Saturday, 18 June 2011

Final Show Exhibition

Well I can't quite believe it's all over. Yesterday was tiring, funny, hot, positive, exciting, and brilliant. It all came together really well. Every ones work is so much an essence of that person that every ones work is so individual. Not a dodgy fascinator in sight!
I was really please with my set up, thanks to Sharon for the dressing table and Fiona's hard work it came together beautifully. I look forward to seeing what the future holds for all of us. Also our graduation in November such be pretty special.

Wednesday, 25 May 2011

Business Studies

Today was the Business Studies hand in and do you know what? I handed it all in, done. Big tick next to that on my list.
Although it was rather a stressful day, tears, giddyness, design and a little bit of hat making. I managed to cobble together a few bits but found it hard to concentrate, everyone is tired, a bit grumpy and if like me run down. Poor John is wasting away. I unfortunately am not! Also I have just realised I have no free weekends until the exhibition. Urgh, woe is me.

Chin up Dolly......Next time I promise to be more positive.

Friday, 20 May 2011

Wetherby Races Ladies Day 19th May 2011 Evaluation

My table set up.

So today is Friday and yesterday was Wetherby!! Very tired and my feet feel like they may never be the same again, but for those shoes it was worth it.

So evaluation....................

I was pleased that I had done a trial run for my table plan, although my kitchen table is a lot smaller than the one we were provided with. This was good news as it meant more hats on the table. For the first fashion show I was back stage dressing the models so I have no idea how it went, it seemed to go well from our end. The second time I got to witness it and take some photos, although my camera was on a go slow so some are rather blurred or feature the back of the models head. I did manage to document some of the day though.

Everything seemed to be on a constant go go go. It felt like as soon as we had done one show, it was time to do the next. I was rather disappointed with some peoples behaviour backstage, drinks were left lying around and puddles just waiting for things to be dropped in to. It wasn't too professional.

So what did the hats look like on the models? I love all my hats apart from my leather hat which I wasn't happy with before yesterday. But after seeing the models face when asked to put it on I was even less happy. But on a positive note I think everyone seemed to like all my other hats and I didn't get any negative feedback from anyone. :)

Sunday, 15 May 2011

This Darn Hat

So currently having some problems with my pink leather hat. I'm just not happy with it. It's too big and clumsy. I wanted it to look delicate and sit close to the head. Instead its big and fat with a look of the 16th century about it. Grrrrrrr.
Last night I was ready to throw all my toys out of the pram. But I changed my mind, no point getting angry about it. Not all your ideas work out first time around. So tomorrow I shall be ordering a felt and re doing it! Although just had a look at a certain website delivery prices, bloody rediculous. I don't believe paying over the odds for postage.
Back to that hat, I shall be taking it with me to college on Wednesday to see if everyone else thinks it's a terrible as I do.
Chin up and keep smiling :)
Doll x

Tuesday, 3 May 2011

Final Collection

So things are moving on with my final pieces, although none are finished yet! I'm good at starting them and getting to a certain point but at the moment that is my sticking point. Four have been started and got to that point, they all need little bits doing to them.
My four hats so far :

No 1 Turban
No 2 Leather Rose
No 3 Wicker Balls
No 4 Mirror Leaf

But in my mind I would like to expand my little collection. It's three weeks on thursday to our business launch. THREE WEEKS! Plenty to do, I am keeping cool calm and collected! Fingers crossed for happy faces tomorrow!
Doll x

Sunday, 24 April 2011

And the winner is...............

...........not me. Uh oh. I have received my hat back from the Musee du Chapeau competition saying not a winner although I received a letter with my hat there isn't any clear indication as to why. So I'm none the wiser. I just have to console myself with the fact that this was an international competition and it's only my first go.
In the future I will send a photograph and an explanation of my influences and relevance to the chosen theme. As it wasn't asked of me I didn't include it this time, so this could be part of my problem.
I'm not 100% happy with a few of the elements of my hat. Firstly the scarf isn't as beautiful and luxurious as I had hoped. It's a bit stiff and doesn't sit as I had hoped. In future I would cut it in the bias. Secondly the lining wasn't quiet right, it is too small so it doesnt sit right to the top of the hat.
Chin up and carry on :)
Doll x

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

Dolly Millinery

So I'm going to big up my other blog on Dolly Millinery this is me and my things that are for sale. It's smilliar to this but different, why don't you try it. Go on for Doll x

Why we like to look?

So it's a Tuesday in April. Lovely sunshine outside as it has been for the past week or so......for part of that week I was in the beautiful city of Venice (it was warmer there than it is here). And do you know I forgot to take my sketch book with me, although often when I'm sketching in public I feel like I'm putting on a show. People like to take an interest in my doodles.....I'm no fine artist.

Why is it that people like to look? I don't know but I did in Venice, a girl with a very hip look was there with her sketch book and what did I do but take a big nosey old look. I guess being observant is part of life. My Nan used to like sitting upstairs on a double decker bus so she could see into peoples bedrooms. I'm exactly the same. I'm a nosey parker. Maybe thats why I'm creative I like looking at things, discovering something new?! Knowing something you don't know............................


Tuesday, 15 March 2011


Ok second time for this post, darn my double clicking habits.

So I may have said this before but photoshop is actually starting to click in my head, its all coming together, Thanks Bruce.

Looking forward to seeing Mr Quinell-Hill tomorrow I missed him last week.

