Upgrade in Process

What does it say that just this week, this first of November, this 44th week of the year, I am finally getting around to last spring’s task of upgrading my blog. Simultaneously, I am attempting to sort some non-history posts, moving them to Don’t Paint the Cat*, firming up the future posts plan, and learning about the quirks of the new domain paralleling the old domain – http://www.annaworden.com .

WordPress tells me there will be some days of instability as the conversion stuff behind the scenes takes place. My understanding is that the links to pages with the original base url will auto-redirect to those with the new base url. Fingers crossed. I am really, really hoping this change doesn’t mess people’s links to my blog up.

*btw, if you don’t know about Don’t Paint the Cat, this is modern crafty blog and home of the doll projects.

Published in: on November 1, 2017 at 9:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Planning Survey

Could you take a moment to take my simple survey?

This survey is just 5 questions. It will help me plan what Etsy shop projects I will be focusing on after the Domestic Skills Symposium in a couple weeks. The last question will help me plan what to include in this blog after the upgrade.

Please Click Here

Published in: on October 29, 2017 at 10:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

This Weekend’s Millinery 

I can’t post photos as I normally do. I am officially out of space. I can tell you I just added a on ivory wool hood with the prettiest pink plaid silk lining to my Etsy shop. It is available here.

 PS – There are two other winter hoods there as well. An emerald green jacquard lines with quilted gold taffeta and a gold and brown shot silk with a raised corded windowpane lined with black. Be sure to check those out too. 

Published in: on October 29, 2017 at 3:56 pm  Leave a Comment  

Please, Don’t

I respectfully request those who have purchased, or otherwise acquired,  any of my patterns Do Not make these pieces for sale.

You will notice each patterns has a copyright statement as well as a personal request regarding the proper use of my research and work.

To make and sell pieces from a published, for sale pattern not only infringes on copyright and intellectual property rights, it takes money from the writer’s/milliner’s pocket. This is especially true when your knock-offs are being sold at a fraction of the price the writer/milliner is selling his or her pieces for.

btw – Regardless of how well or how poorly you sew, I can recognize pieces made from my pattern. In fact, most period milliners and pattern makers can recognize each other’s work.

**Please note that I absolutely hate that I have to post this.**


As a milliner, there are milliners and artisans I both respect and recommend. If I do not offer what you need, I suggest the following: (I may be forgetting some in my haste.)

  • Timely Tresses – Danielle offers a wide range of nineteenth century millinery, patterns and publications.
  • Pam Robles makes simple stunning pieces.
  • Vivian Murphy hand works her woven straw bonnets. These are available in a limited number each year.
  • Jamie Quick is making beautiful hoods based on original patterns. She has an eye for detail. Find her work on Etsy as barnyardbiddy
  • Holly Ray makes beautiful, detail focused evening headdresses. Find her work on Etsy as thedoctorsstitches
  • Kathey Kelly Hunt makes a variety of headwear with a focus on unique for era.
  • Knit hoods and headwear with sound research and techniques can be found on Etsy as RuedelaPaixRepros. I also like the knitting work of Deborah Hyland.
Published in: on October 25, 2017 at 12:01 pm  Leave a Comment  

There are days I feel like I’ve failed women in history, every-day women and exceptional women alike; days I feel like I’ve failed my interpretive goals. In a year so very light on functionality and event attendance, this is nearly every day.

Thank goodness there are women out there pushing us to re-examine how we interpret women of the past and how we view women today. Please take a moment to read these two post from my blog feed:

Kitty Calash’s “Clear and Present Danger” and Our Girl History’s “Women’s Voices”.

Published in: on October 24, 2017 at 1:57 pm  Leave a Comment  

Out of the Box Millinery

With the work-in-progress, Wintering Warmly, I have decided it is finally time to give you a sneak peek at some of the winter hoods and bonnets that may be appearing in the book.

A nice round dozen glimpses sounds good.

