Are hat blocks just tools of our trade or do you feel connected to a particular block for some reason which makes it your favourite? My favourite block would have to be my mad hatter block as I have made thousands of hats which have brought much pleasure to so many. With current trends towards dome crowns it is having a much earned rest.

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I have to agree. My mad hatter block is one of my favorites. It is the first hat block I purchased years ago from Guy Morris-Brown. I too have made hundreds of hats from that block.

Ahh - my favourite is easy - but the explanation is a bit convoluted.

I started millinery classes in 2008, but had to stop due to ill health and resultant heart surgery.  It was nearly 3 years before I got my sewing machine out and made a few flat-pattern hats.  In January 2012, I went to Tasmania (where I grew up) and found this little darling in an antique shop.  Despite being hideously expensive, my sister encouraged me to buy it and it was the basis of the first hat I blocked.  Now I'm joyfully producing (and selling a few) and am back studying Millinery at TAFE.  Changed my life really ...  :)


This is a fairly recent acquisition, finding it on Trademe (like ebay), sometime in 2012.  I haven't had the chance to block anything on it yet, as my home based work room (and home) has been out of commission since the Feb 22, 2011 earthquake. The space I now have to create in, is very, very limited, and mostly filled with boxes of possessions and work room treasures, not being able to be unpacked until we get back Home (fingers crossed by Christmas).

Why is this my favourite block? Finding such a a rare and unusual block within N.Z., has been one of those little bursts of much needed excitement, and a sign that I am following the right path and decision to switch from creating clothes, to Millinery. I look forward to tackling this challenging block, to see what mystery shape results. Yes, the mystery of what this block holds, is one of those little rays of light at the end, of what has been, a very bumpy and at times, dark tunnel.


OH WOW!! really? are you sure?  Wow, thank you so very, very much.   The support and help I have received from the millinery community over the past 2 1/2 years has been truly over whelming.  I am so very grateful to be in touch with so many talented, hat loving people who are so happy to share advice and secrets of the trade.  Milliners are very caring and lovely people.  Thank you so very much. xx

Love that block Roz! Maybe you should bring it to Melbourne when you visit and you can come to my studio for a play over NZ vino! X

Bring on August! xx

Hi Roz, are you in Christchurch? Do you remember the Hat Shop in Victoria Street? Do you know if it survived the quake? !I left there in 1997. I can't wait to see what you create with this stunning block!

Hi Carena, Yes, I'm in Chch.  Not much of anywhere in town survived to be honest.  The Hat shop was sold early - mid 2000's, and moved to High Street - yes, High Street became THE trendy stylish fashion street. Unfortunately the lady who purchased the store, sold up about  2009/2010 - actually, I happened to be in the right place at the right time, and brought the cast majority of her millinery supplies.  The lady's name escapes me, Karen? can see her face..  It was very sad to see it close, as the other Hat shop, "Hats on High", closed a few years earlier too.  The rents in High Street became astronomical.  The block I'm talking about is the one with the Globe Cafe in it, heading towards St Asaph St.  Alice in Video Land is about the only building left.(opposite McKenzie & Willis)

If you would like to see some images of how the city has feared, then and now, this site is excellent, but you might want to grab a hanky first:

Perhaps the new city will have a wee shop just right for my hats... all in good time. 


Thank you! Yes I remember Alice in Videoland and my friend is an interior designer who worked for Mackenzie & Willis before branching out on her own. My family is ChCh. Will take a look at the footage. Thanks.

These are my favorite 2.  The BRIM block especially is my favorite, its diameter is 52 inches and the CROWN is 32 diameter.  I LOVE LARGER than life hats.  All my blocks, BRIM and CROWN are interchangeable.  The BRIM can be used in a lot of different ways, It can be cut into and wired and made into an geometrical design, it can be filled with different embellishments when turned upside down. The CROWN can be either real tall or short, the upper portion can be made into a shorter design on another brim.  I particular favor Buckram foundations, it is so versatile and the choice of styling are limitless. 

Favorite?????????????????????   Oh no, you don't.  If I pick a favorite, the others would have their feelings hurt!  I couldn't possibly choose a favorite.  I love all my children the equally, it's just that their personalities dictate a different relationship with each.


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