Gray Mad Hatter, Necessity is the Mother of Invention

Steel Grey Mad Hatter, blue and black ribbon with a pleated brim. It was the bottom of the 9th, at least in terms of me as a milliner. In the morning, a fleet of people well versed in the world of fashion would converge to create a series of photos for me and my new line.

Panic is not strong enough of a word. All these people. Here for me. I had better be ready! I had better have enough hats to make all this worth it! I had been blocking and sewing for weeks and months to be ready for this, but less than a day before the event I still felt as if I did not have enough work. MORE MORE MORE! MORE HATS!

I had one more felt blank that made sense to my ‘color story’. I had planned ahead enough to have that hat dry by the bottom of the 9th. I sewed. And sewed. I felt like everything was going to be ok... and then it wasn’t. I was 1 inch short on my ribbon trim, and it was all sewed down. I fiddled and futzed. I grabbed every little scrap of 1” black petersham that I had. I think I might have pulled some out of another hat that wasn’t set to be shot.

Every last decision I made to create this hat was made because I didn’t have enough. Felt. Ribbon. Buttons. I think I might have even been close to the end on wire. Panic led me in directions I would not normally have gone, and yet it works. It works well. I'm so lucky I had that yard of blue velvet ribbon.

The felt is steel grey velour felt, rich in color and texture and extremely soft to the touch. 
I use the highest quality materials available, and do my best to source my supplies from small businesses and manufacturers. I love to line my hats in thai silk in brilliant colors. Linings don’t have to match-- they are your secret. I have not yet lined this hat so that I can easily adjust the fit. I have a lot of latitude for sizing with this. Let me know what you need and I will make it happen.

I block each hat on antique wooden hat blocks, and I make each stitch by hand with a needle and thread. It takes me roughly 16 hours to create a hat by hand. I’m a little crazy, but I truly do love the process. I want you to love this hat as much as I do. I am very happy to fix problems that may arise. 

You can find similar items in my shop:

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