I’m on my long-awaited pilgrimage to the land of millinery heaven. I’m hours away from the very end of a 5 day millinery retreat in Advanced Techniques with Lina Stein in Westport, Ireland. And there’s a wire frame hat back in the workroom that’s got my name on it. And that needs of helluva lotta work. So this is going to be quick, dirty with lots of photos.
I’m studying with Lina Stein at her school in Westport, Co Mayo, Ireland. She was trained in Australia in theatrical millinery and interned at the Australian opera. But she’s come a long way from there. Her school is perhaps the most highly regarded non-degree school for millinery in the world.
On my first day, I poked around spying on all the bits and bobbles of goodies that I could find.
I’ve of course been busy busy busy since I arrived.
My first day went fairly quickly. Got a little sinamay beauty done. Sinamay, my former nemesis, is now MY BITCH.
Things have slowed since, but I have been learning tons by working on just a few hats.
This involved quite a lot. Buckram, covered on a concave surface (HARD). Pattern matching. Cutting and using the bias to block shapes. And rouleux which I think are dead cool and I can’t wait to apply all of this to loads of other things.
That little button in the back is mine too. Haven’t had but a second to work on it.
So everything has changed. My linings have changed. I’m no longer shunning the sewing machine and it’s making a work of difference that you can’t see. Which is the point. You can’t see it and that’s a good thing.
She’s even reconciled me to glue. Eva May will be having fits.
And here’s the coup de grace. As you can tell, it has a long way to go. But holy cats. I had to do geometry. That even used Pi. You have no idea just how huge that is for me. This bastard is HARD. Really hard. It’s getting covered in all sorts of bits of crin, possibly machine embroidery on the stuff….. all sorts of possibilities. I rebelled a bit against the top hat, but it’s a good place to start.
So you see that I have a great deal of work to do. Therefore I must go and do it.
More hats! More more hats!
Emily Moe is a milliner who, since 2007, has slowly been taking over the world of Millinery and captains the Milliners of Etsy, a collective of artistan hat-makers from around the world. She lives with her husband in Minnesota and gets upto all kinds of creative mischief.