Dragonfly and Lizards

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Ok…Another cloche again….!

But I love them! And this one got a special embellishment: A big Art Nouveau dragonfly in the middle of the front and eight swarming little brass-lizards  from the same era on one side.  The hat is Art Déco-Style, but I think, the metal stamp-animals are a good match anyway. But there are people, who get a bit edgy, by the sight of this hat…..

Sometimes things should (almost) remain the way they are….

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When I found this beautiful piece of art nouveau-fabric, I thought about using it for a skirt. But I never had the right idea about it, so it slept for a long time in my fabric-drawer.

One day I looked for something else, found this piece instead and realised, that it was not neccesary to change it that much….It could almost stay the way it was. All I had to do, was to dye it, because the original color was such a bright-and-shiny white, you could get snow-blind. And white does nothing for me, so I added on a bit of autum-red and use it now as a shawl or stole.

I confess, I never found out, what it really was in earlier days. Maybe a curtain for a kind of open drawer?

Now it´s a shawl and I love the intricate and beautiful pattern.

Simple Over-Skirt

If you have some scraps, big enough for patchwork and matching somehow, you can try a simple wrapping over-skirt like this. WP_20151008_11_54_23_Pro WP_20151008_11_54_35_Pro WP_20151008_11_54_54_Pro







I used some vintage curtain-pieces, old lace and parts of antique bed-clothing. A rubber band at the waist, a button on the inside and a braid on the front for closure- Ready. (Ok, first I had to dye it all….) It won´t take some time, but it looks nice and you can wear it over skirts, trousers, leggins or a swimsuit in summer.

You can use many kinds of fabric and lace (but it works better, if the material is non-stretchable) Just follow your own taste and possibilitys.

A real shabby coat

After I finished my two versions of the “Mrs. Santa Coat”, I had promised myself a third one in brown. I had a vintage velvet curtain in mind,  I stored for a long time and never knew, what to do with it.

It seemed perfect, but (like always!) things turned out completely different.

First I had to face, that the curtain was more “shabby” than expected. Some small parts of the velvet were fallen out. And the fabric had unremovable marks from the former seams. For the lining a had only some vintage fabric from a duvet (plumeau) in a shade of green. But the worst was, I could only cut 1 1/2 sleeves. All I had left was some smaller scraps…But give up? NO!

I had to be creative again….First I patched some of the scraps together and made the missing sleeve-half with it. Then I covered two misplaced spots, where the velvet was damaged, with matching borders and then I had to pretend, that all of this was planed from the start, and I wanted to sew a patchwork-coat….

Of course I couldn´t give a coat like thatWP_20160116_13_17_24_Pro WP_20160116_13_17_52_Pro a shiny new closure….So I took a beautiful, but rusty and shabby vintage belt buckle. I´m not quite sure, if it´s late art nouveau or early art déco, but who cares….

No, it might not be the most beautiful coat in fashion history, but for a shabby old curtain it´s nice enough….and very individual!

So don´t dump things, just because they are a bit shabby. Make a repair, give it a new life, change it into something complete different and be happy with it, no matter what other people say.

Millinery Items? YES!

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It´s fun to have some beautiful wooden hat blocks….But what, if you can´t get the one you desire for a new project, because there is no hat block in the right shape on the market or you simply have not enough money to buy , or let it custom-made for you?

Or you had just started millinery and your budget is very small?

So be creative!

Look everywhere: In your kitchen, your cabinets, on flea-markets, sozial-departments….But for WHAT? Hat blocks seem to appear there seldom…REAL hat block off course…But some items in the form of hats and fascinators are easy to find.

Bowls  in every shape and size, candlesticks, lampshades, sieves, lids, coasters…Whatever inspires you, can be used for millinery.

But what about items, made of glass, ceramic or metal? It´s impossible, to push the millinery-pins in.

I have solved the problem by wrapping some strong gaffer-tape around the edge of the item, I want to use. Usually I  avoid the use of anything plastic, but in this case, I couldn´t find another solution. (And as you can see on the pictures, there IS a blue plastic-bowl! But I simply couldn´t resist the curvy shape!)

The gaffer-tape sticks on the edge in- and outside and you can plunge the pins careful through, if you stretch the hat body.

So don´t let your small budget get in the way of your millinery. There is always a possibility and to use “lost” items like shabby bowls, lids without their pots, shades of broken lamps and ugly candlesticks as millinery items , can be another wise way of “recycling”.


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Sitting in the evening on a chair at a warm fire and watching the flames, while outside the snow ist falling, is not only relaxing, but also inspiring.

I had the idea, to crochet a shawl in a dynamic pattern and the colors of the fire.

I found the right pattern on Sarah Londons website sarahlondon.wordpress.com.

It´s called “apache tears” and you can get the pattern on this website for free.

Yes, it looks stunning and very complicated, but in fact it´s a very simple pattern and even good for beginners, who just “took up the hook”.


A hat and a crown

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Another rag-princess-tale.

“Look, what I made!” the rag-princess yelled.

Prince charming startlet that much, he almost fell off the chair.  “Wife! Why are you screaming like a sirene? Ist the enemy on our gate, ready to attack the castle?”

