I started following Bink, aka Pearls and Swine, on instagram about half a year ago. A couple weeks later she announced on instagram that she was running a workshop at the V&A in connection with the opening of the new Europe 1600-1815 Gallery. Marie Antoinette would be the inspiration for the flamboyant headgear, hence the name of the workshop, "Let Them Wear Hats".
I booked this well before Christmas and have been looking forward to meeting Bink and making my own hat for so so long. The workshop sold out in seconds, and I wasn't quick enough to book, but thankfully the V&A realised it was a popular event and added an extra day. When the day of the workshop finally came, I could hardly believe it was happening. You know when you look forward to something for so long, but part of you thinks it's too good to be true, so won't actually happen? Well, that's how I felt at least, BUT IT HAPPENED!
Glitter, flowers, pastries, butterflies and general awesomeness.
Bink is a babe, by the way. She ran around all day helping us out and letting us share in her years of experience. My hat wouldn't have turned out half as well if she hadn't shown me that more is more. A mini forest of berries on my head was just what it needed, rather than the modest two blackberries I had to start with.
She started the day opening up dialogue, getting everyone to introduce themselves, which made for a super friendly and chilled atmosphere. We all quickly realised we had a love of eccentricity, crafting, beauty, unicorns and glitter in common.
The age range was wonderful. Probably about 50-60 years between us, with me as the youngest at 23. But age just wasn't important, only enthusiasm.
Now, to the actual crafting.
We all started with the same base: a teardrop shaped sinamay base and a glittery ship. Yes, a ship. Gold, silver, black or pink.
You're getting pretty jealous now, aren't you?
And Bink brought a carload of colourful prettiness form her own workshop for us to help ourselves from
The theme was Marie Antoinette, so of course there had to be cakes: "Qu'ils mangent de la brioche" (Historians say she never actually said this, but we know for sure that she was decadent AF, so that's the vibe we were channeling.)
Lucky for you, I decided to document each stage of my hat's development (as well as sending what I'm sure were some very enviable snapchats, sorry-not-sorry).
First came our glittery canvases..
Next step was to stitch leaves all around the edge so that you won't be able to see the base at the end
Everyone was so focused at the beginning that you could have heard a pin drop. (I was also slightly star-stuck at meeting Bink, not gonna lie...)
Hat starting to take shape quite nicely (also very pleased that I could keep up on the sewing front!!)
The back of my hat was looking a bit naked, so I turned to Bink for help. She came up with the brilliant and relatively simple idea of a long strand of orchids.
Makes a huge different, doesn't it. And gives those sitting behind me at the next wedding something to look at too.
And they trail round to the front so everyone can see them
Like I said, I had one set of berries, then came Bink to show me that I needed a mini forest. And a feathered friend.
It's pretty amazing isn't it?
I'm so in love