquisite headpiece in no time at all had me assuming that this would be a rather effortless thing to do. And with £200-£800 and upwards for fancy hat, I thought I may be persuaded  to have a bit of career change myself! Needless to say, I was very much looking forward to the January session. My only worry was that the masterclass poster seemed incredibly cool and rather fancy too. Will I seem like a bit of an odd geek in the midst of a herd of Louboutin clackers, I nervously wondered?

My fear of not being cool or fancy enough was entirely unfounded. Our group of ladies were a very jolly and friendly bunch. And Katherine was very down-to-earth and loveliness personified. The masterclass started out with Katherine giving us a bit of history on the subject and describing a few basic techniques. We also learnt the virtues of sinamay, the millinery wonderweb sourced from the Phillipines. As part of our masterclass, we were to create a fascinator and a 1940's style sculptural felt hat.  All the materials were provided and there was plenty of tea, coffee, cake and even prosecco (shame I wasn't drinking) to keep us going. 

I learnt very quickly that becoming a rich milliner overnight wasn't going to happen. Moulding sinamay was hard work. In fact, none of this hat making malarkey was particularly easy. And there was plenty of sewing and self-jabbing too. Katherine, with her years of experience, made it all seem so effortless that I foolishly underestimated this whole millinery business. I eventually created a little pillbox hat which had a bit of gingham, leather and netting thing going. Even the felt hat making was quite challenging, partly because I wasn't entirely sure what I wanted as an end result. I eventually created something that looked like it could be part of the Star Wars costume kit (and it will no doubt feature on the blog one day).

But don't me put off by my lack of millinery skills, my fellow wannabe milliners did a pretty fabulous job. They also made excellent models! And Katherine and her lovely assistant were incredibly helpful. When I gave up on sewing through several layers of felt, Katherine stepped in to rescue the 'thing' that I was creating. Similarly, when my hands were getting sore from twisting sinamay, Katherine's assistant (Lucy) did a fab job of rescuing it. All of us did go home with two, atleast almost finished, hats!

If you are a hat person or need one for a wedding or event, I'd thoroughly recommend attending one of Katherine's sessions. Full details are available on her website http://www.katherineelizabethhats.com/home. Also worth checking out the Milinery Events website if you fancy booking a private or corporate event with Katherine.

Hope you are all having a lovely week!Ann x

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  1. Such a beautiful photograph, i love this! Please check out my blog bobbi-jane.blogspot.com.au i think you'd like my style!


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