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!

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