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  • Trip to Paris ~ Hat Class with Estelle Ramousse

    The highlight of my recent trip to Paris was getting an entire day of study with Estelle Ramousse. Some of you may know her from her book, "Studio Secrets: Millinery," which is how I heard of her. On a whim, I sent her an email asking if she taught any private lessons and surprisingly she promptly wrote back "yes!"

    by Estelle Ramousse
    We planned to meet on my first full day in Paris at her shop. I jumped out of bed early and rushed to the Metro where my first challenge was figuring out how to reach her neighborhood. I felt so cosmopolitan rushing down the stairs, struggling to buy a ticket and jumping on the train while trying to appear more Parisian than American. I probably failed miserably.

    The train traveled from Montmarte to the Belleville neighborhood where Estelle's shop is located. As I rode I got a view of Parisian's offices and neighborhoods out of the way from the tourists view. When I exited the train I walked up to the street where I could see Estelle waiting for me across the street. She is, in one word, adorable. Dressed head to toe in denim, she had on high heels and an amazing jean jacket she made herself with feathers, leather and paint. Estelle loves dramatic designs and has the skills to create them.

    Amazing hand stitching!

    The Finished Hat
    Estelle and I decided the lesson would be on how to create a headband similar to the one in her book. I think it was the best lesson I could have asked for because it allowed me the chance to see someone with sewing skills create a custom headpiece. We measured my head, cut the top layer, sewed and then fit the piece again. I could give you the step-by-step but it's all in her book. But let me show you some amazing pictures of Estelle at work.
    Cutting on the bias
    Fitting the material - creating a dart
    Planning the flower - adding wire so the applique will be 3-dimensional
    Adding the lining
    The finished hat - gorgeous!
    Estelle is not only incredibly talented but also was a great host! In my next post I want to tell you more about her hats and the neighborhood. In the meantime, enjoy this photo of her with my friend Jeana in front of her shop!

    Estelle Ramousse, Modiste
    00064 Rue de la Mare
    75020 Paris, France