Some hat blocks are quite funny!


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Some time ago I found a funny vintage hat block on the web…1960s I think……It was a “must have” for me, so I bought it!

I really love the shape of it and call it “the turtle”.And I also like the nice straw-barett I made last year!

There are hundreds of funny, beautiful hat blocks – vintage and new- for sale on the web…But beware! Some of them are works of art and look fantastic in a shelf. But it´s impossible to make fair hats with them. Most of the hats look unflattering or- worst case- absolutly ridicolous.

I had such “flops” many times, but learned a lot from it. Before I buy a new hat block this days, I take a long hard look and try to imagine, how the future hat would be….Most of the time I decide not to buy and save the money for a better occasion.

I leave such hat blocks to more courageous, groundbreaking  milliners or hat block collectors.

I bet, some of you made the same experience!

Another Curtain-Jacket

WP_20150929_12_46_21_ProI was busy with a little christmas-project the whole weekend, but I also wanted to write a quick article for my blog:

Heavy old Curtains from the 1950s or 60s are perfect for bags, dresses, jackets or coats. You can also turn them into medieval- or renaissance-robes. And you can buy them for a cheap price on flea-markets, in second-hand-stores or social departements.

This jacket I sewed from a short, shiny-red curtain. The neckline ist trimmed with satin-ribbon and from all remaining scraps I made a front-bag and some origami-embellishment. Almost zero-waste!

New life for an old hat

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No, not exactly “old” in terms of vintage, but a hat from a second-hand-store. mass-produced, cheap, boring. The condition was good, seems the hat was seldom worn, so I decided to give it a bit more style.

First I changed the shape of the hat crown, than the decoration. I had a nice piece of handmade art déco applique, which suited the hat very well. I like the mazy “swirls”!

So if you posses a cheap, boring hat and you don´t really go along with it- Change it. Vintage items, new items, anything is good for decoration. Maybe you cut the brim or embelish with some patchwork. Don´t be afraid to ruin the hat. Most of the “desasters” can be adjusted somehow!

Hop in the Pond!









The only thing you can do, if you wear a froggy dress like this, is to hop in the next pond. Or to write a story…..

Hop in the Pond!

A rag-princess tale


On a  bright summer day, not long ago, the rag-princess went on a walk with her dear friend, the beautiful princess with a pie through the forests of fairyland. After a while,  they came to a masoned well.

„Oh! What a romantic pond!” The princess with the pea called. (She wasn´t the smartest, you know…)

„Now…ACTUALLY it´s a WELL!“ The rag-princess said.

„Who cares about such nonrelevant details! Pond, well…Where´s the difference?“  the princess with the pea answered, went closer to the well and bend herself over the masoned edge.

“Oh!  The water-level is quite high in there! I can see my own reflection!” She jumped up and down forward the edge and admired her reflection, until suddenly she began to scream: “MY PEA! MY PEA! My pea dropped in the pond!”

The rag-princess shrugged. „So what?“ Go home to the castle´s kitchen, open the fridge and get yourself another pea!”

“But you don´t understand! It was my GOLDEN Pea!”

„What are you talking about? I don´t understand any word!”

„I talk about the golden pea I won! It was the award for the „most sensitive princess of the whole fairyland-contest!“

The rag-princess groaned. It´s quite funny, how you can get an award for every nonsense these days!

Maliciously she said: „If you want to get your precious pea back, you have to hop in the well, dive under and search the ground, until you found it!“

„Hop in the POND? Into that dark, muddy, water? Dive Into this DARK ABYSS?  In my BEST dress? Und who knows, what dirt and microbes may lurk there or monsters and horrible beings like FROGS!  Have you forgotten, WHO I am?“

The rag-princess hadn´t forgotten and she found her secret joy in watching the princess without a pea shivering with fear.

„Frogs are known to life in ponds! And THIS is a WELL!” she said.

But she had hardly spoken the last word, when the water splashed and a big, fat frog sat there on the edge of the well and stared at them angrily with golden eyes.

„What riot you women make! Can a frog not be left alone for five minutes? I was just composing a new frog-concerto! So stop this infernal noise!

„What did I say? It´s a POND!  And there he is, the icky FROG!“ the princess without a pea screamed and looked  reproachful at her friend.

„Did you say “icky“?”  The frog  croaked. „ Must I bear an insult from such unsavory, pale women, while one of them wears only rags and the other is a screechy hysteric?”

„Be careful, what you say! We are PRINCESSES!” the princess without a pea screamed.

The frog laughed himself half to death.He nearly fell of the well´s edge.

„Princesses! And I am the golden toad of luck! The frog scoffed, as soon as he could breath again.

