4 April 2011

Fascinator making tips from expert milliner Chrissy King

The royal wedding and indeed wedding season are almost upon us. At the thrifty stitcher we are filling up all our fascinator hen party slots- this year really is the year of the Fascinator or "Whimsy" as many milliners like to call them.

Expert milliner Chrissie King from Hat-Therapy has kindly agreed to guest blog for us once a month. She will be giving us seasonal advice, notes on etiquette for hat wearing at ascot and lots of tips. I can't wait! I'm really grateful to have Chrissie guest blogging, i love her work and she really is a fabulous milliner.

Chrissie's tips for getting started-

*Keep it simple, not too many pieces to stitch together.
 *Pick a colour that can be worn with several items, you can always change the colour of a trim.
 *Use milliners needles as they are fine & sharper than household.
 *Try not to use double thread as it is more inclined to snag and knot.
 *If you think your hair is too fine for a comb then sew directly onto a woven headband.

  A good place to buy millinery items 
     tel 01582 721 381

 A really simple and effective material is 'crin'
Made from synthetic fibres it comes in black ivory cream etc and in different widths.

Along one edge you will find a thread that can be pulled gently, once you have decided how much to use. Use this to sew with and create a simple twist.
If you want to add height fold the crin at each end under and fold in half.

Quills make a great statement and are simple to use.
Pick a quill that is not too big.
Cut with a sharp knife at an angle for the desired length then use a nail file to file the end of the quill.
Make a hole with a slightly bigger needle at the point you wish to attach your quill to a crin twist, then sew in a figure of eight with the same colour thread to secure.

ALL THIS CAN BE SEWN ON TO YOUR HEAD BAND. Much easier for a beginner.

The ivory piece of fabric is sinamay or in this case window sinamay. It is very soft and can be pleated as shown.
You can roll the edges between the  thumb and first finger.
Lick your fingers and keep rolling until you get a neat tight edge or you can fold and iron to get a nice edge. Sinamay is a super versatile material, you can use to make all kinds of brilliant shapes.

Good luck everyone!


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