Pairings Sale!

Save when you purchase in Pairs!

I decided to have a little fun with this year’s Holiday Sale. We could all use a good pairing. While I can’t offer you a chocolate and wine pairing, I can offer you a Pairings Sale! I’ve divided my Etsy shop into groups, each with their own Pairings Sale Discount.

Starting November 11th – Save 25% on a Pairing of In Detail publications. Put 2 In Detail publications in your cart to receive the discount. 

Starting November 18th – Save 25% on a Pairing Patterns & Publications.  Pick 2 e-patterns or e-publications to receive the discount. 

For the duration of Thanksgiving Recess (Nov 19th through Nov 27th) pick a pairing of Holiday Exclusives items and save 20%.

Save 25% on a Pairing of In Details starting November 11th
Save 25% on a Pairing of E-publications & E-patterns starting November 18th
Save 20% on a Pairing of Holiday Exclusives during Thanksgiving Recess
Published in: on November 10, 2022 at 6:06 am  Leave a Comment  


This fashionable early 1860s hat has natural straw vining around the brim edge and crown.

These two hats are available as well:

Published in: on November 8, 2022 at 5:26 pm  Leave a Comment  

Fancy Work Friday – Heart Frame

This summer I rescued the sweetest little heart shaped frame from an antique shop changing hands. It was tucked in a little basket on a shelf surrounded by chaos. Delicate items like this are likely to be lost or destroyed in situations where larger items get the focus. I am so glad I saw it.

The heart is 3 1/8″ tall and about the same wide. The 1″×3/4″ opening for the tintype photo sits about an inch above the point of the heart.

It is made of two layers of pasteboard. The back is covered in dark blue velvet. The front is covered in off white silk taffeta that has disintegrated.

The threads pulling the silk and velvet around the pasteboard can be seen through the photo opening as the photo has slipped.

The whole is bound with a bright golden yellow embroidery floss, likely silk, in a blanket stitch.

At the top of the heart is a red ribbon hanging loop and bow. The ribbon is a silk grosgrain with picot edge. At the bottom is a gold silk pom hanging from cord.

I recreated this heart frame from materials on hand. (Directions in pdf coming soon.) I think they came out quite darling.

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Published in: on November 4, 2022 at 6:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Holiday Shop “Officially” Open

I am super excited to introduce my little straw basket ornaments. I love these little guys. Each is hand sewn from the same straw I use for millinery.  They are hand shaped as I make them. So, each one is unique. They are ornament size, under 3 inches. I put them in groups of three, with a mix of natural and color straw. They are ready for you to nest a little gift inside or decorate. 

All holiday items can be found in the Holiday Exclusives Section of my Etsy Shop.

Making these little baskets nudged me closer to another idea. I’ve pondered making straw basket pin cushions for a while. I made a very limited number to see how I like them. Turns out, I like them quite a lot. They are simple round baskets of straw plait with red velvet cushions tucked inside.

I decided to make two past favorites this season: the walnut shell pin cushions and the velvet strawberry pin cushions. My photo studio (aka second bathroom) is filled with pin cushions right now

All holiday items can be found in the Holiday Exclusives Section of my Etsy Shop.

I also brought back the cute nest pen wipers I made last year. I thought these were the most darling things. I also think they would look super cute tucked into tree boughs. (I am tempted to make more of the little straw nests for my tree or for friends.)

Published in: on November 1, 2022 at 7:00 am  Comments (1)  

The Pumpkin Hood aka Wadded Winter Hood

What is a Pumpkin Hood?

A “Pumpkin” hood or bonnet is a wadded bonnet, most commonly made of silk on the exterior and polished cotton, cotton or silk on the interior. Wide, full channels are filled to a full loft with wool batting either lightly or densely. The channels are separated by smaller channels, single or multiple, that are drawn in by cord or ribbon. The front brim may or may not have a decorative ruffle, attached or tucked from the base exterior fabric. These usually have a petite to moderate bavolet either lightly filled with batting or without batting.

Some other terms that seem to apply: Wadded bonnet/hood, “Ugly”, a “Kiss-me-quick”.

How early were these worn?

Most museums seem to start their dating of wadded, pumpkin style hoods in the second quarter of the century. Some do push earlier, as far as the late 1700s/early 1800s, such as this example from the Boston Museum of Fine Arts.

