Hats and Woven Bonnets in the Shop.

I am adding two hats, one later this evening, and two woven bonnets to the shop today. The woven bonnets are a new adventure in straw millinery. Seeing that two milliners who were making beautiful woven bonnets have retired, I decided to try to fill the void by offering a few. I will Not be making many of these as they are not where I find my joy in straw.

This first set has a beautiful diamond pattern woven into the very light natural fibers. I think I will do 2 this month and 2 next month. I may also do some Regency capotes.

I blocked the first with my original late 1850-early 1860s block giving it the fashionable high crown. The second uses two blocks, the previous for the brim and my earlier wooden block for the deeper rounded crown. I wired them on the inside and covered the wire with straw plait. While the plait is more visually present, it should be stronger in the long run than sinmay bias tape and I have seen woven originals with plait binding.

Published in: on June 13, 2021 at 7:34 am  Leave a Comment  

Whimsy Wednesday: For Less than a Pizza

A couple years ago, I wrote an article/post called “Pizza and the Piggy Bank” that looked at which items to save up for and which items could be had for less than the cost of a pizza. It was a fun article to write and helped put some perspective on the cost of things. Since writing that article, I’ve often compared items to the cost of a pizza. (I also price life expenses in comparison to the number of bonnets it will take to cover.) I thought I would revisit the “Less than a Pizza” list with some revisions.
When I wrote the initial list, I could get a medium vegetable covered pizza for about $25. That price has gone up a little to about $30. So, this list will include items that can be had for $30 or less.

For the Price of a Pizza (or less)

  1. Drawers and chemise in linen. I have recently been converted to a linen chemise lover. A linen chemise is comfortable, soft, and cooler. Subscribe to http://www.fabrics-store.com to receive their regular sales offers. In doing so, you will see their light, handkerchief linen come up for $6-$7/ yard. This fabric is 58” wide, so you only need 2 yards for a chemise and 2 yards for drawers. Prewash the linen for shrinkage and to soften it.
  2. Petticoat – I am of the opinion that once can never have too many petticoats to choose from. Most of us within a few inches of average height can make a simple petticoat from four to five yards of cotton. Quality premium muslin can be had for $3.99 at certain craft stores. Using a coupon/code to save 50%, this brings a petticoat to $20. Poplin at Dharma Fabrics is $6.50 for a 55” width. A three panel petticoat would be about $26 (4yards), while a 4 panel does tip us over the pizza price at $32.50 (5 yards). I am assuming you have mother of pearl buttons laying around. If not, add $.25-$.50. But, pick these up when you see them.
  3. Wool Petticoat. While we are talking about petticoats, I will add a wool petticoat to the list. Two yards of tropical to light weight wool is plenty for a warm wool petticoat. You may also want a yard of scrap cotton from your stash for a yoke and waistband, minimizing the bulk at the top.
  4. Personal Linens. New personal linens can spruce up a wardrobe for little money, be it cuffs, collars, or pelerines. Purchasing a few yards of cotton lawn from Dharma ($6/yard) can result in several sets of cuffs and a few collars, or a few pelerines. These will give you a chance to practice your rolled hems too.
  5. A Pocket. I am a big advocate of pockets, both set into the skirt and under the skirt. A pocket will get things out of your hands. It will also eliminate the need to have something to carry your things in. A simple pocket can be made from a half yard of linen or cotton.
  6. Wool Shawl with fringed edges. This will take 2 yards of light to medium weight wool in an
    appropriate plaid, check, or solid. This can be found at discount fabric shops like
    http://www.fabricmartfabrics . I suggest waiting for wool to be under $10/ yard to keep this under the pizza limit with shipping. Or, watch for someone destashing wool. Plan on two movies during a rainy or snowy weekend to fringe the whole shawl, or do one side per evening. Check out my earlier post of fringing.
  7. Work Pocket. I am a little bias here. But, I think everyone should have a work pocket, or sewing case, or housewife. This little roll can tuck away needed sewing tools as well as be a great interpretive device. It can act as a story all rolled up in fabric.
  8. Sunbonnet. A sunbonnet is essential for protecting your head and face from the sun and elements. As much as we love the pretty, fancy bonnets and hats, some times, many times, a sunbonnet is needed. I recommend checking out the remnants or end cuts of your local quilt shop for small period prints that will work for a sunbonnet. You will want a yard and a half of 45” fabric. I also love white semi-sheer weaves for corded sunbonnets. Since this often comes 54”-60” widths, a single yard is enough. Hop over to http://www.thesewingacademy.com for directions on how to make your own corded sunbonnet.
  9. Cap. If you interpret an era that wore caps, a new cap can be made from a yard of voile, which is currently $6.87 a yard at Dharma.
  10. Hair Dressing Kit. I will make a point to do a video on my favorite hair dressing items in the future. The whole kit can be made for less than a pizza.