The princess without a pea opened her mouth to start screaming again, but the rag princess decided to access.

„We´re only two women in need of help from a brave frog!” She said hasty.

The frog winked with his eyes, cocked his head and looked at her suspiciously.

„Why should two princesses need a  plain frog like me? Don´t you have servants?“

„We´re MODERN princesses….“ The rag-princess  sighed. „ And complete helpless in this situation.  Only you can help us, you noble, benevolent frog!” Now the frog looked a bit flattered  and his voice became kind.

„So, what is it, you´re asking for?” He said.

„My golden pea dropped in the pond!“ The princess without a pea called.  „And now we need someone, to dive into this icky, muddy broth and fish it out. Tears stood in her beautiful eyes.

But frogs usually don´t care for women´s tears and neither do they like their homes to be insulted. So he ignored her ululation and shook his big head.

„Nope. Go and find someone else to get your pea. Just because I´m a frog and you´re two rather dopey PRINCESSES, there is no reason, why I should be your servant and do the dirty work for you arrogant women! And by the way…I think it´s rather silly, to run around with a golden pea!”

Said it and jumped back in the well with a splash of water.

„But….But we´re going to REWARD you! The princess without a pea screamed afterwards.

„Thank´s but no thanks! The hollow answer came out of the deep.  „I got everything, a frog needs!”

For a moment the princess witout a pea stood stiff and still, than she began to whine and cry loudly. It was like someone had linked a siren to a water cannon. The rag-princess shook her head and slapped her friend, to make her quiet. Than helped her, to sit down on the next comfortable stone. Now she began to think.

„I may be not a beauty and always dressed in rags“ She said with a side glance at the still whining princess without a pea. “But I got wits and maybe I have an idea, how to make the frog change his mind.

She lurked to the well and positioned herself, so every word could be heard loud and clear:

“How annoying, Mr. Frog wouldn´t cooperate! Now the only way is, to inform the authoritys!“

„A…..Au…thoritys?“The princess without a pea whined. “W…hat authoritys?“

„Now, the department for  magic-well administration for example. What do you think will they do, if it becomes public, how DANGEROUS this well is!

The water surface began to tremble.

„Why…dan…gerous? The princess without a pea whined again.

„Imagine, what can happen at an insecure well like this!”

Bubbles came up  and the water surface got more agitated.

„All those tourists from everywhere, running in herds through the forest and come to this well, thirsty and tired! Think of all those digicams, sunglasses, smartphones, laptops and TODDLERS to drop into the well!

Two big frog-eyes lurked atop the water surface.

„Of cause  it´s possible to SECURE the well with a grid. But that takes money and the fairyland is constantly bankrupt. And the oger, the talking boar and the merman would always severe the grid- You know, how they are!“

To the frog´s eyes now came to long legs, fretful fidgeting around in the water.

„So in the end, they have to tear the surroundings down and fill up the well. And the golden pea will remain deep underground for eternity!”

The princess without a pea struggled her hands and whined louder. In the well, the water began to splash.

„What will become of Mr. Frog?….! The rag princess shrugged.  „I think, Mr. Frog  will reside in a dungeon for a while, indicted for illegal dwellling in a dangerous public  well and after his time in the dungeon, they expulse him and if he ever finds a similar homely pond, where he can compose and non of the other frogs kill his nerves, that  is only known to the fairy godmother!”

She had hardly ended her long speach, when something sparkling hurtled through the air, over the edge of the well and touched down in front of the princess without a pea´s feet.

„MY PEA!” she screamed and stopped  whining at once. “My GOLDEN PEA!“ she bend down and grabbed the treasure from the ground.

Now she began to dance and panned the shining pea, so full of joy, that she didn´t even noticed her environment.

„That was blackmail!“ The frog croaked.  „And what about the dungeon?“

“No dungeon!“ The rag-princess said. „Why should we put a helpful frog like you in a dungeon and expulse him from his home sweet home?”  You could hear the stone (or was it a pea?), falling from the frogs heart. He nodded at the rag-princess and dived down to his private concert hall, where he  enjoyed  full of relief the pleasure of his frog-concerto.

The rag-princess sighed, grabbed the princess with a reclaimed pea on the back of her dress, to stop her from dancing around and pushed her on the path homewards to the castle.

„Put away that thing, or I´m going to throw you into  the well, where you can meet Mr. Frog again! I can´t bear peas anymore!“ she said.

Her friend made a face, but obeyed.  Then she had a thought: „In every fairy-tale, the hero will be rewarded at the end. Even if the hero is a heroine this time….That means, you can make a wish now…So what do you require?”

