Welcome to Day 7 of The 12 Days of Halloween in Miniature. (If you missed the beginning of the party, go back to Day 1.)
There was once a time when no well-dressed man, or woman, considered themselves properly attired without a hat. The same holds true today for those looking for the proper haunted attire.
As mentioned in an earlier post, anyone looking for fashionable "witchy" wear knows to go to British mini milliner Kat Hazelton, also known as Kat the Hat Lady.
From pretty and stately, to dramatic and a touch scary, Kat's witch and wizard hats reflect her love to create, and a love for all things Halloween!
Kat, who began making miniature dolls, beaded jewelry and even pig magnets, has been making mini millinery for 12 years now and can't think of anything she'd rather be doing.
"I also dream about hats a lot," she admits. "Mad Hatter is now my middle name - ha-ha!"
(Vampire Killer hat)
Interestingly enough, Kat began making mini hats after a request from her Nan, which led her to study real-life millinery.
"Many, many moons ago I made a 1/12th scale doll for my Nan’s birthday and I was trying to make a hat for it, but the hat I made was awful!" she recalls. "At the time I couldn’t find any information on miniature hat making so I took myself off to my local library and started researching about full-size millinery.
"After weeks of researching, I finally managed to create a decent hat for Nan’s poor doll. My Nan was so pleased with this hat she showed it to her neighbours who then all wanted hats! So it was my Nan that started me off. I then used all this money to buy more millinery books. I got brave and went to college to study full-size millinery and I haven’t looked back."
Kat attended York College and studied millinery for more than two years. That she found success with her mini creations is no surprise considering she worked as a professional milliner in a shop making fashionable hats for the women attending the Royal Ascot horse races where the rule seems to be "the wilder the better!" (Check out the wild hats at the link!)
Some of her creativity also seems to be part genetic and part exposure: her Nan used to dye feathers for ladies' hats and her mother was a chair caner.
"We attended many craft fairs when I was a child," she says. "I used to spend hours watching all the craftspeople blowing glass, sewing, weaving and making jewelry."
Kat's other jobs have included working as a cake decorator and a chef. "I have done lots of interesting things, but I've also worked in offices, stacked shelves, made bacon butties and cleaned for a living, so it’s not all glamorous!"
The hats, though, remain her passion, and the ideas keep on coming...
(Blue Star hat)
Inspiration comes, she says, "from books, films, art, fabrics, fashion magazines, haberdashery shops, I can get ideas when I am walking the dog or visiting a museum. I often have a notebook in my handbag which I jot little notes in. I also go to Gothic events and medieval fairs so there is a huge amount of inspiration from people's costumes and head wear. I am forever stopping people and taking their photos, ha-ha! "
So, how many hats has she made?
"I have lost count," she admits and laughs. "I used to sell over 200 each time I did a fair in the ‘good old days’ so it must be a thousand of them! Funny to think of all these little hats all over the world made by me! How cool is that?"
** Next: 12 Days of Halloween in Miniature - Day 8.