Aspiring Sheffield milliner has an eye for old-fashioned quality and style

Katy Mitchell, hat designer, shares the secrets of her shopping basket
Katy Mitchell, hat designer, shares the secrets of her shopping basket
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What has you reaching for your purse? We want to know! Woodhouse milliner Katy Mitchell is a self-confessed “hoarder and rummager”...

A passion for quality fires nimble-fingered Katy, a pattern-cutter for local designer Kelly Clark, but an eye for value is never far behind.

“My dad and grandad were Sheffield steelworkers. My family made do and mended and loved making and baking,” she says. “I buy my food in local stores and farm shops and hunt for clothes in vintage and charity shops. “But I dream of Liberty’s of London and wish it was still the 1940s. The period inspires my range of bespoke headwear, Headleys.

The last four things Katy bought...

Five suitcases, £15 each, Sheffield antiques quarter

I saw these lovely old suitcases and knew they would be perfect for displaying my hats in. I lined them with silk and added some elastic straps. They look great - so much nicer than modern cases. They don’t make things like they used to do.

Vintage dress, £25, Velvet moth

I found this gorgeous gold vintage dress - I think it’s from the 1950s - in Velvet Moth’s corner at Bird’s Yard on Sheffield’s Chapel Walk, which was once the Oasis fashion shop. It is beautifully made and it fits me perfectly. I wore it to a family wedding with a Headleys piece I made especially to match.

Elastic, 57p a metre, The moor markets

I get through metres and metres of this stuff. I use it for my lace turban style headbands - it goes under the wearer’s hair - and also for displaying my hats in those old suitcases. Thankfully it’s very cheap. I love shopping on The Moor markets - you can have great banter with the traders and their stock is always changing.

Belgian chocolates, £6, Anise in Broomhill

These were a payday treat. Everyone knows the Belgians make the best chocolates. Anise is a lovely shop and presents its goodies so beautifully. Bernice, the owner of the shop, is local and lovely. Anise is my favourite fail place for gifts loved ones.

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