Helpful Hints

  • Create a sewing plan. Note where common fabrics will need to be purchased from (ie: Dharma or Fabrics-Store) so you can save up and purchase in sets.
  • Optimize shipping costs by pairing up with friends nearby. Plan similar projects together (all do
    personal linens or caps) or let each other know when you are ordering from a particular place.
  • Subscribe to online stores with essentials. Practice self control with their sales.
  • Know your local shops. Get on their mailing lists if they have sales.
  • Join a couple destash groups if you are on social media.
Published in: on June 9, 2021 at 6:46 pm  Leave a Comment  

Whimsy Wednesday: My Very First Antique Ever

Clara time and some story telling.

Published in: on June 9, 2021 at 6:10 pm  Leave a Comment  

Three Hats Available

I finished 3 hats this weekend for your consideration: A dome crown hat, a shallow dome crown hat, and a tapered crown hat.

Published in: on June 6, 2021 at 9:18 am  Leave a Comment  

Whimsy Wednesday: Straw Hat FAQ

This week is a casual Hat Q&A talking about the questions I am asked most often. The focus is on American Civil War hats. I will talk about bonnets in a future video.
How do I wear my hat?
Which is the front?
How do I measure my head?
Where do I put the flowers and ribbon?
How do I keep my hat on my head?

If you have more questions about straw hats or bonnets in the nineteenth century, put them in the comments below. I will do more millinery Q&As in the future.

More details on measuring and fit.

This is where to find me:
Consider Patreon for special content: http://www.patreon.com/AMillinersWhimsy
A Milliner’s Whimsy – If I Had My Own Blue Box (History Blog):www.amillinerswhimsy.com
Don’t Paint the Cat (Crafty Blog): https://dontpaintthecat.wordpress.com
Instagram for If I Had My Own Blue Box: http://www.instagram.com/if.i.had.my.own.blue.box
Instagram for Don’t Paint the Cat: http://www.instagram.com/dont.paint.the.cat

Published in: on June 2, 2021 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

The Kits are Live in the Shop

The kits are live in the shop!

I made 20 kits, one of each color combination. The color combination is indicated by 3 letters in parenthesis. The colors include:

  • D Dark brown
  • L Light brown
  • R Red
  • C Cream
  • G Green
  • P Purple

Thank You for your support!

Published in: on June 1, 2021 at 6:58 am  Leave a Comment  

New Corded Ball Kit & New In Detail Available!

I am incredibly excited to announce both a new Corded Ball Pin Cushion Kit and a new In Detail: Earl’s Ball, both available on the morning of June 1st!

The Corded Ball Pin Cushion Kit is limited to 20 kits, one of each color combination. Each kit contains a felted wool ball approximately 2″ in diameter, cotton cord, a trio of silk threads, cotton sateen ribbon, and detailed e-directions that will be emailed seperately. The kit also comes with the e-publication In Detail: Earl’s Ball. Check my Etsy shop to see the color sets available.

This edition of In Detail is a little different as it has a surprise twist and more of a story before it explores Earl’s ball. This e-publication starts off exploring this corded ball and concludes with directions for making your own ball. Look for this e-publication in my Etsy shop.

I will be activating the kit and In Detail listings in the morning before I head off to work. If you are an earlybird, keep an eye out. If there is a delay, mornings can be rough some days. Thank you for your patience.

Published in: on May 31, 2021 at 3:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

May Reflections

May had wings this year. This is both because if flew by so fast and because it felt like several projects finally took off.

The sun finally came out. The birds started singing. The world became green. And…… I finally got to get dressed and do a demonstration!

It was wonderful being back at the museum as spring arrived. The visitors were Amazing. If you missed the video, be sure to take a look over on YouTube.

Being asked to do this demonstration during the museum’s Antique Show was a nice nudge to finally make my first 1830s dress. An 1830s dress has been on the to-do list for several years. But, life just kept getting in the way. I am very pleased with how the dress came out as well as the little cap. I still need to make a pelerine. But, I also want a second 1830s dress now. To hear about the details of how this dress went together, take a look at this video.

I am very excited to finish a new In Detail and a Kit to go along with it!!! This In Detail: Earl’s Ball and Corded Ball Pin Cushion Kit will be available the morning of June 1st to kick off the new month!.

Patreon Patrons – Be sure to check Patreon for your own exclusive In Detail!

I recorded a couple videos for Whimsey Wednesday worth noting: In this video on the Importance of Good Underclothes, I got very honest about fiber and fit. For my readers who want a simple, relaxing, yet useful project, here is a video on making ribbon sachets. Keep the smell of spring and summer with you year round.

I didn’t get as many millinery pieces done this month as I would like. I was so busy with making some things for myself and life stuff.

Published in: on May 30, 2021 at 11:30 am  Comments (1)  

New Hats Available

Wrapping up May, I have two hats available. These are two of my most popular styles. The dome crown with fashionably shaped brim. And, the tapered crown with the shaped brim that slightly curves down around the face.

Published in: on May 28, 2021 at 7:03 pm  Leave a Comment  

Whimsy Wednesday (delayed): the Importance of Under Clothes

My apologies for the delay in this week’s video.

Warning: This week’s video discusses the body. It may not be considered appropriate for all listeners.

Find the directions I use for drawers in the Compendium of the Sewing Academy, along with other useful guides. Visit Here.

Published in: on May 27, 2021 at 9:18 pm  Comments (1)