Tuesday, February 25, 2014

More Hats for the Etsy Store...

Now that my millinery studio remodel is finally finished, and I'm starting to get some of my personal health issues under control, I've been able to get back to work creating hats!  I forgot how much I enjoy it...

This custom order faux bird tilt topper just flew off to its new home yesterday...It was an absolute joy to make (probably my favorite hat design of all time).

I recently purchased a vintage hat block, and have been enjoying using it to create various styles of turbans.  The first version was made out of a dark green wool felt, with black vintage veiling and three brown vintage mink tails.  This one is available for sale as an in-stock item in the Etsy store.

The next version (and my personal favorite) was constructed out of pale pink felt, with pink vintage veiling, and a faux bird (whose tail fan I created using antique goura feathers and antique white ostrich feathers). This style of turban is available as a custom order in the Etsy store.  

I'm about to begin working on another colorful version of it - this time using black felt, dark veiling, and a bird made out of electric blue peacock body feathers, with a tail fan consisting of peacock corona feathers and golden-orange ostrich feathers.  It will be absolutely stunning!

Friday, February 21, 2014

On the Work Table...

My work table always has several unfinished millinery projects on it at any given time.  I love to multi-task (can you tell?).


Currently, I'm working on a custom order top hat with faux bird.  However, due to bad weather in other parts of the nation, some of my feather shipments have been delayed.  

So my bald birdie is waiting for his body feathers to arrive in the mail soon...

I also have a new-to-me vintage hat block to play with!  It's a 1930s/1940s turban design, and I have been playing around with different decorating options.  I so loved the dark green felt color of the custom hat order that I purchased some for myself and made a turban on the new block!  

I was gifted some vintage mink tails many years ago, and have never quite known what to do with them until now.  They seemed the perfect finishing touch for the green turban.

I also made myself a lovely pink turban to match my most recent thrift store find (a pastel pink Emma Domb dress).  I created a faux bird for it using a vintage faux bird body, a fan of white ostrich feathers, and some antique goura feathers.  

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Latest Thrifting Score

I've been insanely busy, and feeling repeatedly under the weather to top things off, so I have not been able to get out thrifting as much as I would like to lately.  However, the other morning my darling husband left the house and forgot his wallet and begged me to drive it out to him.  On my way over, I stopped by one of my favorite thrift stores, and discovered this gorgeous pale pink 1950s Emma Domb dress and pinkish-tan elbow length gloves for $24 and $2, respectively.  

If there's one hue I'm a sucker for, it's pink.  Just look at my cat.  *grin*  You can't see it, but the pink satin waist band actually criss-crosses in back - a detail that I just adored!

The nice thing about being a milliner is that I can make hats to match my outfits.  Though I love 1950s dresses, I'm not an enormous fan of the hats of the era.  I recently purchased a fabulous vintage hat block, and happened to have some pink felt and pink veiling at my disposal, so I decided to make a hat to match. 

Yes, it's more 1940s-era, but the nice thing about wearing vintage is that I don't have to match my eras if I don't want to.  And in Southern Oregon, it's not as though anyone is going to notice.  

Of course I'm putting a bird on it.  I decided to incorporate my beautiful antique goura feathers (a thoughtful gift from a friend) into the faux bird too.  The blue-purple of the goura feathers matches the color of the center stones of my treasured Juliana book piece necklace & earrings set.

An Evening of Glamour Awaits...

I made the decision to list my wild faux parrot hat in my Etsy store.  As much as I love it, the hat isn't quite "me."  I'm hoping it will fly off to a wonderful new home, and be worn about the town often.  It pairs perfectly with a glamorous evening dress...

We got some really fabulous pictures of it while photographing my new millinery studio.  

The tilt hat is constructed of a black felt base, and the colorful faux parrot is surrounded by a swirl of vintage pink veiling.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Decorating Projects

Beginning to get the new millinery/craft studio set up...My top three "must haves" for my new work space are: a red fainting couch, a vintage faux bird hat, and a canvas print of "Vallecita's Leopards" (1906 image available through the Library of Congress).

Speaking of decorating (or in this case REdecorating), here's a close-up of the birdie hat. 

It's my latest restoration project.  It is a 1930s/1940s blue felt tilt hat by Maretta Feeley.  Overall, the hat itself is in decent shape.  The feathers are the main problem (a common issue for hats of this age) - they practically disintegrate upon being touched.  Ideally, I would remove all of the feathers, check structural stability of the bird body frames, and then attach all new feathers.  However, I have been absolutely unable to closely match the lovely blue-grey ombre hues of these feathers.  I adore that color scheme, so I made the decision to remove all feathers, salvage what I could, and re-glue them onto the bird frames.  This meant that the birds continued to appear a little more raggedy-looking than I would have liked, but it preserved the original colors of the hats.  

I recently wore the finished hat (along with a gorgeous matching 1940s power suit) to the annual JPR wine-tasting & auction event in Ashland.  I received numerous compliments on my lovely hat!