These are some of the winter hoods I purchased in the past couple months, a fraction of the pieces that I need to photograph fully. These photos are as they came out of their shipping boxes (or envelops as some of them arrived) of just before they went into their archival box for the first time. The book itself will cover 75 years of winter hoods, spanning from roughly 1825 through the end of the century, focusing on sewn hoods, ie quilted and wadded hoods.

*A portion of these were formerly the collection of another collector. I have the honor of now giving them a home. 

Published in: on October 24, 2017 at 6:00 am  Comments (1)  

Coming Up

33 degrees!

That is how cold it was this morning on the drive in to work. Brrr!!!! By the way… the car currently has no heat. Did I mention Brrrr!!!!

It is most definitely full on fall here in New York.

With the past few crazy months, I am really looking forward to some happenings coming up.

I have two workshops coming up during the Genesee Country Village & Museum’s Domestic Skills Symposium, November 10th, 11th, and 12th. If you haven’t already, I highly recommend registering for this symposium.

IMG_20170818_153458I’ve been cutting the materials for my new Exploring the Work-box: Tools and Trims. This is the workshop held on Friday. Next, I have to make sure I have all the samples organized and pretty. Attendees will be making their own sample book filled with trim samples made with the antique pinking tools I am bringing.  I hope this will be the first in a series of “Explore the Work-box” workshops. Btw, I think I will be naming the pinking machines.

_20171002_181826The materials for the Sunday’s Pin Cushion Sampler are almost ready. Well, they have to all be put in one box to make their way to the village. We will be making popular pin cushions of the nineteenth century – strawberries, seashells, walnuts, and acorns.

fb_img_1479602076155.jpgThe weekend following is GCV’s Preparing for the Holiday’s event. This is a great opportunity to see the historic village in the fall as it will be packed full of interpreters planning for the coming holidays and getting ready for winter. Last year, I made strawberry pin cushions by candlelight with a fellow interpreter. The visitors were wonderful, with the best questions. I have yet to decide if I will be making strawberries or walnuts this year.

After that…. I will be working on smaller gift items for the holiday season. I will also be making more winter hoods. I hope to have more writing time because I have two publications I am working on. I am anxious to get To Net or Not to Net: Revisited and Warmth for Winter (Wintering Warmly?) written and available to all of you. If you missed the information on these:

  • To Net, or Not to Net: Revisited. A deeper look at the hairnet, how they wore it, and how to capture the correct look. This booklet expands on the article I wrote about hairnets a decade ago. This updated and expanded research will include extensive photographs and a new details.
  • Warmth for Winter: Sewn Domestically Winter Hoods and Bonnets. A detailed analysis of construction methods spanning fifty years of quilted and wadded bonnets. This e-book will be photo heavy with close-ups of original hoods and bonnets in my collection. (This title keeps changing between Warmth for Winter and Wintering Warmly.)

Lunch? Yes, I still want to do the off-season local history lunches. I’ve fallen behind on planning those, as with so many other thing.

Reflections on Personal Event Safety 

Much of this was written Saturday night in the midst of trying to touch base with friends at Cedar Creek.  I was trying really hard not to post my thoughts beyond current concern for people, some who I have known half my life, others only a short time.

This morning, Sunday, there are many more people talking about what happened with official and non-official accounts. There is also a great deal of anger and speculation. This post isn’t going to be about that. I have a couple groups of thoughts – personal safety,  event safety and a bit about finances.

I feel the aspects of personal and event safety apply to potential event emergencies, both those made by humans and mother nature. Any event, large or small, regional or local, can potentially face tornadoes, flash flood, fire, and other emergencies.

About personal safety – Several people have mentioned tonight how they do not have various essentials on them. I am now going to begin advocating wearing a separate pocket worn under the crinoline or petticoats containing non-period essentials. This adjustment is for personal safety in many kinds of emergencies, including sudden weather changes as well. (Another event this weekend faced a doozy of a storm.) Personal essentials could include:

  • Identification
  • Car keys
  • Medications
  • Emergency contact information
  • Medical reference form
  • A high protein snack
  • Cell phone for communication

Here is an old set of directions for making a pocket. They are ridiculously easy.

