Claire is an experienced speaker, who has regularly presented to WI and Embroiderers Guild groups since 2010.

Three "set" talks are offered, but if your group is interested in an aspect of millinery not covered, please ask.

"Millinery in Miniature"

A fascinating look at changing millinery fashions from the 1850s onwards.

Claire shares with you her collection of period antique and vintage hats, along with reproduction pieces she has made, period trimmings and tools.

This talk is ideal for ladies groups, with members of the audience modelling various hat styles as we go! Lots to look at and handle, and pictures showing hats as they would have been worn with the whole outfit.

In light of Covid, an accompanying slide show is available for groups in place of handling items, should the group prefer.

"Marvellous Millinery"

Ever wondered how a hat is made? Claire demonstrates the traditional method of hat-blocking, with lots of felts, straws and other materials to look at and handle in this fascinating talk.

You'll be taken "Blue Peter" style through the process of blocking, covering, trimming, finishing and fitting a hat. With examples of hats at every stage.


Talk/demo last approx. 1 hour

Charged at £75 + travel @ 45p per mile (2021 rate)

A slideshow is available for larger groups or in place of handling materials

A "zoom" version of each talk is available, please ask for details

Bespoke talks/demos are also available for venues i.e. to accompany exhibitions, previous locations include:

York Theatre Royal, community play "Everything is Possible", Edwardian hats, talk 2017

Georgian Theatre Royal, Richmond, talk 2016

Lincs Inspire, Hats & Bonnets - Victorian Fashions, talk 2016

Lincs Inspire, 150 years of Alice in Wonderland celebrations, talk 2015

Festival of Vintage, York Racecourse, talk 2011

York Castle Museum "Heads Up!" demo 2010.

Leeds City Museum, craft day, demo 2010


"Can I thank you for a really interesting evening on Tuesday, a mix of so much information presented in such an enthusiastic way. The ladies of Ripley, Nidd and Brearton had a really enjoyable evening. Lucy"

"Thank you so much for Saturday, everyone loved it and itching to make hats! Helen"