Sheffield-based bespoke millinery for all occasions

London Hat Week

X Terrace Exhibition 2020 at London Hat Week

X Terrace London Hat Week Exhibition 2020
X Terrace London Hat Week Exhibition 2020

The X Terrace Exhibition is the jewel in the crown of London Hat Week and this year, I am incredibly honoured to have one of my designs featured!

My “Nautilus” hat has been selected as one of the 200 designs to be be shown during this week long festival of all things millinery. 

With milliners from all over the world submitting their designs, I am simply over the moon that my hat has been chosen for this accolade.

London Hat Week takes place between 16th and 22nd April 2020 at a variety of locations across the capital. The week kicks off with a Launch Party (naturally!) and the schedule includes exclusive tours, workshops, talks, and social events bringing milliners together from all over the world.

The X Terrace Exhibition: To the Future and Back will run between 16th and 24th April and tickets for admission can be bought here.

Menier Gallery, 51-53 Southwark Street, Bankside, London, SE1 1RU

11am-6pm  (Closed Sunday 19th April)


Frequent readers of my blog will know that 2019 was most definitely the year of the Nautilus for me. 

From learning how to create these extraordinary shells, to researching their history (I haven’t finished that yet!) and creating this hat, it’s certainly been a “journey”.

However, it feels wonderfully apt that this part of the story, that started at London Hat Week 2018, should finish right back where it started.

Click here to read the full blog series to date.

Image: Mark Howe

Beaded Nautilus Hat by Imogen's Imagination

In addition to the exhibition, X Terrace are also hosting a pop up shop where participating milliners can sell their designs. Many of the exhibition hats are for sale, however this shop will showcase the further talents and expertise of the exhibition milliners, at dare I say it, non-exhibition prices!

Sadly, my exhibition hat isn’t for sale. I simply couldn’t put a price on it! I suspect you may spot a familiar theme for my choice of hat for the pop up shop though. 

I shall be in London for part of the festivities and I can’t wait. So far on my itinerary are two launch parties, two talks, a possible trip to Luton, some serious supplies shopping and potentially even a catch up with some family. It’s going to be a VERY busy five days for me! 

If you are visiting London at this time, I hope you will make time to visit the exhibition which promises to be a hat lovers delight. It goes without saying that I will be making a very special visit to see my hat on display too!

London Hat Week: Nautilus Workshop

Plum Felt Button Hat with Nautilus

Back in March last year, I attended a workshop at London Hat Week to learn how to make Nautilus trimmings. It was run by the brilliant Leanne Fredrick of Hattin Around and I was very excited to be attending.

Many moons ago, when I first started using Pinterest, I kept seeing the most amazing ribbon trims created using a pleating method. 

Very quickly I learnt that these amazing ribbon shell-shaped motifs had the very apt name of “Nautilus” after the sea creature they resemble.

Nautilus- Leanne Fredrick Hattin Around
Nautilus- Leanne Fredrick Hattin Around

Some of the images I have collected over the years show these vintage style trims used simply as decoration. However, I’ve also seen multiple nautili (Google says this is the plural!) in different shapes and sizes used to create 50’s style half hats.

For years, I’d seen these trims on Pinterest, but despite my best efforts, I simply couldn’t hunt down a “how to” guide. When I saw Leanne’s workshop being advertised, I knew I just simply had to be there!

(If you are a Pinterest hoarder too, and want to see just how bad my Pinterest habit is, check out my Ribbonwork board here!)

The workshop was immense fun and creating my first Nautilus brought with it a huge sense of achievement. It was far from being as accomplished as those created by Leanne for her workshop samples, let alone the glorious half hat she made using the technique. However, practice makes perfect.

Nautilus Workshop - Sample Progress

As soon as I got back to the studio, I settled down to try again. Needless to say, I was very eager to trial using my newly learnt skill on a hat. 

My sample from the workshop may be a little rough and ready, however the mismatched thread was a conscious decision. I knew I would need a reminder of where my stitches were supposed to be!

Naturally, on the finished nautilus my aim was make my stitches as invisible as possible.

This plum felt mini button hat was designed with the specific goal of mixing a variety of textures.

Felt is a wonderfully versatile material and this deep plum purple shade is perfect for autumn.

It features a veiling overlay, felt loops for a little height and the star of the show, a nautilus!

I confess, I still have yet to get a full set of images of this design, but as soon as I do, it will be available in my online shop!

Plum Felt Button Hat with Nautilus

Fast forward again to June 2019…when I finally got chance to revisit my practice again! It’s fair to say this learning process has been a slow burner, however, it truly has been worth the wait.

During the course of a week I experimented using different widths of ribbon, playing with the size of the pleats, altering the length of the ribbon all in the quest for the perfect nautilus. 

There were certainly a few Goldilocks moments during this process!

Nautilus Workshop - Further Sampling

However, this isn’t the end of my Nautilus journey, in fact it’s just the beginning!

In August I visited Stockport-based milliner Bronwen Simpson and we had a wonderful chat about this technique and what little we knew about its history and usage.

I should mention that Bronwen isn’t just an award-winning milliner, she also happens to be Museums Officer at Hat Works, the Museum of Hatting. Yes, she does have a pair of dream jobs!

Bronwen very kindly invited me to visit the museum for some behind the scenes access to their collection as well as the museum’s reference library. Knowing there are hats in the collection that use this technique, how could I possible refuse?

As for where this adventure of discovery went next, I’ll save that for my second blog!

End Note:

I don’t know if Leanne is running her Nautilus workshop at London Hat Week 2020 (16-22 April), but check out their website for further updates of the full workshop programme when it is published. Maybe I’ll see you there!

UPDATE: You can now find the fruits of my labours in store! Check out my new designs featuring the Nautilus technique here.

Imogen’s Imagination at London Hat Week

London Hat Week Logo

London Hat Week LogoIf you are a fan on the FB page or you follow me on Twitter, you may not have escaped the news that last week that I was invited to show at London Hat Week between 6th and 9th March.

I was so very honoured to be approached by Atelier Millinery, hosts of the Etsy Showcase which featured members of the Milliners of Etsy team.  This team is an online community of milliners from all over the world, a little place where we can swop information, show off our latest designs and get involved in amazing project like this!

Unfortunately, I wasnt able to get to the showcase myself but the wonderful Tina Giuntini at Atelier Millinery took these photos of my pieces, which were chosen to grace the shop window.


Even more excitingly, my hats were featured in HATalk magazine in their write-up of the events that took place during the festival.


HATalk Magazine feature - March 2014