HATalk 2021 millinery Competition

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2021 Millinery Competition

judges Results2021 competition Saraden Designs

Hatalk 2021 Millinery Competition

Out of the archives

judges Results 2021 competition Saraden Designs
Hatalk 2021 Millinery Competition

About The Hatalk 2021 Millinery Competition

For the Hatalk 2021 Millinery Competition, we are challenging you to create an original hat or headpiece inspired by a HATalk article or project.


Here’s what we want you to do…

1. Browse through our archive of e-magazines and online projects to look for inspiration. New content is added regularly, so keep checking back for fresh ideas while planning your entry. If you are not currently a HATalk Subscriber, you can get free access to everything for a month by clicking HERE.

2. When you’ve found something that sparks your creativity, it’s time to make your entry. This is where it gets interesting! We don’t want you to make an exact copy of something we’ve featured in the past. Instead, we want you to use your chosen article or tutorial as a starting point – a springboard to make your own unique hat or headpiece. There are so many different ways to approach this challenge, so be creative. Just make sure that your entry references at least one HATalk article or tutorial in some way and that you can explain the connection.

3. When you have finished making, fill in the online submission form, making sure to include details of the issue or project which inspired your entry, and upload your images by the closing date – Wednesday, 12 May 2021 (midnight BST/London Time).


Four winners will be chosen by a panel of expert judges, who will be looking at the following criteria:

  • Quality of workmanship (both inside and out)
  • Originality of design

Connection to HATalk article(s) or project(s)

The HATalk Competition is open to anyone, anywhere in the world, and entry is free of charge.


This is a photo-based competition so the judges will make their decision based on the images that you submit. To show your entry at its best, please provide 3-5 high-quality photographs. One of these photos should be of the inside of your piece so the judges can see your workmanship. If possible, we’d also like to see photographs of your hat being worn by a real person. This will help the judges to get a better idea of the fit and balance. For examples of outstanding entries, check out our past HATalk Competition Winners.

my design

Hatalk Magazine judges Results | Hatalk Magazine 2021 competition Saraden Designs Piece Paragon | Hatalk 2021 Millinery Competition

Paragon consists of over 200 hours of hand embroidery

Hatalk Magazine judges Results | Hatalk Magazine 2021 competition Saraden Designs Piece Paragon

It was an experimental design as I never created anything like it before

Hatalk Magazine judges Results | Hatalk Magazine 2021 competition Saraden Designs Piece Paragon

Design description

There is a judges vote and a public vote, see below on how to cast your vote.

HATalk Archive Inspiration


What struck me from these articles was Benjamin embracing non-traditional materials and William’s daring and imaginative designs with both designers creations described as surreal.

I myself hand-make all my own fabric in house and do not use traditional millinery materials or techniques so I quickly found a bond with Benjamin embracing non-traditional materials.

William’s pieces are described as ‘not for the wearer that wanted to look like everyone else’ which us how I see my own designs as they aren’t typical millinery. I took inspiration from his use of animals. I liked how the octopus design wrapped around the head and the description of the scales of a fish hat were very detailed and eye catching.

I took inspiration from Ben’s love of brocade jackets and began looking at the patterns and intricate detailing of brocade and toyed with the idea of creating a brocade piece. The more I looked at the designs I saw the repetition of feathers. This inspired me to use a bird and I wanted it to be dramatic which led me to create a phoenix in bold, bright colours and intricate detailing of the feathers.

The hand embroidery stemmed from the brocade idea I like how the detail is captured and decided to hand embroider the phoenix as a focus piece which is something I have never done before so I was quite nervous. This was outlined with black embroidery thread to make it pop and has taken approximately 200 hours to embroider. I referred back to William’s love of feathers and combined them with the embroidered tail of the phoenix to give it a whimsical and magical look.

Hat Making Materials

  • Cream voile (what the bird was embroidered onto)
  • DMC embroidery threads in blue, purple, yellow, orange, pink, black and white
  • The base is made using my handmade fabric in blue tones from blue fibers
  • Hat brim to keep the base shape
  • Emu feathers in blue, purple, yellow, pinks, white, black
  • A 14 tooth comb with blue satin ribbon
  • Invisible thread
  • Wooden label with logo

Hat Making Techniques

  • The phoenix design was drawn onto a piece of voile and then hand embroidered using long and short stitching technique. Then was outlined in black embroidery thread with a backstitch. It was cut from the voile and handstitched to the hat base.
  •  The base was created from a sheet of my handmade fabric, it was shaped and stiffened and the outside lined with millinery wire and the comb sewn into place
  • Emu feathers were individually glued to the hat base with alternating colours before the embroidery was attached.
  • The embroidery piece was hand sewn into place

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