2014 Milliners’ & Hatters’ Open Competition Winners 2018-05-15T11:08:51+00:00

First prize

Shannon Yarbrough “Amplify”

Winner 2014 Sharron Yarborough Amplify copy

 Hat modelled by Stacey Snook & photographed by Patricia Snook.

About Shannon Yarbrough

The most likely fate for me is that of a crazy old lady. But as I have never been fond of cats, I will have halls filled with hats. I am not a young woman nor am I old, I am a mother of two young children, and a work in progress. Over the last year, I have begun turning my passion for millinery into a more practical reality, working towards a City and Guilds certification under the tutelage of Janie Lashford. I plan to continue studying over the course of my stay in the UK.


The color and energy that an electric guitar exudes through its design is noteworthy, striking and the source of inspiration for this particular hat. Individual aspects of this instrument were mildly abstracted for my design. I chose a teal blue peachbloom felt for the hat body. However, as I wished to inlay elements into the crown, the felt was blocked over a blocking net support. Once secured, pieces of the peachbloom were then removed and the contrasting wool felt was inserted and trimmed. This formed the ‘neck’ of the guitar with attention paid to the ‘frets’, ‘chords’ and ‘tuning knobs.’ There is an internal sprung steel support for the brim bound in teal blue petersham. The guitar ‘body’ is a piece of excess peachbloom felt edged with cotton-covered wire and petersham, stitched in high relief upon the exterior surface of the center front.

The first prize of £500 is sponsored by Snooks Hatters and Gentlemans Outfitters, Bridport.

 Second Prize

Annabel Allen “Dandelion Wishes”

2nd prize 2014 Annabel Allen copy

  Hat modelled by Stacey Snook & photographed by Patricia Snook.

About Annabel Allen

My passion for creativity was evident from an early age, hence after obtaining an Art History degree at Edinburgh University I moved to London to undertake an early career in the fashion industry. It was 5 years later when I moved to Sydney that my love of fashion design grew into a greater love for hat design under the tuition of the accomplished Milliner Jane Stoddart. This love continued to flourish and upon returning to Bristol in 2013 I continued my millinery training at the Milliners’ Guild, assisting the very talented Theatrical Milliner Ani Townsend; subsequently setting up Annabel Allen Millinery.

“Dandelion Wishes”

I feel that dandelions would make great Milliners; they manage to make such a complex structure look completely light and effortless! “Dandelion Wishes” was inspired by this realization and by the way in which their perfectly regimented structure can be disrupted by the slightest breeze, releasing the wonderfully carefree seed umbrellas we see dancing in meadow fields. A wonderful juxtaposition of order and chaos- like a gathering of mad hatters!

After much trial and error, I struck upon the rather laborious method for making the dandelion! For the seed heads I used stripped feather down which I rolled with an adhesive at the base, then sprayed with lacquer before pressing with and iron and cutting to size. I then sprayed gold and straightened equal lengths of piano wire, which I pierced through each down seed head, fastening with a glass bead. The piano wire was then inserted in to a cotton ball at even intervals with the occasional one on a longer wire than others in order to convey the feeling of escape.

The dandelion head is attached to a wire headband and sits on a bed of hand rolled sinamay leaves. The main hat is also attached to the headband and then pierced by the longer wires from the dandelion, which poke out of the top side bouncing along, once again to give the impression of escape and playfulness in the wind.

The main hat body is made from sinamay which was hand-blocked, wired and bound before attaching to the headband.

The second prize of £250 is sponsored by The Bridge House Hotel, Bridport.

Third Prize

Emily Brewell

Third prize copy

  Hat modelled by Stacey Snook & photographed by Patricia Snook.

About Emily Brewell

My name is Emily Brewell, I am burgeoning milliner and I am trying to get my name out there. I completed an apprentice in millinery with the hatter Katherine Elizabeth a few years ago and I have been trying to make millinery my career ever since. I love the hat making process from sketching design ideas to adding the final finishing touches with feathers and trimmings. I still have a lot to learn and next month with be starting an apprenticeship in theatre costume design; making hats for theatre productions, which I am really looking forward to.

 About Emily’s Hat

In designing this hat I was inspired by the hats I saw whilst at Bridport hat festival last year, there were many crazy designs but what stood out the most was the amount of flower themed hats worn with style, true English eccentricity, and maybe a few ciders. And so the theme of this hat is the eccentric English summertime; I have drawn on the May Day celebrations and the twisting ribbons of the maypole, I have also added a nod to the mad floral boater hats worn by Morris dancers.

To start with I stretched a boater hat shape using copper coloured wool felt on a hat block, I left it to dry then stiffened it with millinery stiffener. Then with a lot of trial and error I created the intricate woven swirl pattern with plaited milliners braid to mimic the look of the twisted ribbons around the maypole. I then stitched the braid securely to the hat using clear thread. I measured and cut a lining using grey silk and trimmed it with black ribbon and attached it to the inside. To finish the hat I attached dried wildflowers from our garden around the crown of the hat, similar to the mad floral hats that are worn by Morris dancers.

The third prize of £125 is sponsored by DB Electrical, Bridport.