Matching to a necklace

I was given a fabulous little commission recently to design and make a fascinator to match to a necklace. I love the idea here – the colours and interest are in matching accessories which can then be reused for lots of different dresses.

I was given a duplicate of the necklace in order to bring the two pieces together which was a lovely touch and brought some new design challenges.

We tried on every hat and fascinator I have (that took a while) in order to get the size, shape and feel of the piece and decided on a blocked sinamay fascinator base with the shape fashioned from two layers of crin. I incorporated the blue, pink and grey from the necklace and followed the outline of the sinamay base with beads from the necklace.

I love the shape of this piece and how lightly yet firmly it sits on the head.

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A little alteration

I’ve done a fabulous little piece of work for a client in the last few weeks. She came to me with two simple shop-bought fascinators that both matched her outfit for her daughter’s wedding. Both were single colour and she fancied a combination of the two.

Having made up the one she wanted I must say she has impeccable taste as the improvement is fantastic and really perks them up. I was so pleased I made up a second out of the leftovers to match it!

Here’s some photos, I hope she likes it

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Hen-Do season has started early

I did my first fascinator making hen do of the year yesterday in a beautiful cottage in Hove right on the sea front on one of the most beautiful early-spring days I’ve ever seen. The hen and her friends were all wonderful and made some truly fantastic headpieces. It will never cease to amaze me just how much creativity people have in them.

The location was perfect – I was able to set up on a long table, do a quick demonstration and get everyone started all together.

Before and after shots of our workspace:

Some of the hens working on their masterpieces:

And here are a few of the amazing creations they made in just one short morning:

And finally the whole beautiful group modelling their wares.

Thank you all for such a wonderful day, such a warm welcome into your weekend and all the cups of tea. I look forwards to hearing all about the wedding and wish the bride and her husband to be all the best for a happy future together.

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Minnie

This is Minnie. She reminds me of a grown up Minnie Mouse. I’d love to wear her with a red and white polka dot skirt.

Minnie is a bow formed on a millinery buckram base and covered in sequins. She’s covered in deep black velvet on the other side to give extra depth.

The bow is reflected in a shaped headband, which is sculpted to the head and velvet covered for comfort and grip.

This method of holding hats on is unbelievably comfortable and secure. A comb is added for those windy days.


The bow sits cheekily off-centre and is a guaranteed conversation starter. When I show pictures of this hat, it makes everyone think of something and brings a smile to everyone’s face.


This hat would be perfect for the races or a really special party. The black would look equally fantastic with a sexy black dress or a bright coloured one. I’d love to see what you would partner it with.

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Royal Wedding Inspiration

I designed this fascinator whilst watching the Royal Wedding on the 29th April. So many hats I couldn’t just sit still, I had to make something.

I wanted to create something stylish and elegant, bringing in feathers (as a classic wedding fascinator should have) yet making more of a statement with them. The feathers are created from millinery wool felt in a luscious royal purple, shaped with millinery wire. The base is a teardrop in the same felt and the whole thing is mounted on a hair clip.

I can make this in any colour or colour combination you want and it would work equally well attached to a comb or hair band – please contact me if you would like this.

For me, this will always remain a little reminder of that magical wedding day, I hope I can share that with you.

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Mallory

I’d like to introduce you to Mallory.

Mallory is a mini beret in the most fantastic blue-teal I’ve ever seen.

She is hand blocked on a one of a kind block designed alongside the lovely guys at Boon and Lane in Luton.

She is decorated with hand-pleated petersham ribbon, held in place with tiny, almost invisible hand-stitches.

She can be held on the head with hat elastic or can be mounted on a hair band, whatever suits your wearing style.

Mallory can be made up in another colour of your choice, just contact me on alison@alisonclaire.co.uk.

Mallory is named for my cousin’s fiancee. Welcome to the family.

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Fascinator making party


Getting started with sinamay bases

This weekend I held my first fascinator party at a hen do. It was fantastic fun, both for me and for the hens.

Starting to work with the crin

I wanted to do something fairly quick but also following current trends. I wanted to do something to capture shape and form and not just to stick a ball of feathers onto a hair clip. I wanted to enable the hens to make something they were proud of and not something they could just pick up in any high street shop.

Producing fantastic shapes

I settled on a combination of crin and sinamay with biot and coq feathers. I picked out two colour combinations which could be mixed and matched.

Inspired by the races

Crin is fantastic fun to work with. It’s easy to sculpt into some really striking shapes yet always keeps to gentle curves which flatter the face and give a feminine touch. On seeing my demonstration, all the hens chose to make the base of their fascinator this way.

Sinamay swirls set off the crin structures

We used the sinamay and feathers to emphasise the shapes we’d made.

Beautiful crin shapes

I was amazed at the variety of creations, with some uses of crin I’d never even dreamed of. I loved watching the characters of the hens reflected in their designs. There was big and bold, colourful and discrete, flowing shapes and controlled, tailored designs. But most of all there were fifteen smiles around the table.

The first fascinator is finished

The class was held in a beautiful cottage in Derbyshire. And without further ado here’s some photos of what they produced. The hens are all planning to show off their masterpieces at the wedding in a few weeks so watch out for an update then.

Amazing structures and shapes

If you are interested in holding a fascinator making party, please contact me on alison@alisonclaire.co.uk

And finally the beautiful hen

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Welcome to the Alison Claire news feed

Good evening and welcome to my brand new news page. I’m going to use this blog to update you on all the fantastic hats I’m making or designing so check back regularly for new stuff. Use the tags to search for what you want.

With Love,

Alison

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