Tag Archives: hats

decorating the whither the weather hat ~ buttons!

My favourite play toys, buttons, should help me ease into Monday morning, November, and the time change a bit.

When doing groups of anything ~ flowers, fabrics, jewels, buttons ~ it’s always best to use an odd number (1, 3, 5, 7, etc.).  It’s probably a Rule of something.

Sometimes 1 is enough, if it’s a big enough 1, but that 1 red button on the hat isn’t, is it.  In my opinion, even the group of lovely vintage silver buttons or the red group of buttons aren’t enough.

Like the buttons?  He-hee!  Samantha’s Ultimate Vintage Upcycle may still have some.

Now look what happens with Laura P’s caramel buttons as they start multiplying across the brim of the hat.  If you count the individual buttons, I’ve put an odd number of buttons in each group (3, 5, 7), as well as used an odd number of groups (3).

Ah, maybe that little added bit of lace balances eveything - what do you think?
Ah, maybe that little added bit of lace balances everything – what do you think?

trivia: Coco Chanel began her empire 100 years ago with HATS!
Her hats became so popular and so many women admired her personal style of dress that she was able to expand the hat business into a major industry encompassing everything from perfume to jewellery to clothing, even in the midst of war.  Quite a story, sans the cinematic spin.

decorating my hallowe’en hat!

It’s a summer straw that friends Karen & Tracy insisted was me and I had to have… but the colour’s perfect for Hallowe’en, isn’t it?  Just pretend it’s fleece or flannel!  Deciding to use this today instead of the green fleece, I literally grabbed scarves and jewellery and began draping.

(Tracy’s shop in Raleigh, NC, is having a going-out-of-business sale tomorrow and Saturday.  Do stop by if you’re in the area.  She has a lot of furniture, and all kinds of very well priced items.  Click on her Facebook page.)

The brim of this hat is wide enough and strong enough to support even the heavy multi-strand necklace I draped on it.  However, before wearing any of these combinations around town I’d want to make some discrete stitches anchoring both the jewellery and the scarf in place.

happy Hallowe'en!
happy Hallowe’en!

decorating the whither the weather hat ~ handkerchiefs & lace

Before Jane Austen’s time, women were saving bits & bobs of jewellery, lace, ribbon, buttons, and fabric to use for decorative purposes ~ including hats.  That’s what I’m going to show over the next couple of days, starting with these …

Remember this collection?  It would look equally good on this hat, but it’s not coming off the blue!   And lest we forget our vintage hankies…

whither the weather hat

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Remember this?  Last night I reacquainted myself with Bernie, the sewing machine, and finished up this thick fleece hat, using Folkwear’s Metropolitan Hat, #269.  I should explain that my improvised hat stand has unfortunate effects on the hat which don’t occur on a rounded cranium.

With only 3 pieces, it’s a snap to sew up.  I’d pictured this hat in this fabric forever (said fabric having been stashed probably 10 yrs.) but made two changes.

Because of the fabric thickness, I didn’t do a lining.  And, instead of doing the pleats down the back before sewing the centre back seam, I pleated after sewing the seam.  The fleece was stretching so much I decided not to faff about trying to get them to match. It was so much easier!

Next time, I’ll overlock everything except the pleats, which will made for a much neater finish inside.  (Because the front brim gets turned up there’s a seam that could become visible, but I’ll not turn the brim up that much.)

As an experiment with scrapes, it’s turned out quite well.  Next task is deciding how to trim it.

doin’ homework & making plans

photo courtesy Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) site
photo courtesy Australian Broadcasting Company (ABC) site

Don’t mean to whinge on, but remember Phryne (fry-knee) from last month?   I started watching the series, loved the impressive costuming, and immediately ordered series 1.  Have been studying costume designer Marion Boyce’s creations ever since, wondering why I appreciate this wardrobe so much more than what I’d thought was 1920s flapper style.

Doing my homework, I found several interviews (see facebook, Dear Readers) that included quotes from Ms. Boyce.  In her wardrobe analysis she felt the Phryne character was always in motion, so her clothes needed that impetus. And as Phryne has been everywhere, done & seen everything, especially Paris, the Parisian influence was needed.  Ah-hah, I though, that’s the difference ~ that’s what I like!

Phryne wears ensembles, something else I appreciate, because I get to think bags & hats.  Everything’s not matchy-matchy, and I’ve seen the same blouse, purse, skirt, etc., in different shows paired with different items, so we’re not getting paranoid or enlarging the closet too much.

Speaking of handbags…  read a great post on Catherine’s blog, Makings of an Urban Rustic.  Aren’t they gorgeous!  So cuddly… and I’ve the perfect (purrfect) velour for one.  Checked out the author & book Catherine used but felt no sparks.  Hmm.  As friend Samantha says, “When in doubt, do nowt.”

That night I remembered I hadn’t done a search on the author’s name, Emma Brennan, just looked at her books.  How un-thorough.  Next day I searched… and found the lovely author alive, well and selling on etsy.  Wha-hooo!  Saw and immediately ordered a complete kit for a luscious orangey clutch, complete with authentic Harris Tweed fabric, pattern, & vintage buttons.  (Buttons?!  TWEED??)  It’s on its way across the pond, along with the pattern, and I can’t wait!  Click for piccies & details.