The rag-princess stood still. “Well…..if you ask me…..Didn´t you go through your 48-yard of wardrobe, like you do every month and weren´t there some ball-gowns, only worn once, you intended to dump?

„That´s right! Tomorrow is garbage collection day!“

Good. Then this is my wish: No garbage collection this time. Instead I get all the ball-gowns. I´m short on stuff for my new rag-collection at the moment.

The princess with the pea swallowed hard and turned pale, thinking of the horrible garments, her friend would make from the ball-gowns, but she nodded bravely.

And so, at the same evening, the rag-princess  dragged some bags of stuff into her secret sewing-cave down in the dungeons of prince charming´s castle, which drove him almost to infarction.

But from now on, the princess with the pea avoided every kind of waters.

And the frog? He called himself „Croakhoven“ and became a very famous composer, best known for his frog-sinfonia in e-dur. And if he hasn´t died, he´s still composing!



Cartwheel at least…



Yesterday I talked about my “cartwheel-catastrophe”. Today I show you the second hat I made, after I turned the aside first version into a cloche.

This time I succedded. (Thankfully! Because I had only two yellow panama hat bodies!)

I think, the colors of corn and violets are a perfect  match and the art nouveau brass embellishing looks nice on my cartwheel and also matches the pattern on the vintage ribbon around the hat crown.

Two-Front Hat

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Why should a hat always have a front and a back?  Why can´t it have two fronts?

This thought follows me for years.

This Little hat actually HAS two fronts.  I turn the hat with the change of my clothing and moods.

One front shows some flowers, I made from a damaged petersham ribbon and some vintage satin-ribbon.  The “other front” shows a beautiful and rare example of art nouveau-lace.

So don´t be afraid to leave the path of “convention” in milllinery. As long, as the hat does anything for you, it´s also good enough for your  environment and you shouldn´t care what they say.

And if you have flawed, vintage peterham ribbon, don´t throw it away. Just rip it off. It can still make good centers for some kinds of millinery-flowers.

Sometimes, everything goes wrong….






Usually I´m very carefull with expensive and high-quality panama-hat bodies. But sometimes, everything goes wrong.

I wanted a yellow cartwheel with lace on the edge. But after finishing, the hat looked a bit “aside”.  I removed the lace, but had to life with the fact, that some clearly visible sewing-holes remained. I simply couldn´t wear the hat this way. So in the end it turned out to be a asymmetrical cloche. I stayed with black & yellow, but let alone the lace. Instead I took some vintage petersham ribbon, old velvet and a handmade vintage flower. Now everything is satisfying and I wear the hat a lot.

And after all, I made another cartwheel from the same material and color!

The Metropolitan-Project: Gown No. 4

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Gown no. 4 ist finished and also my Metropolitan-Project.  This time I chose a asymmetrical  lingerie-gown made of batiste and lots of complete different laces. The gowns skirt was open at one side and some of the  lace had been sewed in a curve. It had also an open space on the front, where the undergown was visible. I couldn´t do the curve, because non of my leftover laces had the right length and some of them are fragil and delicate. But I could do the open space and make a kind of patchwork from all the remaining bits and pieces in my lace-box. Like the original, I let the skirt open at one side. So I can lift it, to sit down without damaging the fine lace.

Of cause there where the common obstacles….I don´t know how many tiny holes I mend and how often I had to change the positions of the lace-items on the pattern, until they fitted perfectly. And the gown is shabby, that´s true. But I don´t care. I´m proud of my antique beautys, no matter their condition.

I like this gown the most of all four. Maybe because it´s so weird. And I should lend it to the rag-princess for the next ball. (I don´t want to imagine, what prince charming says!)

Now, after all is finished, I´m a bit fed up with off-white and ecru and want to go back to COLOR!!!!!

Sometimes you need a second try…

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After finishing gown no. 2, I ascertained, I feel awkward with it. I couldn´t go on with the  extended size of the dress. I had to made it extremly loose, to show the embroidery on the skirt´s center, but it did nothing for me.  And I found the appliques in the middle , that covered some holes and spots, not fine enough. And the roses….No way! So I began again. I was already busy with gown no. 4, so I took the time and changed my wrong-gone no. 2. Now it´s more of my taste.

First I joined a broad ribbon in the waist. so I could draw a satin ribbon through, regulate the width and show the embroidery in the middle at the same time.  Than the unloved appliques had to go. I replaced them with a piece of vintage  Valencienne-lace and tinkered a new decoration for the middle-part from another applique and  some small lace.  It´s still not perfect, but now it looks much better and does more for me.

And what about the “girlish” rose-decoration? I removed it. There will be  a millinery project in future , I can use them for!