Doll x

Lovely Leather

So my lovely cerise lamb nappa skin has arrived. I took it out of it's most unexciting wraping, a brown envelope!!! of all things. And I admired it for a good while, its beautiful, a rather HOT pink though. I was initially thinking that I would just make one hat for my final collection in leather but considering how much I got perhaps one or two maybe in leather. Possibly even stretch to a hat in the future for a lovely lady who likes pink.........there must be a few of those in the world.
What ever shall I do with my lamb nappa, why turn it into a vintage inspired headpiece of course... I'm sure photos shall be added sooner or later. Hopefully I will squeeze some making time into tomorrow.
Doll x

Friday, 4 March 2011

The Beginning of the End.....

I have started making my final college. My Marylin inspired hair towel turban is all but finished, all it needs is lining. So far I am please with what I have created, it does look very vintage 1940s. So considering I was meant to be updating vintage 1950s, in a way I have made it look more vintage, if thats possible?!?! So far very excited about all the things I can't wait to create. Not sure how many will be suitable for the races?! A turban at the races? Go on. Plenty more hats in the sea ;)

Where have I been?!?

Well it's been awhile, hasn't it. So what has been happening with me. I created and finished my french hat museum competition hat. I haven't uploaded any photos yet, as I'm keeping it under wraps. But I am please with it, although I'm not sure whether it's artistic enough. It's practical yet beautiful, I'm sure that will come across to the judges........I'm not sure how long it will take for them to announce who has won what. I spent along time on the lining, I made two different ones, the first one was too busy. And it had been horrible to sew. Take two was much better, as you will see from the photos (when I upload them :) ).
I was back to college this week (02/03/11) we had a good lesson on photoshop. I have previously been taught photoshop, but I don't think I retained all the information though. Thankfully our photoshop tutor Bruce (doesn't look like a Bruce) took things at an easy to follow pace. So we took our first baby steps on the road to creating our postcards and business cards. I am itching to get to it, I'm not very patient. I want to start handing them out, saying this is me, this is my business.......

Thursday, 3 February 2011

Photography Session

I really enjoyed our photography session and I think I managed to get some pretty good photos. We are planning as a group to book out the photography studio and spend an afternoon taking pictures of our work.
We went through the basics of the camera with the photography tutor, which you can see below testing things out with the swan head.

I adore this picture.

Tuesday, 25 January 2011

New Ideas

So on my way home from college on wednesday I was think of how I could update my idea, mixing the old and the new to create something modern. It struck me that often modern architecture is close to old buildings. I like the idea of the old and the new being meshed together to create something completely different.
For my final collection I want to take some of these ideas and try and apply them to my designs. Maybe through simple things like machine embriodery or use of modern materials on a vintage looking hat. My designs need to be up to date and not look like reproductions.
I do apologise for the poor quality of my photographs.........

Manchester Museum buildings. New and old squashed up right next to each other.
Two forms of modern architecture here, for some reason I prefer the 60s block to the modern tin can.
The industrial looking new part works really well to contrast the old.

This building sounds amazing I can't wait to see what it will look like finished. Although this doesn't match my idea, the concept sounds very exciting.

Friday, 21 January 2011

How do I make this modern?

So I need to make my idea more modern and not create hats that are exact replicas of 1950s ones. From my research I noticed that Louis Vuitton's collections have many fifties influences including the big skirts. These skirts are big full skirts, but instead of being cotton they are made from leather. I enjoy the contrast and twist which this gives a vintage looking item a breath of fresh air.
This is a good idea which was brought up in my group tutorial on Wednesday. Since then I have been thinking how I could take this further. I enjoy the contrast between new and old. Or even an abandoned block of 1970s flats that have been taken over by plants. Things being reclaimed by nature. But I think this is a whole new idea that I think could last me another year.
  • So back to Marilyn
  • Prints of modern buildings as the lining
  • Machine embroidered geometric shapes on felt
  • Unusual embelishments

Things to think about, I obviously want to keep the idea of feminity. I want these pieces to be delicate and beautiful. But still modern and new.

I best get snapping some buildings.

Doll x

Thursday, 20 January 2011

Sinamay Brim

This is an example of a hand blocked sinamay brim.
To start creating your sinamay brim you need three layers of sinamay or four if you are creating a large brim. Make sure you cut the sinamay on the straight. If it's a simple you can iron the sinamay layers together, but for more difficult brims block each layer separately. When measuring the brim make sure you take the tape measure in side the brim. Pin the sinamay in North South East and West. Ease the bias round the sides. Leave two cms inside when cutting away the sinamay.
Fold over a small equal amount all around the edge of the brim (about 1/2cm) using the back of a spoon and put brim wire inside. Using a sewing machine zigzag(2mms) stitch all the way around the brim.
For me I think it would be expensive to purchase brim blocks, as I don't know whether I would ever use them. I would probably buy them ready blocked and explain to the customer that they are hand blocked but just not by me. Also I seem to have an allergy towards sinamay, it's not my favourite material.


Feather Flower

Feathers Galore

A Burnt Feather
By placing a turkey feather into either milton solution or diluted bleach for 10 seconds taking it out rinsing it and then sterilising it in lemon juice or vinegar you get the above effect.

Feather Pad

Vintage Feather Hat
This is an example of what you can create using feathers on a dior net base. I have used this technique before but on a hairband.

Curled Feathers

Feathers, beautiful and luxurious. We were given demonstrations on how to work with feathers. If you want to curl a quill, it's best to soak it in hot water first to soften it up. It is best to curl the quill with a wooden chopstick or knitting needle. Or once it has been soaked you could pin the feather to a table and mask/pin it into position.

Tuesday, 18 January 2011


My Crin Wedding Hat

Although I couldn't make it to the crin workshop lesson, I still created my own crim piece at home. I was able to create a hat in a very short period of time. I enjoy its flexiability and its range of colours. It does have a plastic look about it, I think originally it was made from horse hair, but I don't think this is the case anymore.
This is a material that I will definately use again, I'm not sure whether I will use it for my final collection but I will use this in the future.