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Fascinating Fascinators with The Hat Stand

Summer is on the way and our lovely Seven Hills WI ladies do like to dress up. Any excuse will do – day at the races, weddings, summer parties – you name it if it involves a lovely day out and an excuse to dress up we’ll be there! But wherever this summer’s activities take our members they will be looking even more glamorous thanks to the millinery master pieces they created at our May meeting. That’s right, we made fascinators!

Members choose their feathers

The session was led by the fascinatingly fabulous millinery trio, Siobhan Nicholson, Amanda Moon and Sophie Cooke – all independent Sheffield-based milliners who come together as The Hat Stand to promote the art of millinery. The activity got off to a flying start with Siobhan, Amanda and Sophie talking us through how we would be making the fascinators. The supplies table was awash with beautiful bases, felts, feathers and jewels. Every colour under the rainbow was available to excite the creative flare of our members. As we set about choosing the component parts that would be magically transformed into a millinery masterpiece, we were told our only limitation was our own imagination! St Andrew’s was suddenly a hive of energy… and feathers! I was inspired by the wonderful creations being put together by our members. I never fail to be impressed by the skills present in our group. So many different ideas, in such vibrant colours, were being assembled and soon several ladies were already modelling their wares. In under an hour a simple base, feathers and jewels had been worked into a creation worthy of a day out at Ascot.

Laura displays her fascinator

Having toured the room for inspiration I set to my own creation. I had a wedding that weekend and had carefully matched my colours to the dress I would be wearing. Now, I like to think I’m quite crafty and can turn my hands to most things, but it turns out that when given feathers and glue I quickly become a sticky mess! I was quick to realise I was no budding milliner, but that didn’t matter because I, like the other members, was having a super time and hadn’t stopped laughing all night. Such frivolity did nothing to improve my work and consequently I’d like to thank Siobhan and the ladies at my table for rescuing me from becoming elbow deep in glue, feathers and sequins! But all was not lost; even I it seems can (with help) create a stunning looking fascinator. Amanda helped to secure the clip and voilà – a fascinator was born!

I proudly presented my fascinator to my family that night along with one of the new funky SHWI tote bags! That’s right we are once again selling gorgeous Seven Hills WI totes, this year it’s a black bag which features our centenary teacup and flower design. Bags cost £5 with all profits going to our supported charity, Sheffield Light. But don’t worry if you haven’t got yours yet there’s still time – we’ll be selling them at future meetings, the Bakewell L’eroica festival (17-19 June) and SunFest Beer Festival (7-10 July). So come along to one of these events, buy a stunning tote bag and eat some tasty treats homemade by our talented members. You never know we might be wearing our fascinators too! 

Members with the ladies from The Hat Stand

Bex Lissaman

Committee member


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