The Seersucker Social is coming up on June 9! You get dressed up and ride your bike around town, and it could not be more fun (Fall's event is the Tweed Ride). Having a fabulous hat is de riguer and once I had my dress underway it was time to think about head wear.
I have wanted to learn more about sinamay, a flexible, moldable straw fabric, since watching this Martha Stewart video. Somehow I stumbled upon the class list at Bits of Thread studio in the Adams Morgan area of DC, and saw that there would be a sinamay hat class by Holly Slayton of Artikal! Perfect timing!
This was my first visit to Bits of Thread. The outer door is a bit unobtrusive though if you have the address it's not difficult to find. There are instructions for how to ring Bits of Thread on the call box.
Holly is from the DC area but lives in New York now where she specializes in making bridal headpieces. But she has a full line of hats and enjoys sharing her millinery skillz in classes. Here she is modeling one of her creations.
You start with a sheet of sinamay. Holly had brought a variety of colors for us to choose from. The straw is easy to cut with regular scissors, so we just sliced off a piece to get started.
Holly had brought enough balsa wood millinery heads for each of us to work on. While sturdy, the heads are easily pinnable. With this free-form style, you just start folding and pinning until you get a shape that you like.
Once your shape is set, you take strategic stitches with sturdy thread so that it stays that way.
There was a lot of creativity within the class. Holly's approach is to explain the basic principles of the materials and to set us free to create. I am more of a "create within constraints" kind of person (hence why I love sewing but am horrible at and hate painting), so for me this was more about exploring the materials than anything else.
Here are some decorative elements that can be made out of sinamay, a bow and an orchid.
My completed project is a hat mostly only in the sense that it is sitting in my head (precariously--I have fine, slippery hair and needed a different kind of clip).
I should have done my research *before* the class into what kind of hat I might want to make. I am thinking that I am into the saucer hat, as in this dark gray saucer hat (£45.00) from Debenhams.com
And, of course, obligatorily as seen on Kate Middleton (love the flourish of the curly feathers!).
Source: hatsandveils.net via Trena on Pinterest
I also really love this one, which appears to be cut as a spiral.
There is plenty more inspiration on my hats board on Pinterest and all photos from the class are here.
So right now I have a hat-making fire in my belly! I'm not going to tell you how much I spent at Judith M Millinery Supplies and Hats by Leko/HatSupply, nor that I bought a balsa wood head because I realized too late after I bought my groovy aluminum hat forms that you really need a pinnable form.