Monday, April 2, 2012

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


  1. Austin,

    You lucky, lucky girl! I have the book, but I haven't tried anything from it. This is the inspiration. I would love to take a class from this millinery. Oh well, maybe one day. I can't wait until the next post.

  2. Lee - Estelle may visit sometime this year. If she does we will definitely set up a master class with her. She's such a sweet person and very talented. And she works with materials I have never seen before. The scull cap was built with something that look like burlap but must act like buckram. Have you ever seen anything like that?


  3. Sounds Fantastic! I have booked a 2 day workshop with her in a weeks time very excited! Did you get to keep the headband?