2015 Milliners & Hatters Open Competition Winners 2018-06-20T11:48:37+00:00

First prize, Wild Digitalis by Tamsyn Brocks.
1st copy

Natalie Amor models Tamsyn Brock’s first prize winner sponsored by Snooks the Hatters
– Photo by Patricia Snook.
About ‘Wild Digitalis’: The inspiration for this hat, along with this year’s collection came from the countryside of The Lake District, where pockets of perfect tranquillity and beauty can be found. I hoped to translate some of this feeling into the design of this hat.
The kingfisher blue colour is to represent the tranquillity and richness of colour that is found in the area. The sinamay I hand blocked for the base saucer shape was hand dyed to get the exact shade required.
The hand curled quills were included as a representation of the many elements of water and its movement. These were also hand dyed to match the base.
The Foxglove (Digitalis) was designed to be a representation of the common wild flower. I experimented with the pattern for the flowers and the stem until I felt it reflected the real flower without trying to produce an exact replica. The flowers are made from hand painted Dupion silk and shaped using traditional heated tool techniques; these were then attached to the rolled sinamay stem. The final effect is a slightly abstract, but still recognisable Foxglove.


Second prize, Butterfly Helmet by Stefania Bruno.
2nd copy

Stacey Snook models the second prize winning hat by Stefania Bruno, sponsored by the Bridport Hat Festival – photo by Patricia Snook.

About Butterfly Helmet: For my ‘Butterfly Helmet’ design I found inspiration in the military helmet of the World War I.

In order to achieve my design I have looked especially at the Brodie helmet shapes worn by British Army troops. My challenge has been to use these shapes and try to design a minimalist and fashionable headpiece where the shape has a strong reminder of the helmet icon.
The headpiece is hand blocked, stiffened, wired and made by the combination of two different pieces of fur felt. To give a sense of femininity and lightness I used the technique of embroidery, and I drew a design of leaves, flowers and a butterfly.

 Third prize, ‘Naked Heart’ by Lorna Fraser.


Natalie Amor models the third prize winning hat by Lorna Fraser, sponsored by Aspect counselling services – photo by Patricia Snook.

Lorna says: Most if not all of my creations so far are heart shaped inspired, as I love all things heart; I have just set up my website under the name hatsoffraser.com

The inspiration behind my design was seeing some leaves in my garden;  they were weatherworn and had been stripped of their colour and almost had a lace like affect to them they were light brown in colour and looked very fragile! I loved the texture they displayed and thought what a great idea this would be for a hat! I was looking through my local charity shop and came across this wonderful stretch lace top in a nude colour and thought how perfect it would be to achieve a naked fragile effect. With my signature heart designs the hat you see was born!
The process to achieve this as follows:
Lace and sinamay were blocked over a customised heart shape, wired and edged with bias strip. The same goes for the mini sinamay hearts, the lace ones were blocked but have a thick layer of PVA to keep the shape.
All the clustered hearts were sewn in carefully using invisible thread and a 12cm needle was used to achieve this!
The big heart was attached to sinamay base and two mini hearts were used for extra support.
Overall this hat took a few weeks it was very fiddly to do, as I did not want any stitching to be shown, also using a very long needle took a bit of getting used to!

Public choice winner is Terry Weston’s rope hat

Public Choice


This year for the first time the public had the opportunity to choose their favourite hat.

Winning a One year free subscription to The Hat Magazine
Kindly sponsored by The The Hat Magazine