As domestically made winter hoods were a utilitarian garment rather than a fashionable one, their appearances in fashion literature is limited. I see one set of passages referencing a wadded hood or bonnet, drawn in, worn close to the face that may help us give wadded hoods drawn close to the latter 1830s:

In the Ladies Pocket Magazine, of 1838, London, we see a mention of wadded bonnets as a fashionable item. Of English fashions – “Wadded bonnets which before were very much in vogue, are now almost the only ones adopted in promenade dress, and it must be confessed nothing could be better calculated for the season, particularly when they are worn, as in often the case, over a blond morning cap of the demi-cornette form.” (In this passage, wadded pelisses and wadded mantles are also mentioned.) Of Paris fashions “Winter has set in with all its rigour, but that is of little consequence to our elegantes, who, occupied with the grand dinners, balls, and fetes that are always given in the commencement of winter, have deserted the promenades. Novelty in out-door costume is consequently out of the question, velvet or satin mantles, which are trimmed and sometimes lined in fur, that their busts are defended by a large fur palatine, their hands doubly shielded by fur cuffs, and a muff, and their pretty faces guarded by a large wadded bonnet, which completely meets under the chin, we have said all that can be said of out-door dress.” The year prior, the same publication tells us: “We may cite with confidence, among the new bonnets will be very fashionable, the capotes a conlisse ouatees, or wadded drawn bonnets; the are a most comfortable head-dress, composed of satin or pou de soie, lightly wadded, and simply trimmed with ribbon. They differ a little in shape from the other bonnets, sitting closer round the face.” This may or may not be the beginning point of the wadded, pumpkin style bonnet. Neither publication includes an illustration of this practical winter wear in the midst of the popular large bonnets of the era.

In that same time period, we see wadded and quilted hoods/bonnets constructed for children in The Workwoman’s Guide. The illustrations suggest the quilted versions have larger crowns that are volumous in some cases. It is important to note the difference between this shape and the Pumpkin shape. I believe this is the construction that evolves through the rest of the century as the quilted bonnet.

Blackwood‘s suggested I should look at “quilted wadded capotes” as well as “bonnets” and “hoods”. Though, this February and March 1843 Peterson‘s suggest capotes were quilted, rather than wadded with loft.

One of only photographs clearly depicting a wadded “pumpkin” style bonnet/hood is a bit of tease. While taken in 1897, the photograph does not show contemporary/current wear, rather historical costume wear. This photograph is held by Deerfield.

Were they worn during the Civil War?

Yes, evidence suggest wadded hoods were worn in the 1860s. The 1860 painting, School Girls, by George Augustus Baker, shows the girl on the left in what could be a red silk wadded pumpkin bonnet. The artist did several studies for this painting, including Little Girl in a Red Bonnet, which is undated.


Learn more about Wadded Hoods and How to Make Your Own in my New Wadded Hood Workbook.

Museum examples:

Published in: on October 31, 2022 at 6:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Wrapping up October

Finishing October with a classic tapered crown, the most common hat of its era.

I finished this hat earlier this week. Then got hit with a migraine. I’m just now getting the photos taken. I don’t anticipate getting another hat made this weekend.

Sadly, this is the second month in a row I am significantly behind on my sales goals. It’s all a pickle. Because of rising bills and prices, I had to raise prices and increase sales goals. Also, because of rising prices people aren’t able to spend as much. 😔

A few hats are in the shop waiting for their homes. They are each 10% off. (Check out last week’s post to see how and why I am offering the discount. )

This weekend, I am hoping to get my mini baskets photographed and ready to post for November 1st. I really like how these have come out.

Published in: on October 29, 2022 at 8:33 am  Leave a Comment  

Fancy Work Friday – Pumpkins

In recognition of the coming Halloween, this week’s post will look at various ways of making a pumpkin.

In terms of construction, essentially, a pumpkin can be seen as a large, orange tomato with a stalk.

In the pages of the 1892 Vision; A Magazine for Youth, we find these directions for making a pumpkin pin cushion tucked in next to a tomato:

The foundation of the pumpkin pincushion consists of two circular pieces of stout muslin joined together at the edges, and stuffed with wool. Two pieces of orange silk the same size, are smoothly arranged over the cushion and joined with as small stitches as possible at the edges. The cushion is the caught through the center, the needle being passed in and out through the seam (which should pass along the top and bottom and two sides). Rope silk or twist should be used, and it will have to be drawn very tightly up and down through the center to divide the cushions into sections. Two pieces curved to look like a stem are filled with cotton and caught with invisible stitches to make it “crinkly;” it is then sewed very neatly to the cushion. This cushion may be made any size you desire.