“No, silly!  Of course not! I just wanted to show you the new cloche-hat, I recyled from an old one!”

“Another hat?” prince charming groaned. “When I opened your closet last week almost 500 of them fell out!”

“342 including this one, to be precise…They are part of my project “365 hats around the year.” That means, there are still 23 to make! Now tell me…do you like it?”

“I find it hideous! prince charming said. “There are two things, I really dislike and those are cloches and velvet of every kind!”

“But I love cloches and velvet!” The rag-princess beeped.

“As if I didn´t know!” prince charming snapped.

“Do you like ANY of my hats?”

“…Well….Some of your cart-wheels aren´t that bad….But the others are quite absurd. I wished, you would wear the crown instead, I gave you for our wedding.”

“The crown is pressing. It gives me a headache. And It´s not very helpful in the rain or burning sun!”The rag-princess said and straightened her cloche, that was displaced while the crosstalk.

“But you would much more look like a princess and not like a….a….There is acctually no word for it! And everyone in the fairy-land knows, that princesses never get wet in the rain or even get a sunburn!”

“Rubbish! What about Cinderella? When I saw her two days ago, she was wet like a rat for beeing caught in the rain without a hat or umbrella!”

the rag-princess gave her husband a scathing look,  floated to the cloak room to get her coat and soon after, when both went for a walk, she wore her new cloche and a velvet coat……

The red cloche on the pictures is recycling. When I started millinery years ago, some of my beginners-hats were actual catastrophes. This one was so horrible, I burried it as deep as I could in my “trunk of shame”. But that was no real solution, so I digged it out again and turned it into this cloche. It has some little flaws on the inside, but on the outside it looks brand- new. I embellished the hat with silk-satin-ribbon, vintage petersham ribbon and a genuine art-déco-belt buckle.

Another “Phryne”-Hat


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Series 3 of “Miss Fishers Murder Mysteries” finally arrived here on the  day before Christmas. And -as expected- some fantastic new hats did show up.

When I saw the  pink toque with the vintage embroidered flower embellishment, I got “voracious” to have one in that style for my own….

Of course not exactly the same hat.  The dark pink of the original hat does absolutly nothing for me. So I chose eggplant colored felt from a hat, I made years ago and now wanted to recycle.

And I wanted to try a beautiful old french hat block, I possess for years and never did anything with. It has a slightly different shape, but I wanted it that way.

About the vintage flower-decoration, I can say , that for once I was in a good position: I didn´t have to look far, because some of those embroidered flowers were produced in the eastern part of Germany, between the 1920s-40s.

And many of them were hidden and forgotten for a long time in old stores, cellars, attics and storerooms, survived the times of the DDR and now come back to light again one after the other.

By chance I found one, matching my hat and very similar in color to the one on the pink toque. It has of course a complete different shape. To get exactly the same flower would have been a miracle and much more, than I expected.

But mine ist pretty too and I mounted it on the felt bow, belonging to the hat.

After finishing, I made pictures and found the hat pretty well on my “assistent” Lucy. But when I tried, it looked somehow odd.


I turned the hat from left to right, put it on askew and finally turned it completely with the back in front….That´s when I found out, what was wrong: The flower-bow-decoration was on the same side like the pink toque showed. But my Version looked much better on ME with the bow on the opposite. So I removed the bow, turned it upside down and remounted the flower. Than I sewed it on the other side.

And now it works. I made new pictures with Lucy, put it on myself and it really looks much better!

The first comment I got, after finishing this hat was “My grandmother had some like these….”

I answered ” But mine is DIY and there is only one.”

“Well….I hope so!”



Wild Ribbon-Top

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I have so much to do at the moment….I don´t even have the time to write articles for my blog…But sometimes, I find a way (and an hour or two)….

Actually the “Wild-Ribbon-Top” isn´t my own design.

I found the inspiration in a 1900´s-fashion-magazin-illustration. Of course it looked very different: It was a dress, in another color,long-sleeved with very long ribbons, draped artistically around the skirt. What looks so amazing on the picture, would never work in the real world. (Like many fashion-illustrations from the first quarter of the 20th century) It´s more like a luxurious fantasy. But I thought, it could be modernised and made wearable with a few changes…So I made a top instead of a dress, with much shorter ribbons, NOT wrapped around the skirt. The artistic effect is gone, of cause, but my version prevents you from “stumble and fall”….

I sewed it from rough corduroy, found on a flea-market. The ribbons are predominant vintage and the decoration around the neckline was made from braided vintage ribbons.

One can wear the top solo, but I think, it looks better with a simple longsleeved under-gown.


Some weeks ago I had the idea to make lingerie out of old clothing and scraps….and why not, is there a rule, that every lingery must always be made of only one kind of fabric?

It worked, as you can see on the pictures. I used old tunics, blouses and skirts, cut them up and made scrap-lingerie. Combined with some old lace and buttons.

Ok….the pieces MAY BE a bit odd…Especially the tap-pant with the patchwork-front…But where´s the limit to creativity? And honestly, the tap pant may not look like, but it´s very comfortable!

So, if you want to try- just go on! Even a thing like that can be a sensibel way in recycling  of old clothing and fabric.