Vanilla Beane

I had the great pleasure of viewing Benjamin Ferris’s paintings of 100 year old DC milliner, Vanilla Beane, and her hats yesterday at Gallery Neptune Brown. I am truly sorry that I missed the Opening which I hear was spectacular! The exhibit ends this Sunday so get down there quickly if you’d like to enjoy them. I was told that self taught Ms. Beane attributes her longevity to her continued work at what she loves. What more motivation do we need to have fun and make hats?

Don’t forget to sign up for the Holiday Halo Hat class at Gallery Clarendon on November 9 if you want to get in on this longevity thing.

Follow me on Instagram at #hatsbykatrinka

#VanillaBeane #BenjaminFerris #galleryneptunebrown #millinery #hats #milliner #hatmaker #halohats #galleryclarendon



What is it?

What is it about a hat that provokes a smile, a vamp, a conversation? Is it because they are rarely worn in our culture these days? Is it because one needs to be “brave” to wear one? I wonder.

We had a great deal of fun and hattitude at the Hat Chat on Saturday at Gallery Clarendon. I wanted to know which styles provoked interest and who may be inclined to take a moment of fantasy to a few hours of creative fun.

Good hats may be rare and expensive but they are so much fun to make. For me millinery is creative therapy. Want to join the fun?



My garden is blooming and so is my new Frida Halo Hat. Come on out tomorrow (May 11) to Gallery Clarendon, 2800 Clarendon Boulevard in Arlington, Virginia for a chance to try on lots of different styles, learn your head size, how to wear a hat and to sign up for a fun millinery class. The fun starts at 4:00 p.m. See you there.

Pre-Kentucky Derby Party

What fun it was yesterday to attend the Kentucky Society of Washington’s 38th Annual Pre-Kentucky Derby Party! I made new friends and got to tour The American Horticultural Society’s River Farm.

Hats were required and there were many to behold. These young ladies who shared our table decided they need MORE HATS. We can certainly arrange that!

The day started off grey and chilly but evolved into a perfect afternoon … and what a location on the road to Mount Vernon.

Thanks to my dancing pal Anders for introducing me to this fun group! Thanks also to new friend Miles for hosting us! More Derby celebrations ahead. So what are your plans?

Millinery Tea

When I taught millinery in a college fashion program years ago a student complained that there was “nowhere to wear a hat” anymore. Is this because we’ve thrown out the rules and no longer dress up? Perhaps. Should that halt us hat lovers? I think not!


We’ve taken casual to the extreme so maybe it’s time to rediscover a little glamor. In that spirit I invited friends over on Saturday for a Millinery Tea to celebrate Spring and this website update. We had so much fun visiting, trying on hats and nibbling goodies.

Moral of this tale is we should create our own occasions and just have fun with hats. What’s next? Derby Day? Easter Parade? Millinery Flash Mob? Let me know what you think.

Think Pink!

Spring is here! Isn’t it amazing how quickly nature moves from drab to delightful? It may still be chilly but it is time to put away the woolens and bring out the floral prints and spring hats.

To celebrate the season I pulled out an old pattern of mine and made a blooming version of this halo style. This pattern was inspired by a 1940s Barbara Stanwyck movie and originally I made it in a black faux seal. It was fun to re-think it in pink scattered with blossoms. Weary of wearing a crown? Flip it and you have a visor.

Watch for a class in this fun and easy little chapeau.

Do Over!

It’s time for a new look for this website and what better time than Spring? Asparagus is poking up through the soil in my garden and soon fragrant blooms will be all around us. Easter is nigh as well as cherry blossoms, the racing season and the Smithsonian Craft Show. Why not don a hat to celebrate?

This Beryl Trilby is a remake of an earlier design. Over the years of wearing this favorite made of recycled denim I decided to tweak the sizing, add more brim and play with a bit of salvage trim. I hope you like the new look and will visit often for millinery inspiration.

I will be posting a special piece for blossom season so come again soon!