About event safety – I know you see some of us post about registering before an event and how it helps with planning. We get brushed off all too often. But, this right here is one of the other reasons why accurate registration numbers and records are so important. Coordinators need to know how many people are on site in case of an emergency,like this one. They need to be able to communicate this information to emergency response teams.
A couple things on finances – Please notice how this is going to effect the merchants who make this their livelihood or whose business is a notable portion of personal budget.

Each merchant/sutler that was at the event this weekend has lost significant sales from about 24 of heavy sales and orders time. While this may not seem like much, this can make or break some merchants. Going to large events is costly. Those in attendance I know of: Corner Clothiers with Timely Tresses, Button Baron, Civil War Lady, Mac)

In the coming months, sadly I suspect people will decide this hobby or field is not for them. (I do not wish to discuss personal choices here.) This will continue to effect the sales merchants will have. I expect to lose some quality merchants and artisans within the next year.

Please, consider supporting the merchants at the event and your favorite merchants through the winter.

Also about finances – This is about planning ahead more than speculation please. I expect there to be some changes in the cost of hosting and attending events, due to increasing insurance and security. This is understandable. The increased cost may influence the cancellation or significant changes in some events. I am aware of one small event that had to change from live interpretation to an inside presentation format. It may be advantageous to plan ahead both for a monetary increase in registration and a diversified presentation style.

Okay, that all said, my heart is heavy. So many friends, including long term friends, were potentially in danger ladt night. I am so grateful to those who worked through the night to ensure their safety. 

Published in: on October 15, 2017 at 9:25 am  Comments (2)  

Blog Support 

You may have noticed fewer posts as of late. This is partly due to my health distractions and partly due to an overly delayed blog upgrade. I have nearly used all the space at my current level with WordPress. 

It has been 9 years with shy of 1,400 posts (I deleted a bunch for space) and I am estimating 3,500 media files. That comes to 99.8% of my space. (I may just max it out with a post or two.) 

I have several blog posts waiting for once I do the upgrade, including:

  • Millinery Mondays:
  • How to make a sleeping cap. 
  • A corded sunbonnet step by step
  • Fanciful Utility Fridays:
  • How to make spool holders (the ones from the fair)
  • A special needle-book (possibly with a kit.) 
  • Sew Practically (may end up a shared theme with Don’t Paint the Cat.)

If you’ve enjoyed reading and/following my blog, please consider supporting it by making a purchase at my Etsy shop. 

Published in: on October 8, 2017 at 2:30 pm  Comments (2)  

This Season’s Winter Millinery 

The winter hoods I am making this fall to winter season are based on original garments in my collection. 

For those in an area with windy, blustery winters, this first hood is a great option. The original comes forward of the face with long lappet like cheektabs. It was made with a dark green wool exterior and bright pink inside. I will be offering this hood in both wool as the original and in silk as many similar originals are made, including another with the same shape and color combination. This hood is also available adps a pattern in my Etsy shop.

This next hood is a sweet hood formerly in Vivian Murphy’s collection. I am quite lucky to be able to care for several hoods previously in her collection. This sweet hood has a light green wool exterior and gold silk interior. The shapes used to make it are beautiful. This hood also can fold forward to protect the face from the elements. I will be offering this hood in wool and in silk with various trims in period techniques.

Functional and popular is this, a warmer, thicker batted bonnet style. This brim is shallower and oh-so soft to wear. The quilted bavolet protects the neck from the cold and snow. I will be primarily offering this style in silk with local wool batting inside. 

Dont worry, I haven’t forgotten the well loved wadded, or pumpkin bonnet. This thickly wadded silk bonnet is filled with wool. It is so and warm, protecting the wearer from the coldest of winters. I will be offering a few of these this winter in silk. 

Please visit my Etsy shop to see what is available. I expect to offer a bonnet every other week or so. I have some beautiful silks to work with and some really lovely wools.