Wednesday, 22 January 2014

The International Millinery Forum 2014 (Part One)

I'm just recovering from my week away at the International Millinery Forum in Wagga Wagga. This is the fourth forum, and my third.

A week of intense workshops and events and meeting new people has left me frazzled and my mind whirring with ideas and revelations. The first two nights I could hardly sleep because my brain would not turn off (the heatwave didn't help either).

The big thing that was different for me this time around was the social aspect. I previously stayed at a B&B (I'm not even sure why) but this time I stayed at one of the recommended accomodation options, and caught the shuttle bus in to the events. Consequently, I actually met people, made friends, and had a much better time. I also got to talk with the other milliners about their lives, their hats, and their businesses. I am full of good advice and a lot of encouragement.

So much happened that even to summarise I'm going to take a couple of posts!

Sunday: Trade Show and Cocktail Party

Much money was spent. Many hats were admired. Impromptu hat-making party at the motel. Discovered I forgot to bring high heels, shorts, and enough clothing suitable for a full week's worth of temperatures in the 40s.

Monday: Bandeaux Quando with Jan Wutkowski

In this class we explored alternate methods of attaching non-headsize-hats to heads, mostly 1940s techniques. We looked at examples, made samples of a few methods, then applied one to the hat that we brought. For me, that was the vintage-inspired draped silk hat. I brought the remains of the dress along and used up more bits to do the attachment.

It really got me thinking about how my hats look from the back, and how to make all sides a feature.

This was probably my favourite class in terms of the quantity of ideas I got from it. I love vintage-style hats, and this week has made me realise that is where my heart is.

Tuesday am: Waltraud Reiner

Waltraud's 3-hour class looked at making trims from a few different materials. We talked about thermoplastic materials, and used Worbla to make a flower.

We also played around with linen abaca but I didn't get anything finished. It was a lovely material to work with though, and I'm looking forward to experimenting more with it, and the rest of the Worbla.

Tuesday pm: Serena Lindeman

Another 3-hour class, at a frantic pace! We dived straight in and had dyed our silk in the first 15 minutes. Once it was dry, stiffened, and dried again, we cut and hand-rolled and attached our petals around these vintage stamens.

By this time my brain was slowing down and my nerves were getting frazzled. Thank goodness for the day off on Wednesday! And some Big Bash League to watch from bed in the evenings!

Next instalment soon!


  1. This sounds like so much fun! Your work is so beautiful. Glad you had a good time!


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