Thought for a lifetime

Einstein made the very important observation that " Imagination is more important than knowledge ".

Monday, February 27, 2012

Jasmin Zorlu Freeform Felt Hat Blocking Workshop

On a beautiful weekend in my favorite city, San Francisco, I spent 8 hours being introduced to the fine art of millinery. I've often dabbled in hat making but, online I found this weekend course by milliner Jasmin Zorlu. A little research on Jasmin and I knew this class would teach me skills that may take years to acquire through trial and error.
The class was held in North Beach at the Emerald Tablet and limited to 5 students. Jasmin provided all the millinery supplies, a great handout with lots of information and sources, patience, and 20 years of experience ( although Jasmin seriously looks about 20! ).The gorgeous felt blanks for the hats were velour made from rabbit skins and Jasmin sent out color choices last week. 
This class was everything and a little more than I hoped for BUT, if you're interested sign up fast because Jasmin is planning moving to New York. 

More information with a You Tube video and registration instructions are at or call 415 730-4666

Day 1

Th first important step was selecting the correct hat block size and transferring all our vital head measurements to the block.

On Jasmin's website she has a great video on blocking the hat blank with moisture and steam. Her 20 years of experience saved us all from making many possible beginner mistakes.

Once your hat blank is centered on your block the free forming fun begins...with lots and lots of pins.

Then steam again...

Then more pins...

Remove all the pins and try it on for shape...

Then pin and steam again and again until you are satisfied with final shape. 
Reaching this point took me 4 hours.

Day 2

Our hats dried overnight and we were all ready for Jasmin to teach us the fine art of hand sewing hats.

And if you want to create hats like ours you should like to hand sew OR don't make zillions of folds. Luckily I LOVE hand sewing and I did not have quite a zillion folds.

Next was the secret of the ribbon swirling and the all important measurement, placement and sewing of the ribbon. Jasmin had many great tips and the patience of a saint as each one of us asked her individually to repeat to us what she had tried to teach us collectively.
The final hours of the class zoomed by and all too soon it was time to say good-bye.

Cloche Finish

Before we left the Emerald Tablet all the mad hatters gathered for a tea party, oops I mean a photo. I guess I am the only one grinning like the Chesire Cat because my hat is completely finished.

 I actually like my hat and it must not be too crazy because I HAD to wear it the rest of the afternoon and on the plane ride home ( good incentive to finish the hat ) and no one pointed and laughed...that I saw.


These two ads are on opposite pages in the March 2012 Vogue. It made me chuckle because the girls on the bike appear to be laughing at the weird blurry female. Then I thought the images actually capture many extreme opposites of current fashion- sexy vs wholesome, bright vs black, overdone vs natural, edgy vs likable, tight vs comfort, etc.
So I guess it's safe to say that fashion doesn't have a clear direction right now, I just know I'm heading in the same direction as the girls on the bike :)