Thursday, June 21, 2012

The third time's a charm...

You know you’re going British when… part three: you make hats. In the Tower of London.

(In case you missed them, the other two signs of me going British are here and here.)

Last Saturday, I went to a millinery workshop. I thought it would be fun, and also slightly ironic, to make a hat in the Tower of London. Because, you know, a lot of people lost the one thing you kind of need to wear a hat in there…

After tea and biscuits (because everything in England starts with tea and biscuits), eleven other women and I met with milliner extraordinaire, Ani Townsend. She told us about her latest project – making headpieces for a production of the Lion King in Wales. Amazing! I googled her before the course to have a peek at her portfolio (because I’m North American, and that’s what we do before everything), and while she specializes in period hats, she has also made some spectacular modern pieces. I like this one:
One of Ani's creations (photo from her website)
Before we started on our hats, we checked out the crown jewels for inspiration. And before I went, I watched this to get my creative juices flowing - I was determined to make something really cool to wear to my rehearsal dinner, and needed all the inspiration I could get! After the tour, Ani demonstrated techniques for creating accents and for repurposing bits and bobs for accents, for shaping, for securely attaching things. Then it was time to get down to business, and three hours later, I had made a hat! 

Actually, it’s more of a fascinator.

Potato, potaahto?


A hat is, obviously, a hat. It covers your head and often has a brim. Hats can be utilitarian, religious or decorative.

A fascinator is a hat alternative that is more substantial than a barrette. It’s decorative. It attaches to the hair with a comb or a hairband.Fascinators are small to medium. Anything larger is called a substantial fascinator.

So what did I actually make?

Well, it has a small base and is attached to a comb. A fascinator.

It has a large bow. Substantial fascinator.

It has a veil. Is it encroaching on hat territory?

Let’s just call it....

a hatinator.

Actually, British people would never say hatinator - Canuck through and through...


  1. It's gorgeous! Nicely done, my dear!

  2. you are very funny and smart in your writing. I just found you from the blog hop. Thanks for sharing your adventures. The hatinator is really lovely.