Sunday, February 24, 2013

(Even More) Thrift Store Scores

I've been terrible about updating this blog lately, as well as sharing my (now rather long) backlog of thrift store scores!  So here's a sampling of some of the lovely vintage items I've found recently (and plan on keeping)...

Gorgeous 1950s New Look "Rosenhoff's Shop" label navy blue dress. ($8.99)

1950s/1960s Silver Fox Fur Collar ($9.99)

1950s Silky Soft Chocolate Brown Mink Fur Swing Coat by La Pointe's Furs ($19.99)

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Etsy Store Sneak Preview!

Here's a sneak preview of some of the vintage items hitting my Etsy store soon...

Adorable 1950s/1960s handmade cropped blouse.  The fabric is a fun black & white checkerboard with plastic buttons in front and metal zipper in back.

Amazing 1950s/1960s Emma Domb evening gown - covered in sequins, with an attached blue satin train in back.

Gorgeous 1940s mink (or possibly muskrat?) fur coat with two large bakelite buttons.  The fur is still incredibly soft, albeit worn in spots.  The pockets have been replaced, but are a tad shallow (so you may decide to redo them), and I have repaired several small tears (mostly in the shoulder and arm areas).  

Being sold "as-is," but still a sturdy and glorious vintage fur coat!

P.S. - Like the hat I'm wearing in some of these pictures?  Oh yeah, I made that too...It's not for sale (sorry!), but there is a very similar one (albeit in different colors) hitting my millinery Etsy store soon!

Thursday, February 21, 2013


I had some vintage materials laying around, and two faux birds who desperately needed a home.  Therefore, I made another tilt hat!  

The hat body is constructed out of a piece of ~1940s black wool felt, with 1940s black fancy patterned veiling, vintage red velvet flowers, and my two lovely little vintage faux hummingbirds.  The birds did not come with tail feathers, but I felt that for the whimsical scene I was attempting to portray - two hummingbirds zooming around a bunch of flowers - that long, colorful tail feathers were required.  I had a vintage millinery decoration (a gift from the lovely Cindy who owns the Vintage Hat Shop on Etsy!) consisting of some very stiff rainbow-dyed rooster saddle feathers.  I gently removed these from the decoration and attached them to the faux birdies!

I had originally planned to list this in Etsy store.  In fact, I did!  But then I made the mistake of trying the hat on with one of my green dresses...*sigh*  I made it two days before I pulled the listing.  I can try and justify it: the veiling had some tears, everyone told me I had priced the hat about $100 too low, etc.  But let's be honest here: I have never yet been able to sell a birdie hat that I have made that was not a custom order requested by a client.  I just can't do it!!  Does this mean I'll never be successful as a milliner?  Maybe.  But if I have to trade success for keeping all of the awesome birdie hats, I'll do it!  At least I'll be poor and fashionable.

In the meantime, I have two other yellow faux birdies of similar size and style that I will be using to create a 2nd version of this hat design.  This time, I'll be using vintage brown velour felt, with the yellow birds, ivory-hued vintage flowers, and a vintage brown veiling.  This WILL be listed in the Etsy store (I swear!!), and may turn into another custom order option, as I have found a source for small vintage faux birds in a variety of colors.

I also tried my hand at creating my own vintage-style faux bird yesterday.  After owning and repairing countless bird hats, I know exactly how the birds are made.  The problem is that finding the materials to recreate them is near impossible!  I have yet to track down a similar material to use for the fiber filling...In any event, I cannibalized a modern craft store foam bird and used its head as part of the base, with buckram for the wing base.  I showed the finished bird to my husband, and he said he couldn't tell it apart from my other vintage birds!  Hurray!

Tuesday, February 12, 2013

2nd Annual Prohition Party

Well, after all of my griping and swearing that I would never again host another one, guess what happened last Saturday?: The 2nd Annual Prohibition Party.

I had several requests from people, asking me to host another party this year.  I finally gave in, and the good news is the turnout this year was much more respectable!  It also helped to have two wonderful co-hosts, who took some of the burden off of party planning.  

We also improved upon last year's design, making the livingroom into an even better jazz bar. 

We even had a boot legger, a bouncer, and a weapons check at the front door!

Like the cocktail shaker sitting on the bar?  All of our barware was period-appropriate, thanks to MartinisandMore (visit them at the Acme Garage in Medford for excellent vintage barware!) who loaned us everything for the party.

I wore my authentic flapper dress that I purchased after last year's party.  You may remember this picture from the post I wrote about it back then.


I apologize for not taking any pictures while the party was actually in progress - the flash on my new camera is so bright and annoying that I didn't want to blind people, and I am still figuring out how to turn it off when I try and take a picture.

 Blowing Smoke (don't ask where)

All in all, it was an excellent party, and I guess I am going to have to continue to throw these annually...

Monday, February 11, 2013

Like a Kid at Christmas...

On Saturday, I received a new "toy" in the mail!  Ryan said my smile as I opened up the package reminded him of a little kid at Christmas.

I am now the proud owner of a late 1940s/early 1950s vintage hat puzzle block!  I can't wait to start playing...

Back View

Side View

Sunday, February 03, 2013

The Girl in the Green Bird Hat...

I have come to realize that I have a signature "look."  More importantly, I have a signature hat.  

I am associated with vintage faux bird hats in general, and my green bird hat in particular.  It is true: out of all of the hats that I have made or own thus far, it is my absolute favorite.  It is my "go-to" hat when I am going out, and my favorite hat to use for photoshoots.  

I'm sure the green bird hat says a great deal about my personality, but we won't delve into that rabbit hole.

I suppose we all have a signature piece that people associate with us.  What is yours?

Follow "Jillian Garrett Originals" on Facebook...

I'm not sure if you're aware, but there is actually a Jillian Garrett Originals page on Facebook (yes, I know, it's shocking!).  You can follow me on Facebook for the latest sneak previews, millinery ideas, secret coupons for my Etsy hat store, and general vintage hat chat!

Join now to take advantage of my current "secret" Etsy store coupon code, which gives an additional 10% off of the already 14% off discount.  Both offers are valid through February 14th, so grab that luscious little hat that will be the perfect finishing accent to your Valentine's Day date night ensemble!