Millinery Monday: Straw Ornaments

This Millinery Monday, I share some of the original straw ornaments or straw motifs in my display collection. These pieces date to the early 20th century from Italy. The designs range from those found on millinery pieces from the nineteenth century through the early twentieth century. Each are made with straw, whole or split, and straw threads. Thes motifs or ornaments would be used to embellish hats and bonnets. Some, similar and often much smaller ornaments were worked directly on the woven or lace-work straw bonnet or hat.

My goal or hope is to develope the skill to recreate some of these well enough to do them justice. Creating these motifs is a type of straw skill that takes years, or even decades to develop.

If you look closely at the materials in antique straw ornaments, you discover just how much the length of straw has changed. The wheat and rye cultivated for the millinery industry produced shafts that were quite long between the elbows. If you walk a modern day wheat field, you know the wheat has been engineered to be much shorter with larger heads for grain production.

Published in: on January 18, 2021 at 1:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Whimsy Wednesday

I was determined to record a video today.

Published in: on January 13, 2021 at 5:11 pm  Leave a Comment  

Millinery Monday: Green of Hearts

This child’s winter hood is quilted is a sweet heart motif. Hearts circle the brim and center the back of the crown, while scallops fill the bavolet and a double circle motif finish the brim. The green silk taffeta is nearly tissue taffeta soft. While not being overly dry, it has numerous wear spots from storage the pink interior is a medium weight solid cotton.

Construction deviates from the most common brim, crown, and bavolet by using a two piece crown considting of a central horseshoe shape and a crescent arch connecting it to the brim. This creates a nicely shaped crown with less bulk. This also shows off the quilted hearts in the back.

Published in: on January 11, 2021 at 1:00 am  Leave a Comment  


Having missed a couple Whimsy Wednesday videos, I thought I should give you an update.

Caught a germ in mid-December. My doctor said it was a virus and my symptoms were Covid indicative. Yet, both of my tests came back negative. So, who knows what this nastly little germ was. I will have the antibodies test when I can to see if that gives me answers. I really feel I need answers.

I am writing of the experience in the past tense because I am tired of feeling sick. Plus, I’ve reached the point where I just feel occasionally fatigued, randomly congested as I often do this time of year, and get a bit winded when I talk a bunch. So, improving and wanting to move forward.

I am being careful and not picking activity up too quickly. I need to be able to get soundly back to working full time and running a small business full time. Baby steps back to those 70 to 80 hour weeks.

This brings me to saying Thank You.

Thank you to everyone who have made a purchase during my now extended New Year sale. Initially, this was just supposed to be a fun little sale. It was meant to give people something to do while celebrating the holidays was a little different this year, and give me time to finish up the wadded hood pattern. It turned into a steady stream of income while I haven’t been able to write or sew. You’ve allowed me to be less stressed while being sick, and comfortable buying groceries and paying my electric & gas bills, which I paid today.

I am incredibly grateful.

There were times I was sleeping or napping and my tablet would make the old cash register “cha-ching” for the Etsy app and I would say “Thank you,” too tired to roll over to check the screen. One night, around midnight, my tablet kept “cha-ching”ing and my eyes watered in amazement.

My hope is to be able to comfortably return to school/work Monday and do bits and pieces of the new pattern to get that done soon, soonish.

Now, let’s see if I have a cute Clara photo for you….

Published in: on January 8, 2021 at 9:50 pm  Leave a Comment  

Sale Extended

Since I am still dealing with this germ, I am not able to sew or write just now. This means a delay in new items in my shop. With this in mind, aka: needing to meet the budget, I decided to extend the New Year sale through the end of January. Please feel free to share this opportunity to save 20% on all the e-publications currently in my shop.

Published in: on January 5, 2021 at 8:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Monday Millinery: Brown Stripe Silk Lappet Style Hood

This lappet style hood is the newest addition to my collection. The exterior uses two different brown stripe silks: one for the brim and bavolet, one for the crown. The lining is a bright blue solid silk taffeta. The ties and back bow are made from the brown stripe silk and the blue lining.

Published in: on January 4, 2021 at 10:36 am  Leave a Comment  

Top 9

Published in: on December 31, 2020 at 5:55 pm  Leave a Comment  

Reflections on the Year

I started writing this post earlier in December before catching my mystery germ. I had plans for a lengthy post reflecting on the year. But, I find I am still too tired to complete what I wanted. I wanted to elaborate on each of the points in these lists. Maybe eventually.

This year has been an incredible challenge for so many; it has been filled with loss and uncertainty. Personally, the “hard” has been a continuation of the previous years with their struggles. As the year closes, I am choosing to reflect as honestly as I can.

Things I am grateful for in 2020:

  • The friends I’ve further connected with in chats and zoom
  • The time to focus on my art/craft
  • The ability to be comfortable sharing myself, as I am, on video media.
  • My shoppers who kept me fed and sane.
  • My postal delivery person who picked up package after package, week after week.
  • Orange juice, a nurse with mismatched socks, and a cancer doctor in crocks.
  • Worden Select Objects. I stumbed across them on the Brimfield group. While they are not related as far as I know, their selections are so similar to what Dad would have picked, their posts in my feed are a sweet reconnect.

What I Feel Accomplished About

  • I lost track of the number of hats and bonnets I made. (rough count scrolling through I count 95 millinery pieces.) ( I forgot the witch hats. There are 5. Counting those, I may have an even 100 pieces sewn.)
  • New In Detail series
  • My Community Cast Video series was initially about staying connected with people during shutdown. It quickly became a way or a reason for me to keep going.
  • Almost completed the Wadded Hood pattern/guidebook

Favorites of the year: Okay, it is really difficult to pick favorites.

Smaller projects:

Published in: on December 31, 2020 at 4:18 pm  Leave a Comment  

Whimsy Wednesday: Gift Card Holder

Originally, I planned on doing some extra fun projects this past weekend and today. But, things didn’t go as planned. Instead, I caught a germ. My awesome Doctor says it sounds like C19. So, while the halo of fire seems to have passed, I am on quarantine through Sunday. I am much, much better off than so many people. For that I am grateful. I am sulky that I missed visiting for Yuletide as well as the village parade and luminaries. But, it is what it is.

I was determined to have a project for this last Whimsy Wednesday before Christmas. My brain fog made thinking of something a challenge. Then I realized how many people out there have packages in limbo and could use a cute space-holding gift or gift holder. This cute card holder can hold a gift card, a membership card, or a photo of a gift on its way.

My version uses a piece of melton wool 4″ by 8″ with one end rounded off. My snow friends are from my cabbage patch (scrap basket.)

You could use melton wool, wool flannel, fulled wool, felted wool, cotton flannel, felt – They key is to use a fabric that won’t ravel. If you are concerned your fabric might ravel, use a little fray-check. If you are in a hurry or have young hands helping you, a glue stick will work nicely for decorating.

Remember: I have several free projects available. These can make nice last minute gifts or fun ways of packaging. Please use them if you need.

Published in: on December 23, 2020 at 1:51 pm  Leave a Comment  

Whimsy Wednesday: Surprises and an Elephant

I was surprised to find a mailbox full this afternoon. Thank you so much for the sweet surprises. I filled my tree with the gifts.

Here is the PDF with my 4 inch and 3 inch versions of the elephant.

I finished my elephant while the video uploaded:

Additional information on the elephant:

Published in: on December 16, 2020 at 1:11 am  Comments (1)