Wednesday, September 30, 2020

 Zoom has changed my life. I have been able to take classes from milliners all over the world because of Zoom. I love it. My first class was with Lina Stein on swirled bias sinemay. Next I took a class from Alison Clark on using Jinsin mats. A very stiff material. There were several classes from Australian milliner Phillip Rhodes. He utilizes things you have around your workroom. Interesting techniques. Neil Grigg has mastered the making of bows. Now I have some fine examples in my repertoire. Louise MacDonald taught a class on making ribbon cockades. It was going great until my computer crashed. Then there was a class on the Tracey Chapman technique. Great lengths of swirled bias sinemay as brims. 

Look at these Buntal Mat Saucers. They make great fascinators. This technique I actually learned from Louise MacDonald on Hat Academy. 

These hats were also made out of Buntal Mats via a Louise MacDonald class as well. More pictures of my creations to come. 

Friday, February 21, 2020

What it is 2020!!!!!!!!

Hats are again evolving. I took a design class at the local community college and I have a new perspective. I really hate doing things more than once and that attitude has been holding me back. In the design class I learned from the younger students that when they are working on a piece they do many iterations of their ideas before they come up with a final piece. Wisdom from the youth. So I have decided that is what I should be doing. So some of my recent work eco print scarfs and embroidery leaves will be repeated. I also have decided to do a set of a fascinator and wallet combo. So stay tuned for pictures as I begin this years series of hats..

Sunday, March 18, 2018

Millinery 2018 my journey

As I infrequently post about my hat-making I decided to do it this year as I am heavy into making new hats for my upcoming shows. The first show is May 5&6. I like to start the season by un-trimming hats from the prior year that did not sell. I try to figure out how to re trim or re block them to improve their appearance or just fix something that was "off" to my eye.
Here are some of my my 1920's themed cloche hats. They always are popular. I wanted to develop some machine embroidered trims so I could combine my hobbies of sewing and using my embroidery machine with my millinery.

The next type of hat I like to make are in the tea hat category

The final category are Percher hats here are two new ones I made.

Percher hats are a big trend in Australia and England. I hope they catch on here soon. They are great for the gals that complain about 'hat-hair', there is no head size so they truly fit all, and they are not hot to wear like hats can be in the summer humidity. Hope you like them.


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Winter Retreat and Sewing continued

This blouse is Simplicity 1779 I really liked this pattern. The directions were great and it gives you many options. I had to do a full bust adjustment on this one as well.

The final photograph is the Sew Simple which are manufactured by Simplicity. The pattern had only 3 pieces front, back, and hip band. Since this is a very loose fitting top I didn't do any pattern adjustments and it came out just fine.
Hopefully you are enjoying my sewing projects. what have you been making lately?

Winter retreat and sewing

I attended a Sewing Winter Retreat at the George Washington Hotel in Winchester, VA this past January. What fun to see all of my Northern Virginia sewing friends. It was sponsored by the American Sewing Guild a national organization.
The tops and jacket that I made in the three days I was there were all fitted and cut out prior to the event. I am not a wizard fitting always takes me time as I have many fitting issues.

I like to make jackets. I made one out of upholstery material a while back and it came out really nice. The body of the fabric really suited the patter that was designed to be used in this way. I am talking about McCalls M7288. I made view A this time with the squared off collar.
McCalls M7288

back view

The next project was to make a simple knit T-shirt. I had this Connie Crawford pattern B5215 for a while and I decided to try it. I had to alter the pattern for room in the bust area. I did not have enough fabric for sleeves so I just used a complimentary neutral knit for the sleeves and neckline trim.

 The next knit top used a combination of different fabrics. I bought a "bundle" at a Sewing event from a well know sewer, Rae Cumbie. She often sells off-cuts of projects she has made. I really liked the fabrics so I added the plain purple knit and Viola I had a top. There is a very splashy print fabric that is under the purple section of the top. I didn't get a good picture of it here.

McCalls M7247 back  


Monday, March 27, 2017

new hats new techniques

Millinery is my passion! I have been doing it since 2000. Every couple of years I try to take courses from other more experienced milliners. For the past two years I have taken courses from west coast milliners and ones all the way from England and Australian. Some of newer pieces reflect some of the techniques I have learned. Below is a photograph of one of my new styles.
This is a percher pill box with a buckram frame covered in a tweed fabric. A custom made leather butterfly accented with curled quills completes the look.

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

A pain in the pants... making your own pants

     I have been teaching myself fitting techniques since I started sewing for myself five years ago. I took a class and made a "dummy" out of duct tape. That has worked well for the upper torso fitting projects. In the first three years I made 4 jackets and maybe 6 or 7 tops. I feel that most of my tops look like they fit me. I had to analyze my shoulder line and master the large bust adjustments.
     Last year I decided that I wanted to make some pants for myself. I had my husband take pictures of me in all of my pants. I soon realized that they all had the same problem and were all pulling in the same spot. I bought Kenneth Kings fitting CD's Smart Fitting with Kenneth King and I could follow his explanation on that CD but when it came to reading my own "wrinkles" I was clueless. The second thing I did was take a fitting class from Sarah Veblen and bought her book: The Complete Photo Guide to Perfect Fitting. I understood better what my fitting problem was from her book and what I needed to do. The problem with the pants I made from that pattern was that she gave me way more easy than I like in my clothing. I thought they looked too baggy. (Some people feel that if you are a plus size you want your clothing baggy, I do not.) I do recommend her book as it is really informative and the design ease is such a person thing.
     The third system I used was taught to me by my friend in the American Sewing Guild. We used a book: (How to make sewing Patterns by Donald H. McCunn) and built our pattern by using our own body measurements. I did this kicking and screaming because I feel I am too lousy with math.
     She put up with my shenanigans and walked me through it. The pants fit with enough room to move and drape nicely over my curves. Now I have a template that I can use to compare commercial patterns.
     I used Vogue 9131 for my pants. They compared to my self made pants pattern very nicely. I didn't have to change much except for the crotch curve.
     I saw a pair of pants on the Nordstrom web site in August.
I decided I wanted to make pants that had this length and tapered leg. So I happened to be shopping at our going out of business Hancock store and found similar fabric.These are what I made.

Willow the Corgi
Vogue 9131

Do you have a pants story? Tell me about it.