Today’s Millinery – Little Blue

Here is a little hat waiting to perch a top the right woman’s head. 

The deep blue straw plait has been braided for the edge of the narrow shaped brim. It is trimmed lightly with vintage velvet and organdy flowers that remind me of wild flowers. The inside is lined and cotton sateen ties are added. 

Find this hat in my Etsy shop. 

Thisnis one of those rare times I will try to take a photo of me wearing a hat. I want people to see how it is worn. 

Published in: on July 22, 2016 at 1:35 pm  Comments (2)  

Today’s Millinery – Red Velvet and Plume

With a vintage red velvet ribbon and airy black plume, this fashionable Civil War Era hat was blocked on an antique hat block. The crown is slightly rounder than my hand carved blocks, with a flat top and tapered sides. The brim dips in the front and slightly in the back. 

Find it in my Etsy shop.

Published in: on July 21, 2016 at 12:17 pm  Comments (2)  

Today’s Millinery – A Stroll in the Vineyard 

This bonnet it all about lush from the beautiful velvet grapes to the vintage purple velvet ribbon to the green double faced satin ribbon. 

Available in my Etsy shop. 

Published in: on July 21, 2016 at 12:13 pm  Leave a Comment  

Yesterday’s Millinery 

I can’t believe I forgot to blog about this bonnet yesterday. 

This is the first 1840s bonnet off my original 1840s block!!!

This one does already have a home. 

Published in: on July 20, 2016 at 3:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Today’s Millinery 

It aught not surprise you that after Galaxy arrived, I kept looking at other blocks. A little wooden crown caught my eye. It fit the period lines oh so well. 

 Btw, this block came out of the box saying “I am Groot”

This is the first half off that block. It is 21 1/2″ around the brim, more round than my hand carved blocks. The flat top crown and smooth dipping brim are elegant with a bit of sass. 

It isn’t in my Etsy shop yet because I want to decorate this one. 

Published in: on July 20, 2016 at 3:49 pm  Comments (2)  

Thinking Out Loud

The question of the day seems to be “will I make veils?”

I don’t know. I had not intended to. I wanted to make another one for me and for display. I planned to give details on how I made mine. I thought, maybe, I would make another or so for friends if the right materials appeared. 

Here is what I am thinking.


  •  Silk net – $15 a piece or $10 if I can get a remnant again. Plus shipping. 
  • 1 1/2 yards of appropriate silk lace – approx $15-$50
  • There seems to be a cotton option. From memory the net is less, shipping more, lace may be less. 

Personal thoughts:

– By far, the most time will be spent finding the right lace. I am not well versed in lace. So, I am very cautious, maybe overly so and picky.  I need to buy a couple really good lace reference books. (The library is not an immediate option as the closing on Friday for a month and a half.) 

– I registered put nylon or polyester on a person’s face. It goes against every safety bone in my body. 

– At the same time, I do not want to use antique lace. First, it is antique. Second, it is likely fragile and not likely to hold up to wear. 

– I am not  completely happy with my stitches on the net. I do have an idea abohoe to do it better. But, I also know someone who would be far better at the fine needlework. 

I estimate, with the cost of materials, time looking for the right lace, and fine sewing time, a simple veil will need to start well over the $100 point. 

So, right now, I am going to say “No, I am not going to make veils. If I come across the right lace, maybe I will make one to offer.” 

The same will be true for hat lace. I can add a lace as I find the right piece. I can’t spend hours hunting. 

Published in: on July 20, 2016 at 2:43 pm  Leave a Comment  

Veil Light Study

What does one do on a sunny, cool morning when a hat isn’t dry? A veil light study of course. 

My uber scientific method includes a straw bonnet with a deep brim, a stand, camera and assorted original and reproduction veils. Put bonnet on stand. Drape bonnet with veil. Slide camera up underneath. Take photos. While this doesn’t give an exact reflection of what light control the wearer feels,it is a start.

The backyard without a veil. 

