Personal Linens Challenge (August 2020)

Personal linens protect your clothes from… well…. the biology of life.

All too often, our personal linens become an after thought or an overly procrastinated project.

This challenge is to make personal linens for your wardrobe. This can include: cuffs – collars – kerchiefs – fichus.

As with the previous challenged, this is for fun, you set your authenticity goals, you pick your era.

How to participate:

Join the Facebook Group: Linens Challenge. There will be questions to answer so I know you are a real person.

We will begin discussion officially August 1st.

What to do:

Decide what personal linens you need and share your progress as you make it or them. Your project can be from any era and any region.

Share your progress. This can include: pattern, directions, or inspiration piece, your material choices, and steps as you work.


This is for fun. Each person will choose their own goals for this project. I ask that we support each other in those goals. Participants may choose to do any era, region, and size container. I also welcome those who wish to work in doll scale.

Published in: on July 29, 2020 at 5:16 pm  Comments (2)  

Vining Copper Straw Hat

This is now one of my favorite hats I’ve made. I just love how the vining brim came out.

This hat has a dome crown and a fashionably shaped brim, with hand worked vining copper straw plait. It is trimmed with antique velvet and silk flowers.

Published in: on July 28, 2020 at 12:42 pm  Leave a Comment  

Copper Straw with an Antique Plume

The antique plume on this velvet bound copper straw hat is really neat. The feathers comprising the plume were set on a wired tape to create the length and shape. The plume wraps around the crown, which is encircled with a black cotton velvet cord.

Published in: on July 28, 2020 at 12:36 pm  Leave a Comment  

Unboxing: A Perplexing Quilted Hood

Mid-stitch, I decided to grab the mail since it is so hot outside. I figured the video below would be a funny unboxing as I opened a package of a silly purchase. The photos in the listing showed what looked like an odd, fadded, tattered hood. I wasn’t sure what my $11 purchase was going to be.

If you are looking over at the photo on the right, you may be confused or thinking “what is the big deal about that plain thing?”

Well…. This plain looking hood is an oddity. It turns out I am completely perplexed…. And very glad I bought this on a whim.

As you watch the video, you’ll see me going from assumptions to questions. I suspect my tone changes in the video too, as I start realizing just how odd this oddity is.

I mention a few featured in the video. These photos show those areas better:

The inner lining that looked like it might be net or dotted fabric in the listing. The fabric is tiny printed hexegons in black.

The pink, bias cut cotton ties attached with black threads and (below) the location of previous ties.

The wear spot that made me re-question the fiber content of the exterior and interior fabric.

The neat corner where the crown/bavolet piece joins to the brim. This areaseems to be very skillfully done by hand, while the machine stitched quilting is not even. (I am trying not to jump to the conclusion that quilting by machine was newer to the maker.)

Early on, I say it is not wool and not silk. This was too quick of a statement. Not having a clue what this material is, I asked Instagram and Facebook colleagues for assistance in identifying the material and fiber. The up close images are taken with the little National Geographic phone microscope I ordered from Michaels at the beginning of lockdown.


I also took some close-ups of the inner lining.


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Published in: on July 25, 2020 at 12:30 pm  Comments (6)  

Classic shape in copper

Here is the popular spoon bonnet style in the favorite copper straw.

Published in: on July 24, 2020 at 12:27 pm  Leave a Comment  

New Bonnet

This bonnet took longer than I thought. It was worth it though. I think this white straw looks pretty with the vining brim trim.

Published in: on July 20, 2020 at 2:23 pm  Leave a Comment  

Regency Bonnet in Shop

This is the first Regency piece I’ve offered in a while. This hank of white straw is a creamy white as the natural straw and white mix together. The edge of this capote style is edged with a hand shaped scalloped border. It is finished with blue grey silk taffeta, vintage black velvet, and a beautiful vintage plume.

Published in: on July 18, 2020 at 3:16 pm  Leave a Comment  

Now Available!

The boxes are finally on their way! This means these great pieces are funally available.

First is this cottage style bonnet in black straw. This is a great bonnet for a working class impression.

This spoon bonnet is a larger size than I usually do. It has an open braid section as the crown transitions into the brim.

I am particularly happy with how this hat turned out. It is the fashionable tapered crown with a wavey open braid design in the brim.

Published in: on July 18, 2020 at 10:53 am  Leave a Comment  

Looking Back at Millineries Past

This weekend would have been the Civil War event at the Genesee Country Village and Museum. Of course, as with so many events this year, the event needed to be canceled for the safety of all involved.

I thought it would be nice to look back at the event over the last few years.

This is the event where I get to transform the museum’s insurance office into a millinery shop for the weekend. I enjoy taking over the building for the weekend, but I also enjoy the planning that goes into it. Each year, I start planning the day after the event for the next event, then dive deeper into the planning come each January. My goal is to have an authentic shop which is also a welcoming learning opportunity for those visiting.

(I am searching for the non-Wordpress photos and videos from 2017 and prior. There is a slight technological snag. Obviously, I would really like to see the videos and photos from 2017 as those were my surgery year and it is a little foggy. The year prior was when Lily was in the shop with me. Before that, I was in the Dressmaker’s shop, aka the frying pan.)

Lily and I in the shop in 2016

The shop in 2017

Shop at GCVM CW 2017 b

What I wore post surgery. The stays I had on kept my incision from fully opening up on Sunday during pack-up.

2018 was my 20th CW event at GCVM. Here is a look through the before and after of the set-up.

Saturday Morning:

What is in my Sewing box:

Sunday morning (and more about the day.)

2019 was one of the hottest events I can remember, or at least since I’ve been aware of the heat as problematic. Read about that here.

Walk through the millinery as it was set up in the evening:

Saturday morning. I am already looking red.

I guess I didn’t take a Sunday video last year. I am sad about that now.

Prior to interpreting the millinery shop in the insurance office building, I set up in the dressmaker’s shop, which has no shade and gets quite warm. Here is the post for the year I did not make it through the weekend. Here is the shop the year prior in 2014:


2013 I was in the Dressmaker’s Shop doing a book signing. Wow. Time does fly. More about that weekend here.

IMG_20130720_103610_380 (2)

There are no photos from 2012 because I was in the office at that time. In 2011, I stayed with friends in Jones Farm and lead a sewing circle. That post is here.


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Published in: on July 17, 2020 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Bonnet Blocks

I finally photographed each of the plaster millinery blocks today. I’ve been meaning to do this for weeks months.

Lucking upon this last block was a push to get the photos taken. I took each block into the photo studio, aka the converted second bathroom, and let them take their turn on the turn table* I took about twenty photos of each, making sure to capture each side thoroughly as well as the markings I love.

My goal is to create a virtual display of graphics for each block with corresponding fashion illustrations and example bonnet(s). This is going to take me a while to get together. In the meantime, here is a line-up of the bonnet blocks spanning from 1859 through 1867.

Bonnet block time line 1

Click to enlarge

The image is a little deceiving because I sized all the photos to three inches, when in fact these decrease in size from left to right. The 1865 fanchon, the fifth from the left, is half the size of the first bonnet block.


*Can I call this a turn table rather than a lazy susan? Is a turn table solely a record player? A lazy susan seems so contrary to how I am using it.


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Published in: on July 15, 2020 at 3:00 pm  Comments (1)