Read the Rave Reviews!

Like all excellent instruction manuals, From the Neck Up balances clean instructional writing with passages describing the writer’s attitude toward her work. It is this injection of the author’s personality and experience that, like the presence of a good teacher in a classroom, illuminates the task at hand.
Theatre Journal
Review by Rosemary Ingham

Hats off to Denise Dreher who felt so acutely the need to remedy the shortage of written material on millinery that she not only wrote an excellent book on the subject, she formed her own company to publish and distribute it as well. The book has become more successful than anyone could have imagined, including Dreher herself.  From The Neck Up is a comprehensive and honest guide to a sometimes involved process, and it’s an invaluable resource for the amateur and professional costumer who previously had no collection of period headdress patterns from which to work.
Handmade Magazine

Quite a surprising release from a very small press.
American Library Association

Your book is magnificent! It’s beautiful, clear, easy to read, fun to look at and useful. The patterns, photographs and illustrations make everything so clear. I love the Victorian illustrations and the sense of humor throughout.
Katie Strand Evans, Costume Designer
Eastern Michigan University

I found the book to be quite fascinating and am sure it will find a place in the libraries of many stitchers and on the working shelf for those interested in every aspect of costume and clothing design.
The Flying Needle

Somewhat of a swan song for a fading craft and fashion, From The Neck Up is all about hats: designing, making and wearing them. The book celebrates the subject with such unsolemn expertise that headgear becomes hard to resist.
Theatre Crafts Magazine

How exciting to find a milliner willing to share her experiences and knowledge.
Jacqueline Cintura
Salt Lake City, Utah

Ms. Dreher states that her reason for writing the book is to take the mystery out of millinery and make this information available to everyone. I can only say that she is well on her way to accomplishing her mission.
Keeping You In Stitches
Sally Cowan, Columnist

I have found your book a very rich source of information. Now at last students have a resource to begin from. For a long time millinery in the theatre has been learned either through trial and error or passed down as some kind of arcane practice from master to apprentice. From The Neck Up is a rare find not only because there are so few works on the subject but because it covers the topic so thoroughly as well.
Thom Coates, Costume Designer
Alliance Theatre Company

This book resurrects the almost lost craft of handmade millinery through very readable text, photographs and clear illustrations. Although the emphasis is on historical hatmaking for theatrical use, an absolute novice could easily adapt the instructions to street wear.
The Textile Booklist

We are fascinated with a new book called From The Neck Up. The book is extremely valuable for costume departments in colleges and universities as well as theatrical costume designers, historians and anyone interested in making their own hats.
The Fashion/Sewing Newsletter
New York City, NY

We love your book! We are so grateful to you for writing it and so glad that it is beautifully designed as well as packed with information.
Bobby Ann Loper, Costume Designer
University of Wisconsin

Line Decoration

Customer Reviews from

Five Stars – Excellent
This book is a great tool for designing and constructing one of a kind or reproducing historical hats in buckram or felt.  I teach hat design and use this as our text.
Martha Hope, February 24, 2013

Five Stars – Millinery Excellence
The Bible for all Milliners. Probably the most informative Millinery guide in print. Wish it was in Hardback as it really deserves it!
Victoria Henderson, February 1, 2013

Five Stars – A Great Guide
This is a great book with lots of detail. There are plenty of illustrations to help along the way. If you are looking for a book that has all the aspects of hat making, this is the book. If you make costumes for theatrical performances, this is by far the best source.
C. Scherer, January 25, 2013

Five Stars – Elegant Hats From Past
I really loved this old book. There are so many projects that i want to create. Language of the book is comprehensible. I can’t wait to make elegant and beautiful hats like the hats of Scarlet O’Hara.
Cagil1986, January 18, 2013

Five Stars – From the Neck Up
Excellent book with lots of answers to my questions. And while I like the idea of patterns in the back, I do not do costuming so they are not very useful. However, the rest of the book is fantastic!
LeAnn lively, December 6, 2012

Five Stars – Great for the Beginner
Great detail on hat making techniques as well as loads of vintage patterns. … though be warned some of the patterns are a bit odd… bicorner, tricorner and pilgrim hats… most what I would call peasant hats… perfect if your kid is doing a reenactment for thanksgiving or something but not many very practical for every day wear.
J.P.Jones, October 7, 2012

Four Stars – From the Neck Up
This is a WONDERFUL book. Its for beginners and I refer to it as the “Milliners Bible.” Advanced milliners, this will be a review however, I highly recommend it for those who want to learn millinery. You will learn how to make your own forms, I especially like the section on how to block buckram. It has a wonderful section on how to make your own hat blocks. I’d suggest you take each page and read it step by step and don’t go to the next section until you have mastered and made the project. If you don’t grasp the basics, you may think the next part is difficult.

The author talks about getting an old tea kettle for steaming purposes, I did that but later I ended up purchasing a professional steamer and it is a lot better. Millinery is very rewarding because you get to express your own style. Learn all you can and take a millinery class at your local Jr. College if they offer it or look on line for millinery classes. The reason I didn’t give it 5 stars, there is no chapter on how to use a straw braid millinery machine or how to make satin ribbon hats and the reference material for hat supplies is outdated, that is to be expected, I purchased my book in the early 90’s before there was the World Wide Web.
Fancy Rose, September 25, 2012

Four Stars – Extremely Thorough
This is an extremely thorough handbook for making hats. My only complaint was that I didn’t particularly like the patterns that came in the hat.  This book shows you how to make a hat from the ground up. Helps you choose material. It also shows you how to cover a buckram frame if you should have made a frame or pre-purchased a frame…  Making your own hats is rewarding and fun. I sew fairly regularly but I think the instructions were pretty newbie friendly. If you really don’t understand a term or technique you could always Google for further clarification. I felt that the stitches and techniques was among the most helpful chapters, as well as the chapter on covering a foundation.
Delaney, June 10, 2011

Five Stars – Great Book!
Great book! Has everything you need to make a hat!!! It is essential for all hatmakers either beginers or professional!
Niamh, May 15, 2011

Five Stars – This is the Textbook for my Students
I am a professional milliner and teach millinery classes. This is the textbook I recommend to my students; although I disagree with Ms Dreher on some fine points, (I believe this is due to the fact that Ms Dreher comes from theatrical millinery vs. fashion millinery), I still think this is the best modern book on the market.
Mad Hatter, May 4, 2011