The Mousquetaire Hat

Mousquetaire hats have tapered crowns that rise about four to five inches, not quite double the height of other fashion hats of the early 1860s. The brim is shaped, with a curve dipping front and back. This brim is narrow, only a few inches wide. The decorations are primarily at the center front, reaching the height of the crown. A ribbon may or may not circle the crown with a bow or arrangement in the back. This shape is also called a Postilion Hat.

   Fig. 3 is a Mousquetaire hat of Leghorn or white straw. Round the hat is a scarf of blue ribbon, with a large bow and long fringed ends at the back; in front is a rosette of black and white speckled feathers, surrounded by an edging of blue flowers or bluets. The brim is edged with black velvet.  (Godey’s, August, 1864)


Fig. 7 is a Mousquetaire hat drab straw, trimmed by two narrow bands of scarlet velvet, and having in front a plume of black and red feathers, and one large ostrich feather. (Godey’s, July, 1864)


Hats of the Mousquetaire or Postillion shape from Godey’s 1864:

Published in: on March 23, 2018 at 8:20 am  Leave a Comment  

Mousquetaire Hats

I have two new hats tonight. One in natural straw and one in black straw. These are in the fashionable Mousquetaire (Musketeer) style. For more information on this style, visit this post. Both are blocked on my newest block with the inspiration of this hat:

The natural is trimmed in a pumpkin orange velvet ribbon and a pair of natural white feather plumes.

The black is trimmed in a light lavender purple velvet ribbon. I planned to put a black plume on it. But, I sadly found the awesome feather was flawed.

Both can be found in my Etsy shop. 


Published in: on March 22, 2018 at 8:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

March Update

This month’s update may get a bit long….

To Net or Not To Net Revisited COVEROf course, I have to mention how I kicked off the month: I released my new book To Net, or Not to Net: Revisited. I am excited to make this deeper look at hair nets available. I filled it with photos and illustrations. Okay, maybe I went a little over-board.

_20180314_164202I finally started working on straw for the season with this two tone Civil War era hat. It is nice to start sewing straw again. It is quite relaxing for me with the focus and the rhythm. (It would be nice to solve the straw on the rug problem though. Tis the season of the over-worked vacuum.) I really like the shape of this new hat block. I still need to give it a name.

I have Galaxy out, the 1840s block, so I can make a couple 1840s bonnets in honor of the coming exhibit at the Wehle Gallery: Victoria’s Closet. Look for those soon.


The Coming In April

  • April 13th – Opening day of the Victoria’s Closet exhibit at the Wehle Gallery at the Genesee Country Village and Museum, during their Antique Show and Sale.
  • April 28th – I’ll be talking about Millinery in Situ during the 140th’s Civilian Seminar.
  • I am still working out some details on special projects this year. Hopefully, I’ll be able to share those soon.

Dress Projects

I have two dress projects I am pondering for myself. The first being an 1850s or 1860s dress from my birthday fabric. I pictured a larger scale when I saw the image online. I tend to get scale off when looking at a screen. I wanted a fabric that would be a fun challenge to work with. The bold red stripe over the subtler, smaller stripes fit the bill.

Leave it to me to buy an 1850s-60s fabric for my birthday and moments later decide it would be good to make an 1840s dress to go with the Victoria’s Closet exhibit. Yup. Go me.
1840s….. dropped waist that is allusively small, bias galor, gathers from the shoulders across the bust, sleeves more full on the bottom… pretty fabrics…

For me, I have a couple hurdles – I don’t exactly have a small firm waist and will have some trouble with the appropriate corset for that. Second, my short arms are upside down for the ideal, rather fluffy on top and smaller on bottom. Both hurdles will need to be worked with and around.

Here is one possibility. I am picturing this is a bold semi-sheer that I think I have at home. I think. I like the asymmetric opening and gathering, as well as the control over the pleats. I think a semi-sheer will gather or pleat in with much less bulk. Those sleeves just aren’t going to cut it though. Sure, fitted bias at the top. But from just above the elbow down, it needs some fullness. Oh, and maybe not that white extension from the collar.


Published in: on March 18, 2018 at 3:40 pm  Leave a Comment  

Two Tone Civil War Era Hat

Years ago, I told myself I would not work with recovered plait unless it was a really special plait. It is just too much of a pain (literally at times) and a mess (all the time) to take a piece a part to save just any plait. Then I saw this plait. Love it!  

This plait is two tone, a dark brown and a light natural. The straw itself is more like willow, fibrous and strong. Braided, it makes a beautiful plait.

