Saturday, 2 October 2010

Raising Our Hats To The Autumn!

Well it's time to well and truly wave good by to the Summer and raise our hats to the Autumn, with a crispness to the air and browning leaves starting to fall!

It's been a busy Summer here at Sara Gadd Millinery, so busy in fact that this is the first blog for 8 months!

My Summer ended with a much anticipated trip to Cyprus for a friend's wedding, a lovely time was had by all and the bride looked stunning!  Congratulations Stuart & Katie Holden!  The Bride and Bridesmaids wore Sara Gadd Millinery.
Returning home to rain and a cold chill hasn't been quite so dull though.  It's been a busy week with a photo shoot at Crosby Lodge, a beautiful setting, stunning models, cheeky hats, wonderful photographer and champagne.  Wonderful stat to the week!  Check out the venue at and view a preview of the images at

It was then time again to sew, preparing for a Charity fashion show on Thursday, organised by Susan Dowes of Genevieve.  The event took place at The Shepherd's Inn in Carlisle, with funds going to The Eden Valley Hospice.
Guests were welcomed by Dance Ahead's, 'Alice and Hatter'
Living Statues before being entertained over lunch, with beauty demonstrations from Boyd Hair & Beauty, Carlisle, fall 2010 fashions from Genevieve and Country Dreams Bridal Wear, flower demonstrations from Bloomsberry, Carlisle, singing from Sophie, Sara Gadd Millinery demonstrations, magic from James, a member of the Magic Circle and Elvis!
It was a jam packed lunch date for a worthy cause!

With lots of projects on the horizon in collaboration with Dance Ahead it looks as though the rast of the year's going to continue being busy! 

Keep posted for Hattie Happenings!!!

Thursday, 18 February 2010

Bridal Bells - Planning The Big Day!
Hats, fascinaors, headdresses and bridal creations on show at The Shepherd's Inn this Sunday!

Spring will soon be on the horizon...snow drops are peeping through the ground, raising their heads to crisp cold days and a touch of warming sun. 
The wedding season is almost in full swing...brides to be it's time to start planning!

If you are looking for a headdress to compliment your dress and the overall theme of your wedding we can create a design that is perfect for you! The Sara Gadd Millinery bridal collection offers an alternative to the traditional tiara. It features hand made silk flowers, feathers, ribbons, lace and pearls, beautifully style with a contemporary vintage theme.

Sara Gadd Millinery will be showing examples from the collection at The Shepherd Inn's in Carlisle this coming Sunday 21st February, for their first ever wedding fair! There'll be an array of exhibitors helping you to create ideas for the big day.

The Shepherds Inn & The Auctioneer Rosehill Estate, Carlisle, Cumbria, CA1 2RR  Tel: 01228 539766
Doors open at 12 noon.

We will also have examples for the mother of the bride and groom, for guests and bridesmaids.  So the whole wedding party can find the perfect finishing touch to their outfit.
Designs can be tailor made to match your outfit.

Come and find us this Sunday...we look forward to meeting you there!

Saturday, 6 February 2010

'NETS' - An International Textile Exhibition Spanning Countries and Continents

International textile exhibition in conjunction with the University of Cumbria, the Australian National University, Canberra and the Novia University of Applied Sciences, Turku, Finland.

The ‘NETS’ theme of the exhibition is entirely open to artist/maker interpretation and diversity is encouraged.

The launch of the UK strand of the exhibition will launch September/October 2010 and will take place at the Alexandra Gallery, University of Cumbria (Lancaster Campus); it then tours to the Knitting and Stitching Show in Harrogate in November 2010 (subject to final confirmation.) 

Alexandra Gallery Floor Plan
On Friday 6th February Angie Wyman held the first discussion meeting, at the University of Cumbria, Carlisle.

Key Discussion Points:
• Ideas for content – Traditional heritage and skills of Cumbria
• To produce an exhibition brochure in the form of a callendar
• Encourage everyone involved to sign up to NETWURKS at
• AW: skills match – to help with the exhibition organisation
• JW: Fundraising for the exhibition
• GH: Written research textile tradition
• SG: Square plinths for exhibition, photographer, local press & Border TV feature
• Kati: Virtual gallery (Finland)
• Cluster groups due to geographical location
• Start an online blog
• Log processes throughout – ideas, production and making through to finished items

Please feel free to log your own your thought and ideas to this blog and to your own blogs. 
We hope to gain a Network of communication and to log the thought processes of the exhibition. 
It is also vital to link blogs, so join up by clicking follow and please come back soon!