So although you haven’t seen much lately, I’ve been busy here-abouts, despite the momentary sewing lull whilst the weather sorts itself out. What have you been up to, Dear Readers?

whither the weather

Suddenly it’s become unseasonably cold and wet, and the prospect of making and wearing these pinstripes has gone South to warmer climes.  There’s a more permanent solution, but it has to wait until Monday holiday, when I can get to the fabric store sale.

What’s the solution?  Delightful Debi Fry, My Happy Sewing Place, just started up her ABC’s of vintage sewing series again, and the pinstripes needed her info on underlining.  Thank you once  again, Ms Debi!

You know what that means: the green fleece hat moves under the needle sooner!  In fact, it got cut out last weekend, thread chosen, and stitches tested.  Well, it is 3/8” thick per side.  The pattern is Folkwear #269, Metropolitan Hat. Have made it before, and it’s a treat, simple but so classy.  Have been dreaming about this make for a looong time.

Happy sewing, Dear Readers!

update on stuff…

looks straight here but as soon as I walked outside into the humidity it looked like S-curves all round!
hat brim looks straight here but as soon as I walked outside into the humidity it looked like S-curves all round!

Have been doing lots, like washing/cleaning/planning new ironing board cover, dithering about how to get brim of spring crocheted hat a bit straighter, what ribbons to use for last week’ quick spring shift… not to mention Life’s stuff, aka laundry, groceries, further settling in/organizing, catching up with friends ~ Life’s administrivia!

Have I listed enough excuses for not being super productive?!

Will try to remember to get some kind of wiring to thread hopefully invisibly thru the  hat brim when I’m next either in a hardware or craft shop. That should sort it out.  Did you know wiring hat brims is normal? Not for every hat, of course, but the ones that do often cover the wire with some sort of trim, such as ribbon. I don’t want to do that because I think any trim will alter my ability to dress the hat up or down.  What do you think?!

On the home front, I’d noticed the shower curtain dragging the floor and wanted to put a hem in after its’ next wash, which happened yesterday. The fabric used is a heavy-weight 100% cotton similar (in weight) to denim — and you know how denim can stretch!

can you see the little almost dotted line (center) where the thread was pulled?
can you see the little almost dotted line (center) where the thread was pulled?

Guess the weight of the curtain was pulling the already long curtain down enough to drag the floor in this current bath. Planning for a future possibility of more height,  I did a 6-inch hem, using my machine and a straight stitch. Got out my packet of denim sewing machine needles and chose a larger size (14), but forgot to lengthen the stitch a bit. Not a big deal now, but if that hem has to come out in the future, it’ll take more time… oh, well!  😉

Because I was sewing through 3 & 4 thicknesses of fabric, I went slowly, kept my needle in the up position, and made sure no fabric dragged on the way under the needle because I didn’t want to risk breaking a needle, and  I succeeded. However, when almost done, a thread of the fabric somehow got pulled.

I stopped sewing immediately to check the needle — not bent or snapped – then cut the threads, carefully pulled the fabric out, and double-checked the needle & feed dog area.  Couldn’t find any problem or reason for the snag, so repositioned fabric and s-l-o-w-l-y completed the sewing.  Then I put the needle in my discard case, and hung the freshly-washed curtain back up… another job completed!

discarded needles
discarded needles

summer hat & fabric stash

can you see the brim's been started?!
can you see the brim’s been started?!

Spent lots of time this weekend going through fabric.  Now have all winter fabrics boxed up, awaiting Aug/Sept time frame.  And have all summer things boxed, with a lot of it washed-since-the-move and ready to cut out.  Phew!

After all that, plus getting me serger back and playing with it, just spent a lotta time crocheting in front of telly.  Hat’s almost done – yeah!

busy weekend

Worked up a flannel caftan, too.  Just the basic: Sew the side seams (don’t forget to leave arm holes, like I did!), finish the 4 sides of the 2 pieces of fabric (cut to whatever length you want), decide which neckline to fool with (boat neck – sew straight across & leave a hole big enough for your head – don’t forget!). Easy peasy.  Photo after I’ve put the ironing board back together & given it a pressing!

speaking of Spring hats & cleaning

Finished the first bit of the hat for my friend who’s out of town. Then decided to start me summer hat as it’ll be needed eventually.

Making a bit of headway in organising a new sewing space, and am taking part in the Spring Clean Your Sewing Room that Hannah Smith is hosting over on her blog, made with hugs and kisses.

spring-clean-your-sewing-space-big-buttonAm now taking photos of all patterns, as Great Friend Karen’s doing, and will make notes in somethingerother to help keep track of what’s what. Would you believe all my patterns are in 2 small file boxes?! Am trying to use more of them, not just collect & gaze wistfully.

The fabric stash, which is currently in 3 humongous plastic tubs, may continue in them, at least whilst in this teeny place. Am slowly collecting all the bits & bobs scattered hither & yon and putting them near/on/under the new table upon which my sewing machine & serger will sit.

As you can see, the sewing machine’s already there. Uhm ~ just realized the big red lamp can now be put sewing tablethere instead of a corner of the keyboard… and have brought out the few sewing books I moved. There’s sew much online (sorry, couldn’t resist) that many things seemed redundant as I was packing up to move. Sew changes have been made since last night…