Straw Bonnet Workbook

Last night, I noticed a recent upsurge in the download frequency for my old Straw Bonnet Workbook. The keyword there is old.

This workbook was written somewhere around 2006 initially for a small group locally and a limited number of kits I sold. Since then, I have done much more reseach and further developed my techniques.

While I am still proud of my little straw workbook, I decided to remove my workbook from my blog.

If you do happen upon a copy, as I have been told it is saved and available elsewhere, please know the information is dated.

Published in: on March 24, 2021 at 6:58 am  Leave a Comment  

Whimsy Wednesday

Lots of ribbons and flowers to unbox today.

Published in: on March 24, 2021 at 1:05 am  Leave a Comment  

The Dress Comes Second

Let’s take a moment to talk about goals. Often, as each year rolls around or even season to season, bloggers and YouTubers talk about goals for the coming year or season. These often include coming projects, which dresses or accessories will be worked on, and what research paths we plan to take. While we give these details their due attention, we don’t often talk about our overarching goals, the bigger picture WHAT in what we want to do.

We each have different goals even though we often play in the same pond or ponds. These goals have a wide range:
● Someone may want to make clothes that help them feel good about themselves.
● Someone may want to recreate the clothes from their favorite period dramas
● Someone may enjoy English Country Dance and needs attire for dancing.
● Someone may want to spend time with their spouse who participates in period dancing or historic events.
● Someone may be interested in period construction techniques and wants to explore each themselves.
● Someone may demonstrate a period skill or craft and needs attire for that.

Sometimes it is dif icult to remember not everyone has the same goals and, though different, other’s goals are valid.

It may seem strange since I am a straw milliner. But, when I really look at my goals, the dress comes second.

My focus, my goal, is to share knowledge of particular period crafts and skills through demonstration and
discussion. To do this, I must research my crafts and skills (straw sewing and small, domestic crafts), practice them, and develop interpretive techniques that connect with the visitor. The clothing is part of that last part.

For me, the dress really comes second in planning. I have a wardrobe that I can grab from. That is generally what I do.

This wardrobe does need to be updated due to neglect over the last few years. In doing so, I will make choices that reflect and support my goals. My clothes need to be accurately constructed with appropriate fibers. I believe synthetic fibers are a healthy and safety issue as well as an accuracy issue. I choose to use period techniques* as I find pleasure in using them and enjoy the way they look.

Confession – I often struggle with accepting other’s goals. I grew up surrounded by period construction
techniques, period fabrics, and antiques. This is my knowledge base. I get upset when I see modern techniques used to recreate period items. Specifically, I have a great deal of trouble with the use of glue on straw millinery. I try hard, really hard to control this instinctive upsetedness and remind myself that not everyone’s goals are the same. This takes a great deal of work and self control.

*A note on period techniques – I enjoy period techniques so much, I bring them into my modern sewing. I like
to create useful this and thats in modern prints or materials using period construction techniques. I find the result to be fun and enjoyable. Others find this odd and time consuming. This is perfectly okay.

Published in: on March 23, 2021 at 11:50 am  Leave a Comment  

Millinery Monday – High Brim Bonnet Block

This week’s block is the first of the bonnet blocks. This high brim block exhibits the staple shape of the latter 1850s going into the 1860s. The crown tip is circular with a gentle transition into the crown body. The cheektabs drop long an narrow compared to the previous decade. These are marked on the block by the wooded squares. The brim extends quite high, reaching forward with a slight squaring at the top.

This high brim has a slightly squared top of the brim. This shapung can be seen in this “Summer Bonnet Shapes” from Madame Demorest’s Mirrors of Fashion, Summer 1862.
This block is similar to a block in Ron Coddington’s Corning Milliners photograph: The block in the image may have been used to make the bonnet held over the edge of the stairs.

Published in: on March 22, 2021 at 1:05 am  Leave a Comment  

One More

Published in: on March 21, 2021 at 11:21 am  Leave a Comment  

This Weekend’s Millinery

I had planned to offer a couple beautiful spring hats for this first day of spring. But, I find I lost most of the week and simply fell short. My birthday hat is available, and at a sale price. This hat is so sweet with its side decorated with my hand made straw leaves. I find this hat is cutest sitting slightly angled forward on my smaller than average head (21.5″) It would also be adorable for a child.

Published in: on March 20, 2021 at 12:06 pm  Leave a Comment  

Whimsy Wednesday: A Different Green Thumb

Be sure not to miss this past weekend’s video:

Published in: on March 17, 2021 at 6:04 am  Leave a Comment  

Millinery Monday – Shallow Dome Crown Hat Block

This week’s block is a shallow dome crown hat. This round crown would sit very high, barely cupping the head, with its just over 1″ rise. It is 19.5″ in circumference. As with the previous tapered crown hat blocks, this brim is shaped, creating a curve tha dips in front and back. The brim is 3.25″ deep at the sides.

These are examples of dome crown fashion hats with various depths of crown.

Published in: on March 15, 2021 at 12:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Whimsy on the Weekend: A Special Unboxing

This unboxing reveals a new personal skill challenge as well as a change in my collection’s direction. You will likely notice I am both excited about this new challenge as well as nervous. I want to get this right and do the contents justice.

Published in: on March 13, 2021 at 5:30 pm  Comments (2)  

This Weekend’s Millinery

This is the perfect hat for a bright, sunny morning….

Published in: on March 13, 2021 at 10:07 am  Leave a Comment