We had such a treat at our March meeting. Guild member Lilli M. gave us the scoop on the fine art of millinery. Lilli has been making hats for many years. She first got started while she was working in the Bay Area and commuting home to Reno on weekends. She said that she would wear her creations as she rode Bart, the busses, and naturally the plane to and from Reno. People started asking her to make a hat for them - and she obliged! She learned all about making patterns, how to steam and treat the velour fiber and spent loads of browsing time at Lacis in Berkeley. She even rented out hat blocks from the store.
Lilli's hats are well known in Reno. They have been featured in local magazines, and Lilli has often been asked to make a hat to go with a particular antique car - either to match the car, or the era from which it came.
One thing that Lilli likes to stress is that good materials are a must in the hat making business. Good quality hats are often found in thrift stores. Lilli likes to recycle whenever she can, so she buys these unwanted treasures and turns them into stunning new toppers. Or, Lilli may find a good wool sweater. She felts it and turns the fabric into embellishments - such as the delightful hat featured below.
Although, Lilli does have a very definite style when it comes to making hats, each hat is an individual and worthy of an outfit just to accompany it!
|This hat was steamed and shaped over an actual bucket-like object. Found objects such as Tupperware, bowls, and more can be used to make different hat shapes.|
Needle felting yarns and fiber is another way to make a hat embellishment. Lilli knew that matching the color of the hat was going to be difficult, so she used a contrasting color.
The apricot colored straw hat above was treated so that it would collapse in three tiers. Notice the color gradation from bright to darker.
Another stunning straw hat. This one was refashioned by Lilli through steam, shape and new additions to the decorations.
Lilli plans to open a little workshop in the near future. She loves to teach her skills to others and will provide the space and materials in classes. Once she is open, we will let you know how to visit her.