Forme Millinery

Millinery Process


The Millinery Process


Come watch the International Award Winning Couture Milliner, Jenny Pfanenstiel at her best, making each hat by hand using old wooden hat blocks that are displayed throughout her work space.  She takes great pride in keeping this 100+ year old tradition alive, by using old techniques in creating each hat. 


Each hat takes about 3-4 days to make from start to finish.  The Beginning: “Blocking”.  The process of molding the millinery material over hat blocks by wetting and steaming it to create the shape of the specific block.  Once all of the pleats and bumps are removed, it is nailed and roped down.  Then the drying process begins.  Once dry, Jenny removes the material from the crown and brim blocks, cuts away excess material, and then begins to hand sew the crown and brim together.  A sweat band and wire are added for additional comfort and stability.  Embellishing: Jenny hand makes all of her embellishments, whether it is a feather flower or sculpted horsehair creation.  This allows for her imagination to soar with no boundaries. 


Jenny is an old soul.  She searches all over the world for vintage millinery materials and embellishments to also incorporate into her hats when she can.  Bakelite is a favorite medium and loves finding old hat pins and buttons to use. 


Each person should enjoy the experience of having a custom hat made just for them.  Jenny creates many custom hats for her women and gentlemen clients for all occasions and seasons.  You start by having your head measured so the hat fits comfortably.  Then you pick out the color wool or straw that you want.  We look and try on many shapes and sizes to find the best shape to fit your physique.  In the end, you have a completed hat that fits you perfectly in a custom shape and style.


Jenny truly enjoys the art of Millinery and hopes that each person enjoys their hat and much as she did making it.  Each hat is created with special attention and love.