Original hat veil. Fiber undetermined.

Black silk gauze, made by me

White silk gauze, made by Bevin.

Original silk net with light dots. 

Silk net trimmed in lace made by me.

When I unwrapped the one antique veil, I realized I have another somewhere in the house.I don’t know where. Hopefully, I was good and put it in one of the archival boxes with the winter bonnets. When I find it, I will try to replicate the photos, but the sun will be different. 

Another in would have liked to photograph through is Bevin’s green silk gauze veil. 

Personal Observations 

So far, I think I prefer the black silk gauze. I will have to wear both the gauze and the net a few more times to be sure. The gauze seems to soften the light more. The net seems to be a shade for the light. The white gauze softens some in low sun light. But, in bright sunlight it creates glare. The silk net has notably more body than the original, which is nearly as soft as the gauze. I was much more aware of it feel wise when I first put it on, compared to the gauze. The net was less disturbed, moved by the wind when I walked. 

The photos suggest more obscuring of vision than I find to be the case when wearing them. 

Published in: on July 20, 2016 at 9:26 am  Comments (4)  

Today’s Millinery 

This was a popular, fashionable hat on display this weekend. It has a flatter crown with a curved brim. 

Find it in my Etsy shop.

Published in: on July 18, 2016 at 1:23 pm  Comments (1)  

A Weekend in the Millinery 

If I was to give this event one word, it would be “relief”.

 This time last year I was in horrible pain, with the worst sun reaction and migraine i can recall, to the point where I was literally hitting my head against the wall and packing my head in ice packs. I was quite certain I might have to be done with historical events. The thought was horribly depressing. I spent the whole year with the fear that I might have a repeat physical event. 

As I stood at the mirror this morning, doing my hair, I almost cried. It was Sunday. I was good. I ended Saturday feeling great. I was good. I didnt even need to resort to my backup , can lace lighter dress. (Actually, I found I laced closed! Alterations coming.) I hoped into the sewing room and pulled out one of my favorite dresses, from a fabric a far away friend gave me. I was good. 

So, here I am. Proof I made it to Sunday. 

IMG_0012edit 2

 This weekend, I set the millinery up in the Insurance Office. A big thank you to Deanna and Melanie for arranging this space for me. It was close to Ward Hovey, just in case, and a shorter walk to the gallery for my talk. It has  a lovely breeze and nice shade. It also is right on the village square insuring lots of visitors. Saturday, I pretty much started talking at eleven and didn’t stop until six. (The morning was quite)

My little sister, Lily, helped out in the millinery the whole weekend. She talked with visitors while I was away at the gallery and while I was consulting on millinery questions. She did a very nice job. She also followed the small ice cream handed child around the room guarding the pieces. 



 A myriad of thoughts:

Our most unique visitors were either the well loved plush bunny or the real live rooster. 

All guests during the battle must be watered. Roosters included. 

While I wasn’t sure which project to bring, I ended up being busy wirh sewing the whole of Saturday and I to Sunday . 

I actually got to talk about the dynamics of women’s employment. 

Sunday, two young men had an excellent vignette on my porch. They were gambling, for stamps. As they played, they pulled visitors in. I know some expected me to shoo them off. But, it was such and excellent interaction , I just listened from inside. 

I never once got to do the story I developed behind my unfinished sign. But, I did determine i must have one. 

I got quarantined for a couple hours. Weirdness was theme

I got to see the most amazing original fichu and a lovely net needlework. 

I was gifted some wonderful surprises. I am grateful and blessed by each. Thank you. 

Now, sleep. There may be more added tomorrow 



























Recommendations list

I was talking with a visitor today about women’s employment and business ownership. Rather than bring a stack of books in tomorrow, I decided this would be easier. (Some of my followers may like this list as well. Others may have recommendations.) I already suggested looking up Virginia Penny’s Employments of Women. 

Published in: on July 16, 2016 at 9:31 pm  Leave a Comment  

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