Tuesday, 12 March 2013

My adventures in millinery - the story so far...

So this week I thought I’d share a bit more about  my millinery work that I have completed over the last few years, chat about the millinery courses I have done and  generally natter about why I love making hats so much.

This is the very first piece of millinery  I ever made back in the depths of time. I was still at Uni studying fashion and textiles and during  a reading week I took myself off to London to do a one week course with Rose Cory. It was a great introduction to millinery and Rose is a super  teacher, at the time I had been toying with the idea of learning hat making for ages but  for some reason I was really nervous about  actually doing a course. I’d always loved hats and accessories  and  seemed to be more interested in designing them  that the fashion designs I was working on for my degree so  I asked for money for Christmas to do the course and buy the materials I needed and I’ll never forget my first  day with Rose when I made this fascinator I was so excited.  

  Well after that I was hooked, during the course I also made  this beige cloche that I  mentioned the other week and I carried on experimenting with the techniques I used during my degree making a series of VERY basic fascinators as part of my final collection.

After  finishing my degree  I did a couple of other short courses over the next couple of years, the course fees are pretty expensive and they are mainly held in London so it always meant travelling up and staying over and usually also taking time off work to attend them . But it was defiantly worth the effort and expense and it was the work I did in these courses that convinced me that Millinery was something I wanted to professionally.  I find the process of creating a hat so exciting , there is always an element of surprise when the final piece is placed on the head and I love the way the  process evolves over time from the initially blocking  of the shape of the hat to sewing on the final trim and lining.

Last year I  did a BTEC level two in millinery and hat design at Kensington and Chelsea college. This was a 6 month course  lead by Noel Stewart. It was an amazing course that focussed on  creating Fashion  forward designs and really developed my creativity and experience. It was great being pushed to complete hats to  high end professional standard and I enjoyed being given an opportunity to combine the millinery skills and my fashion design background.

I  finished the course having created a collection 6  hats based around the woodland creatures and birds. I am so proud of the work I created during those months and it   the course gave me a firm foundation of what I wanted  the signature style of my work to be  and  the confidence to start  making hats and accessories professionally. At the moment I am working on a couple of  private commissions   and also designing a range of accessories that I hope to start selling over the next few months.  Starting this blog was a real big step for me, I’m usually  pretty shy about sharing my work and ideas and it’s great to have a place that  helps  me gain confidence in this.

Thanks for letting me babble on about my work for a bit today, if  you  are interested in  attending a millinery course  here is a list of the  websites  for some of the courses I have booked ( plus some other pretty amazing looking courses:

Rose Cory Millinery Courses : http://www.rosecory.co.uk/
Short Courses @University Arts London : http://www.arts.ac.uk/courses/shortcourses/
Kensington and Chelsea College: http://www.kcc.ac.uk/fashion-and-millinery/

Also if you fancy seeing more of my work please check out my online portfolio at -www.shownd.com/jc_heaton

 Hope you have a great week, Jessie xx

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