About me

I have always loved making things.  One gran taught me how to knit, and the other to sew, and my grandad taught her how to make paper flowers.

However, I studied Russian at University and then became an IT auditor as a career.   The creativity didn’t stop, and I made my own wedding cake, decorated with hand moulded sugar flowers.

It was attending a ‘hat making taster day’ at the Victoria and Albert Museum in 2009 that I finally found my craft.  My job meant that I would be frequently living out of a suitcase, and so from  that point on, I packed a ‘hat making kit’ along with my business attire.

I made felt hats on Eurostar, silk flowers in Zagreb, and folded ribbon rosettes on a plane, sitting next to the voice of Spongebob Squarepants.  I also managed to acquire fabrics, trims and magazines from around the globe

Holidays were spent taking hat making courses. Over the years I have studied with many milliners including Justine Bradley-Hill, Louise MacDonald, Bridget Bailey, Ian Bennett, Vesna Pecic and Lina Stein.

Mill House Millinery Susan Widla

“… Thank you so much for my beautiful hat. I felt like I was wearing a piece of sculpture rather than a hat, and absolutely loved it. ”


Mill House Millinery Susan Widlake

The start of Mill House Millinery

At the end of 2018 I hung up my corporate hat, came back to the UK, and turned my passion into a business.

I now make hats at my home studio, a windmill, just outside Saffron Walden on the Cambridgeshire/Essex border. Hence the name Mill House Millinery

My hats are named after places and locations that have captured my imagination.  I also like to combine maths and geometry, and many of my designs contain an element of origami.

I also love to support local business, and endeavour to incorporate local silk, woven in Sudbury in Suffolk in my designs. The millinery wire comes from Essex, too.  A case of inspired globally, created locally.

“… What is not love about the wonderful Susan and Mill House Millinery. I have only previously purchased a beautiful headband and when occasion arises I will be seeking further headwear. I have recently purchased a number of stunning masks for myself, friends and my military serving husband who needed a larger mask. If you have to wear a mask wear one with true style. This is what these masks are for us. Beautifully made, quality material, excellent price and brilliant service. I cannot recommend Susan & Mill House products enough. Thank you xxx…”


“… Susan made me a beautiful bespoke headband which I absolutely adore! Great service, giving me updates throughout the process and shipping took less than 24hrs when it was dispatched! I highly recommend….”


Not sure where to start?

My Ready to Wear hats and Fascinators are ready to ship, but if you are looking for something different or not sure where to start with hats, then contact me and book a consultation. I want to find you a hat or fascinator that you love wearing.