This workshop was being taken by Mary Jane Baxter. You may know her as a BBC journalist or you may know her as a milliner who has published several books, including the most recent "The Modern Girls' Guide to Hatmaking". Mary Jane's style is heavily influenced by vintage so was promising to be right up my street. The table was laden with a tantalising array of materials of all sorts; feathers, lace, fabric, buttons, even pipe cleaners.
Stag and Bow have had some of Mary Jane's work displayed in the shop and I had fallen in love with these headbands. Unfortunately, I wasn't able to attend the previous workshop to make those but I have bought the book (which shows you how to make these) so that's one for another time. Mary Jane is very generous with her materials and her knowledge and there's a list of suppliers in the back of the book.
We were making a fascinator, another project in Mary Jane's book. It looked very interesting and impressive but I have to be honest that I couldn't really see myself wearing something with all those fabulous feathers. Yikes!
We started with a base on which to build up our own fascinator using all the materials at our fingertips. Oh, the choice. I covered my black sinamay base with a stretchy lace in maroon and decided to add a small veil which Mary Jane showed us how to make, including those fab little furry dots.
I was pondering the sequins when my eyes settled on a little bunch of vintage millinery flowers. I love that sort of thing and have quite a collection myself, as you know. I tentatively tried them against the base I'd made and was chuffed to see what a cute match they made. From there, my piece was transformed. Mary Jane showed me how to shape and cut down some large black feathers which I slotted between the ditsy flowers. I watched with interest, though, as she showed us how to curve and curl the large pheasant feathers. Skills squirrelled away for another day. I was really pleased with how my creation turned out and it just goes to show, you can always put your own spin on things.
Let's hope that in the future I have a glamorous event to attend and make use of my pretty fascinator!