This is the inspiration hat I worked from. I like the round, medium height crown and not too wide brim. As the plait I used is two tone, i would go with a solid or floral ribbon in the same position. (btw, the tassel is part of her net. Read about tassels on nets in To Net, or Not to Net.)

This will truly be a one of a kind because I only have a small amount left. (Hoping for a soft crown.) It is entirely handsewn. Since it is a recovered plait, there are tiny treads here and there I may have missed. 

I’ve included a photo of me wearing it to give you a better idea of the curve of the brim. 

Find this hat in my Etsy shop. 

Published in: on March 14, 2018 at 5:07 pm  Comments (2)  

Did You Know?

Did you know you can have OfficeMax or Staples print your paper copy of To Net, or Not to Net or Paisley, Plaid, and Purled or From Field to Fashion? Not only printed, but printed and bound.

You simply upload the file that you downloaded from Etsy,  select the printing, paper and binding. Then pick your printed copy up from the store. Piece of cake.

For To Net, or Not to Net and Paisley, Plaid, and Purled, I would suggest color printing and one of the spiral, coil or comb bindings. For From Field to Fashion, the booklet format in black and white may suit better.

A couple tips:  – Be sure to check if either store has a discount available.  – Check to see if you have a local print or computer shop that offers this service as well.

Published in: on March 9, 2018 at 7:07 am  Leave a Comment  


This is a beautiful hat.

Published in: on March 7, 2018 at 2:25 pm  Leave a Comment  

Real Women, Real Hair

Some younger. Some older. Some earlier. Some later. Mostly their real hair. Maybe a rat here and there.

Hair 1Hair 2Hair 3Hair 4Hair 5LOC

Published in: on March 7, 2018 at 7:16 am  Leave a Comment  



Published in: on March 6, 2018 at 7:00 am  Comments (1)  

Belated February Update 

February flew buy more so than any other month. Before I knew it, I completely missed my monthly update. 

Let’s see, February. I didn’t get started on straw season as planned. We didn’t go on our birthday & anniversary get away as planned. Both due to a stressful domestic twist. But, I did get my wool rug finished and I did finish To Net, or Not to Net: Revisited. 

March is off to a good start. It is what, the 4th? So far…. I’ve launched the new book and been asked to serve on the district Superintendent interview committee. This weekend has been filled with a great day judging for National History Day followed by sewing a bunch of walnut thimble holders, lots of Clara cuddling, making Milli and Marie a pair of belts with vintage buckles and….. many will be happy to hear, today I sewing straw for a special project. This isn’t quite millinery for the shop. But it is straw and it is millinery. 

Here are some of the walnuts: 

I was planning to get some writing done for a mini-book project. But, I was distracted by a couple boxes of family photos. Look I was young once:

I really do like the photos Dad took of me more than “formal” ones like this. Yawn. 

I can’t share photos of the special straw project, but I can share the cuteness of Clara… 

Published in: on March 4, 2018 at 1:23 pm  Comments (1)  

Announcing: To Net, or Not to Net: Revisited

To Net, or Not to Net: Revisited is an in depth look at the hair nets worn from 1855 through 1865. The 103 page e-book contains over 30 CDVs, numerous fashion illustrations, and directions for making hair nets right from Godey’s, Peterson’s and more. Available exclusively in my Etsy shop as a e-book March 1st!To Net or Not To Net Revisited COVER

“A new style of net has been introduced, which is rather original; it is made of hair of the exact shade of the wearer’s. The fashion is to cut off a tress of hair and to give it to the hairdresser, who will get it made into a net, which, when worn upon the head, may be truly called “invisible.” They are netted over a fine mesh, and are exceedingly durable. As the hair is worn so low and full at the back, it is almost impossible to keep it neat with-out a net, which sustains the hair, and so prevents the dress and collar from being easily soiled.”
(Peterson’s Magazine, 1863)


  1. Research – Then and Now
  2. In a Word (Definitions)
  3. How was a Hair Net Worn? 
  4. How Were Hair Nets Constructed? 
  5. How were Hair Nets Trimmed
  6. When & Where Were Hair Nets Worn? 
  7. A Little on Age
  • Bibliography
  • Appendix
    • Directions for Making Hair Nets
    • Fashion Descriptions
    • CDVs in Full

Etsy Sell

A note on pricing: I struggled with pricing this e-book for quite some time. I want to making my books affordable, but at the same time I need to cover what I spend. This newest book took hundreds of hours of research and purchases of Godey’s 1860, 61, 62, 63, & 64 and  35 CDVs for image rights, as well as registration fees. 

Published in: on March 1, 2018 at 6:31 am  Comments (3)