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Tuesday, June 9, 2015

"Hat of the Week": Beading ... and My Dirty Little Secret

Beaded Bridal Headpiece with Veil
It's wedding season. (As someone who got married in gray November, I think every season can be wedding season. But June is a more popular month.) So it seems fitting that a bridal piece be this week's "Hat of the Week."

25% off. No coupon code needed. And back to regular price on Monday.

Best of all, it's ready to ship! So if you're a procrastinator or just planning a wedding in a short time, it's the perfect headpiece. And, hey, weddings are expensive. This hat — even at full price — is not.

This is a silk/cotton fabric with metallic threads on a buckram base. Also has a nylon veil and elastic to hold it in place.

But really, this hat is all about the beads. If you've seen some of my other hats, you might know I have a weakness for beads and beading. I have amassed a collection of many different beads. Sadly, my favorite bead store recently closed. This piece has several styles of beads: freshwater pearls; white, cream and iridescent seed beads; iridescent bugle beads, and vintage micro beads. All were sewn on by hand, a process that took many hours.

 And here's my dirty little secret: I don't charge for my time. Well, not exactly. I do charge for my time somewhat, but I base my prices more on the cost of materials.

It's part of my philosophy of pricing. I do what I think is fair — for me and for customers. I think nicer, higher quality materials should cost more. A simple silk tulle veil should cost more than an elaborately constructed nylon or polyester one. (Personally, I would never pay $100 for a polyester shirt, no matter the brand. But I would perhaps be willing to pay that amount for a silk shirt.) I don't think customers should have to pay more if a material misbehaved or I had to unpick some stitches.

So that's my dirty little secret. Also, I really like beading, so it's not as much "work" as certain other millinery tasks.

I'm newer to bridal millinery than I am to other aspects of hat-making. I never was the wedding-dreams, "bridezilla" type. That's probably why I didn't gravitate toward making bridal headpieces at first. But since I've done it, I can't wait to do more.

In my opinion, bridal work is the ultimate creative challenge as a milliner. It can be simple or elaborate. Usually, it's monochromatic, which forces more thoughtful decisions about texture and proportion. There are so many amazing places bridal hats can go. Check out my Bridal Hats board on Pinterest for some examples of what other milliners are doing with shades of white.

The veil drops to about cheekbone level.
As always, I welcome any questions you might have!


  1. Beautiful creation. Some lucky bride will be thrilled to wear this.