Bridal, Mother of the Bride, Racewear

The making of a custom bespoke hat

Bespoke Custom Mother of the Bride Pearl Duchess Cocktail Hat by Sydney Milliner, Abigail Fergusson Millinery

A lot of my clients contact me for a custom bespoke hat to complement their outfit whether it be for a bride, mother of the bride/groom, wedding guest or a day at the races. So here’s a little more detail about the process…

At our initial consultation, I get to know you and discuss your vision for the perfect piece. Each client is different… some might come to me with an idea or an image and I might start by sketching my ideas of various options.

Or others might like something I have already made but want it customised for their outfit. Here a client had seen my Pearl design and brought her dress along to have something similar customised to suit.

Rixio London Dress
Rixio London Dress

Our first consultation is a great opportunity to try on different styles of hats to decide what suits you best. If you have an outfit bring it along, otherwise a picture of the outfit is a great help.

Together, we look at materials, fabrics, trims and colour swatches and together we design the hat which will best complimented the outfit.

We also discuss which side of the head the hat would sit on, hair styles and how it would best attach to the head (headband or elastic and comb).

The materials – sinamay, petersham ribbon, silk, bias binding, veiling, Swarovski crystals and pearls

Once the design has been agreed upon I set to work…

The first step I usually take is “blocking”. Blocking a hat involves gently stretching and manipulating a material over a wooden block using either steam or water, pinning it in shape and stiffening the material so that it keeps the 3D shape. Excess is trimmed and then a wire is hand sewn into the shape. Trims are handmade and attached, a petersham ribbon headband is hand sewn and a lining added.

Sometimes a design is a little more complicated and the wooden hat blocks may need to be customised. In this instance, I may stack existing blocks I have and then mould clay around them to get to the desired shape. The clay is then left to dry before it can be used to block.

Every part of the process is completed by hand.

The finished product is then ready to be boxed up and collected.

Bespoke Custom Mother of the Bride Pearl Duchess Cocktail Hat by Sydney Milliner, Abigail Fergusson Millinery
The finished product- The Pearl Hat
Bespoke Custom Red Straw Hat by Sydney Milliner, Abigail Fergusson Millinery
The finished product – The Gina Hat

Please contact me to discuss having a couture/bespoke piece made, either using the contact form on this page or email me at hats@abigailfergusson.com