Last week I had 4 days of lessons to make a hat. The lovely milliner, Karen Shannon, came in to our uni to teach us. I initially decided to create an 1840s wedding bonnet but finding that I had cut out my pieces a lot faster than those making top hats and boaters, I decided to make a 1940s trilby too. Making two hats did end up being a challenge and I haven’t yet completed either of the pieces, but I do intend to finish them both in my own time. Luckily, most hats are constructed in a fairly similar way, so I understand what I have left to do with both the bonnet and the trilby. For the bonnet I drew inspiration from the Nanny McPhee wedding scene, where the children are dressed as shepherds and shepherdesses in bright green and pink. The idea was basically to make a bonnet so hideous that it was beautiful. For this I chose a bright yellow taffeta. Once the main construction is complete, I will be adding toxic green or bright blue ribbons, detailing and a matching lining. For the trilby I took a slightly more sophisticated approach, choosing a grey textured suiting wool which I found hid the imperfections in my hand sewing. (TOP TIP: choose a textured or patterned fabric to hide mistakes if you want aren’t a confident sewer!) I thoroughly suggest trying to make your own hat. Buy some buckram and some covered wire and start making!

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