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Customising a Client's Hat for Ascot

Whilst most of my clients tend to opt for bespoke hat, or perhaps find the perfect one in my range of ready to wear pieces, I occasionally have someone come to me with a piece of headwear that they already own and would like to have customised to give it a new lease of life and make it better suit another outfit or occasion.

The face on view of a white sinamay saucer hat, trimmed with loops of white sinamay and white ostrich feather quills.

Whilst this come sometimes prove fiddly, especially if glue was used for securing trimmings when it was made as is common with high street hats and fascinators, I'm always more than happy to take a look and see what I can do.


This was the case with a recent client who came to me with a large white hat and a gorgeous golden yellow dress. She had bought a plethora of yellow feathers, hoping to be able to use them herself to add a pop of colour to her hat, but after a bit of research and playing with ideas, she realised it could be a little trickier than expected, and decided to bring them into my studio for a chat and to see what I could do for her.

The side on view of a white sinamay saucer hat, trimmed with loops of white sinamay and white ostrich feather quills.

We sat down together in my studio and talked through ideas of what could be done to add some pops of yellow to her hat. We settled on trimming and shaping the feathers she had bought into diamond shapes, with a few stripped down to quills to reflect the larger white quills already on the hat, to ensure the hat looked modern with just the right amount of added colour.

The face on view of a white sinamay saucer hat, trimmed with loops of white sinamay and white ostrich feather quills, now with a lot of bright yellow diamond shaped feathers added across the trim.

With a plan in place I set to work, stripping and cutting the once fluffy feathers into shape, and tinting the edge stripped edges. Once my client was happy with the amount of feathers and their placement I hand sewed them all individually into place.


This is always a little trickier on a pre-made piece, as I'd normally sew them in as I was constructing the trim and glue is never fun to get a needle through, but sewing instead of adding more glue gives a better finish and means that they can be removed more easily should my client ever want to give the hat another revamp in the future.

The side on view of a white sinamay saucer hat, trimmed with loops of white sinamay and white ostrich feather quills, now with a lot of bright yellow diamond shaped feathers added across the trim.

My client was absolutely thrilled when she came to collect the hat, as it was just what was needed to ensure it was just the finishing touch to tie her whole outfit together. I love how the vibrant yellow pops agains the crisp white!


Whilst I had the hat, she also asked if I could swap the headband to a thinner one which blended better into her hair. I also added a hidden hair comb to help the hat stay securely in place.


If you have a hat that could do with an update to help it work better with an outfit or for an upcoming occasion, just pop me an email on info@MissAvasMillinery.com or book an appointment to come into my studio for a chat, and hopefully I can help you to.


Take a peek at the 'Customisation' page on my website for a few other examples of previous hat customisations I have undertaken.



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