The Ladies’ Home Journal, 1892. Pumpkin Pincushion. By M. J. Safford. The materials needed are a puece of bright yellow surah, satin, or any bit of plain silk stuff, a spool of button-hole twist the same color, a few scraps of dark green silk, a little wadding (wool is preferable) and a piece of thin white cambria. Commence by making the wadding and cambric into a cushion seventeen and one-half inches deep, and flatten it somewhat on the top and bottom like a pumpkin. Gather the yellow material – wool will answer if silk cannot be had – at the top and bottom, and closely together in the center and sewing firmly to the cushion underneath. Next fasten a needle full of twist at the top of the cushion, draw it down to the bottom tightly enough to indent the silk and fasten at the bottom. Repeat this eight times, keeping the threads at an equal distance apart in the center of the cushion, thus dividing it into sections of the same size. Then cut from pasteboard a circular piece two inches in diameter, cover it with dark green silk and sew it to the bottom to conceal the gathering of the silk. Cut from the same green silk a piece three inches long and two wide, and stitch lengthwise four tucks one eighth of an inch to be left outside. Stuff the ease thus made with wadding and hem the bottoms neatly down upon the yellow silk top of the cushion.

Of course, if you can make something into the shape of a pumpkin, you can make a pumpking into something.

Marna found this workcase made from a pumpkin in Godey’s, 1870. I am skeptical of drying a true pumpkin dry enough in my climate. Maybe one of the gourds meant to be dried. The directions begin:

Work-Case Made of a Pumpkin.

Materials. – A yellow pumpkin measuring four and four-fifths inches across, some brown glace silk, thick brown braid, round transparent beads, gold-colored purse silk, fine gild-colored silk cord and ribbon three-quarters of an inch wide, nine round brown glass buttons, some wadding.

The pumpkin to be used for this case must be quite dry when gathered. Then hang it up to be dried. After some weeks cut it into halves, empty each half carefully as far as the skin, and bind each half round the edge with a strip of brown silk a quarter of an inch wide. …… (continued….)

Published in: on October 28, 2022 at 6:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Candy Sweet Hats?

I found a bit of this pretty mauvy-rose straw in my basket. For the first hat I paired it with natural straw in some vining around the brim edge. For the second, I braided the rose, pink, and natural together.  It reminded me of taffy candy. I may have gone over board with a loopy twist on the back.

The beautiful green hat from earlier this week is still available, and 10% off.

Published in: on October 23, 2022 at 11:25 am  Leave a Comment  

Antique shop finds

I stopped at the local antique shop on the way back from the post office to see how it was doing with the new owner. I had not planned on buying anything.

I spent $15.

I got some books for family and friends, a beaded slipper, and a pile of tintypes. Yes. For $15.

The beaded slipper is most likely a local Haudenosaunee (Iroquois) piece, though ladies magazines did try to mimic the look. At first, I thought the red base fabric was a silk twill. After taking closer photos, I think it is wool, maybe a wool/silk blend.

The tintypes were the whole pile for $5. I didn’t even go through the pile to loom at them. I just picked up the pile and added it to mine. They have a lot of damage.

You will see one was folded. This is such a shame because the women’s outfit is amazing. Another of two women either has something on the surface or the surface was smeared. This one has two hats.

Published in: on October 22, 2022 at 12:45 pm  Leave a Comment  

Good News in Straw!

I have good news!

You may have noticed I started offering my straw millinery pieces at a 10% discount after the first day recently. This is because I know money is tight for nearly everyone. Plus, it doesn’t help me or my budget to have hats & bonnet sitting around unsold. So. I came up with this approach, nervously.

Then something good happened.

But, first a little back story. I had been buying hanks of straw from a wonderful, reliable merchant for years. Hanks were generally $20-$22 plus shipping, with a couple exceptions. Then the pandemic, the shop changing hands, and inflation happened. This summer, hanks went from $20 & $22 to $44 each.


There were 😢 tears.

I had already raised prices for everything else that had been going up. I just couldn’t see raising them again.

Fast forward to a few weeks ago. A millinery artist I never met offered natural straw hanks for sale for a pre-inflation low price. I wasn’t sure as I have had very bad second hand straw experiences. I took a breath and anxiously ordered some straw. Actually, I opted to buy straw instead of groceries.

Luckily, the straw arrived and it is Beautiful!

This means…..

For a time, I will be able to offer hats and bonnets in natural straw for nearly pre-inflation prices comfortably!!!!

I am going to continue the second day 10% discount sale approach because that seems to be a way to make the numbers work in Etsy.

Thank you all for your continued support. I hope this helps.

Published in: on October 21, 2022 at 6:12 am  Leave a Comment