That´s what you get….

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…if you watch to much period-drama series!

A month ago I stumbled by chance over “The House of Eliott”. I never knew, this series was existing!

After watching series one, I was so inspired, I just wanted to make some of the cloth and hats for me….But like always in my special universe, it turned out to be completely different. I wanted to begin with something like Evangelines lacy nightgown. So I sewed along, added on and made some small changes, important for me, because I´m a diverse type of woman…And after all, the thing created itself and became a vintage-style summer dress instead of a nightgown….

It´s funny….No matter how hard I try, to stay with the original- in the end it´s ALWAYS completely different! Even if I use very similar materials!

Seems, my own style is to strong, to copy things just like that.

And  maybe that´s the point: Perhaps it MUST be this way!

So don´t try to do exactly the same, that someone else has done before. Go your own way, find your own creative expression and develop yourself!

After the dress, that ought to be a nightgown, I tried again and this time I got something, that´s  useable for a nightgown AND a dress….I´m afraid, it´s hopeless!

Now I work on two versions of  early 1920s lingerie-over gowns, I saw in the series…..And they will be very much my own style again….

And YES it´s recycling! Some of the vintage lace had been used in decades before  or was long forgotten stored in cellars or attics and now comes back to life again!


Hobble Skirt?


It looks a bit like a hobble-skirt, but it isn´t….It´s just a kind of  elastic in the middle and the skirt is an overlong tube, fold up and fixed with some ribbons and buttons on the waistband. A fine project for scraps, as you can see. The ribbons can be crossed, which gives a further decoration effect.

But there is one thing, you should be aware of: The skirt must be worked in two sections and than joined. Otherwise if you fold the lower part up, you  see the the inner seam on the outside.



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Sometimes I sew things just for fun….especially, if I don´t know what to do with my big amount of scraps. In this case, I made a coat that´s a mix-up between a vintage japanese fishermans-jacket and a mongolian coat. It´s a bit stiff, I must confess, but still wearable. I lined it with parts of a vintage peasant-bed clothing. The piece keeps me amazingly warm. Now I only have to find the courage, to wear it…..

Hat-Scraps…or Scrap-Hats

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Whenever you finish a hat, there are some scraps remaining.

But milliners don´t throw them away. Hat bodies- especially in a good quality- are expensive and there aren´t many suppliers these days. So you store the scraps and use them in new projects. Some of them end as decorations, but larger pieces can be combined to complete hats, like in this case.

The salmon hat is made from two different kinds of sinamay in salmon and brown, combined with a piece of salmon straw for the brim. I added some ribbon-pieces on for the flowers and the decoration.

The brown hat is made from two kinds of paper-straw, separately worked of course and then combined. The pattern for the cocade comes from the book  “How to make 100 Ribbon Embellishments” by Elaine Schmidt.

This book has (different from other books in that field) good instructions, also  useful for beginners.

So grab your scraps! You can make always be creative with them !

Tale of the “Rage-Hat”

Hat blocks were made over centurys in Europe. Most of them from wood, but alternative materials like wire, stiffed fabric, paper maché, plaster or different kinds of mass were also used.

Industrial production of hat blocks came with the 19th century. But the handmade, unique  blocks, build by wood-carvers or women still existed. And they looked often very different to the industrial ones.

Industrial blocks have holes on the underside, to put them on a stand for work, but some of the unique hand-made blocks have none.  And it was (and still IS) common, to use laminated wood for a hat block.  Usually hardwood was used, but there are some examples of different kinds of woods, especially on unique hand made blocks.

Huge and heavy hat blocks, that would have tipped a stand over, got supporters of wood underneath or were plain.

And it was not always necesssary to use needles and pins. Until the early 20th century, the hat crown was fixed on the pass to the brim with belt-like stripes of leather or strings. Felt- or straw bodies were just folded under the underside of that huge and heavy hat blocks. And also grooves, very common today, existed then. Little cushions, filled with sand or rice, held the hat body down on cavitys.

Some of this methods are still commonly today!

OK, Lady….But  WHAT is the meaning of this lecture?

Wait and see! Here comes the story of the “rage-hat”:

Some years ago, by asccident, I found a vintage hat block from around 1910-18 with one of those outsized hat-crowns, that were fashionable at the time. I dreamed of making period hats for theaters or reenactment, but it never turned out this way. So I sold the hat block with a heavy heart for a good price.

Problem solved and everything´s coming up roses?

No! The opposite! Soon after, I received a rather “frosty”email from the buyer.

She told me, I had sold her a useless “decoration item” instead of a genuine hat block and wanted her money back.

Her reasons were: The hat block has no holes on the underside and can not be used on a stand, it is laminated from different pieces of wood and those “shelfes” are not suitable to push pins in.

That´s right. But the heavy hat block was never meant to be worked on a stand. It´s weight is 3 kg! And it´s not necessary to work with pins on it. The use of  laminated “shelfes” is also not uncommon. And why on earth, should anyone with a sense make a huge block in shape of a Titanic-Era hat and use it as a decoration item at home?

I must confess, it made me angry. A good milliner should have the skills to work even on uncommon hat blocks and not only on convenient modern or industrial pieces!  It´s ok, to “dump” some technics or blocks, if you don´t go along with it, or you found a better way.  but it´s important, to test it and have the experience!

I payed the money back and the hat block came back home again. I think, I keep it!

But there are things, I won´t have!  And one of them is, if someone accuses me, I had sold her decoration-rubbish, useless for millinery.

So I sat down and MADE a hat with this block! Without using pins! (I should have done that years before!)

And here it is, the hat, that can´t exist, according to this Lady….Rather nice for a hat, made on a “decoration item”, isn´t it ?WP_20160127_15_28_46_Pro__highres WP_20160127_15_32_44_Pro WP_20160201_14_24_42_Pro WP_20160201_14_25_10_Pro WP_20160202_22_30_19_Pro__highres WP_20160203_14_34_55_Pro__highres WP_20160203_14_35_11_Pro WP_20160203_14_35_34_Pro