Next meeting Friday 19th February, follow up Friday 12th March.

Friday, 5 February 2010

Thinking Ahead ... warmer, sunnier occasions when one might need a hat or some kind of heargear!

I'm currently working on the new bridal collection from Sara Gadd Millinery, which features hand made silk flowers, pearls, lace and feathers. 

Dreaming up new ideas I usually look to both contemporary and historical headwear, flicking through magazines and online images for inspiration, this helps to get ideas flowing. I rummage through boxes of feathers, fabrics beads; generally make a mess, and the ideas start to come!

This Summer I have several dates for new workshop 'Hat Tricks' - If you have old hats gathering dust at home this could be just the thing for you!
Come and join us on this exciting new workshop. Bring along one or more used, special occasion hat with you & learn how to transform it into a Fabulous new Fascinator or headdress!

Date: Saturday, 22 May 2010, Place: Tullie House Museum, Carlisle, Cumbria, Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Please contact Tullie House Museum for further information and booking details.

Date: Sunday, 11 July 2010, Place: The Brewery Arts Centre, Kenday, Cumbria, Time: 10:00 - 16:00
Please contact The Brewery Arts Centre for further information and booking details.

This workshop along with our 'Hattie Hen Parties' and Fascinator Fun workshops, also runs on various dates throughout spring/summer at the Sara Gadd Millinery stucio in Corby Hill.  Maximum of 6 people.
Please email for details and check out the link below.

Thank you to Rob Summers Photography for these wonderful images.  Please click on the link below and visit his blog to see more images from our photoshoot back in December 2009.

Wednesday, 20 January 2010

Vintage Hats & Fashion 1979 into 1980

The year is 1979, December 1979, the location Chicago USA.

Putting myself in Mum's shoes this time 30 years ago, she was living high up in Lake Point Tower, Chicago, a new Mum; I had just been born on 25th December 1979.

Why am I doing this?

Back in 2010, (slightly less glamorously), I have been attempting to clear out the chaos that is the junk cupboard!
I've stumbled across some vintage magazines, L'Officiel USA The Magazine of International Fashion, issues October 1979, Holiday Issue 1979 and February 1980.
Ok some may think???!  But for others, myself included, it offers a fascinating glimpse into the world of fashion 30 years ago!
Here are some of the vintage fashion images from the magazines.

The 'Fresh and sporty Looks from the New York Collections' look positively ancient!

...While other images could almost be from today.

Just look at the shoulders on this jacket !
Hats were still quite a feature in various different styles, mainly small cocktail styles, very elegant and chic.
The influences in todays fashion are clear to see.

Hope you've enjoyed the escapism!

(The cupboard clear out will have to wait for another day!)

Wonder what we'll be wearing in another 30 years time?

Monday, 18 January 2010

New Year, New Hats, New Hen Parties - New you!

At Sara Gadd Millinery I am currently sewing away making new hats, headdresses and fascinators for Spring/Summer 2010. With beautiful hand made silk flowers, frivolous feathers and luxurious silks there's something for everyone!

January...a fresh start, a new out look...time to focus on all the things you've been putting off...time to try new things.
I find being a milliner a rewarding job, getting to meet all kind of new people each week, helping them the find the perfect headwear for their special day.

I often hear people have been searching all over for something special to finish off their outfit. People are looking for an individual unique creation, something a little more chic than the traditional Mother-of-the bride look or high street design.

If that's you then you've found the right place! I can create an original design to compliment your overall look. We welcome you into the studio in Corby Hill where there are hats and fascinators to try during a relaxed, private consultation. Here we discuss your ideas and find a style you are happy with. Alternatively if you are further away, designs can be ordered through the website and arranged over the phone and via email. Visit

We also offer ‘Hattie Hen Parties’ for a hen party with a difference from our studio in Corby Hill, Carlisle, Cumbria.  They are suitable for groups of six in the room pictured below.  You can choose colours and styles before hand so you can match your outfits for the big day or the party before.  Why not try something new and alternative?!

We hope to see you soon!