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Tag Archives: Hats

Gatsby Lawn Party Day 2

Gatsby Lawn Party Day 2

The lovely grounds of Spadina House Museum

Day 2 was another beautiful day of hot sunny weather and cool breezes. I wore what turned out to be my favorite  dress of the summer so far. It was another Pinterest image turned into a pattern from a 1 Hour Dress Book published in the 1920s. I didn’t take any construction pictures as time was getting short. I used a yarn dyed cotton in a rust plaid and a solid rust coloured cotton for the ties.

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I almost made a critical error when translating the measurements from imperial to metric. (On a side note, the US has been officially metric for more than 2 decades. Start using it please)

This is a very comfortable dress and Sara wants to make one for herself before the summer ends.

 

Her dress started out as one pattern and was modified a great deal. We also made it out of a knit since we didn’t have time to be picky about the fabric.

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It turned out great and just in time. I think she wants to  make it again in a silk and make a few more adjustments.

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1928 Reproduction Turban , Le Petit Chapeau

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Maybe next year we will have the right shoes to fit our needs of standing all day and new specs that are more in keeping with the 20’s.

Cheers

Meaghan & Sara

A Gatsby Weekend Day 1

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Spadina House Museum

Recently Sara and I were sponsors of Spadina House Museum Gatsby Lawn Party. We donated several prizes for the costume party and set up a mini shop loaded with flapper era hats for Ladies and Gents.

It was a beautiful and rather hot weekend but the grounds are so lovely and the lawn party goers were dedicated to their costumes that it made the heat bearable.

We decided we need to have 1920s dresses and hats (of course) which wasn’t required but encouraged and I’m glad we did. All the volunteers and the musicians were costumed in wool! (Brave souls) This ment we needed to hunt Pinterest for ideas or patterns of which we found and needed to draw from the photos as well as alter to fit our measurements. Originally I wanted to use a pattern I had for about 20 years. It was an early 20s design that was designed with a 1990s fit. That will work, I thought. No. What a mess. The fitting that I did before inserting the zipper showed that there was no saving it and the fit and the printed measurements were essentially a lie. Oh well.

I also had a 1980s dropped waist dress pattern that I cut out of a lovely pumpkin coloured cotton gauze. I cut it to a smaller fit than the 80s look which was a 10 inch ease! I also moved the gathers of the waist to the side front and side back to be more in keeping with the 1920s. I then added a fabric rose and ribbons both up and down the side of the dress at the hip. this was copied from a photo of a 1920s day dress I found.

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I was also wearing a reproduction cotton slip underneath which had panniers on the hips made of gathers to puff the hip out farther. It is in keeping with he style but not seen as often. It was an unusual silhouette which I’m still not accustomed to. The hat is a new design made for the show which we are going to start making for customers soon.

Sara’s dress was much more work and made from a polyester chiffon in a green and white print with a touch of black. I wasn’t sure about it but she knew it would be wonderful.

Her drawing of the photo was very neat and made from a hebrew language page from a 1920s ladies magazine. The pattern was large pieces so the floor was the only place to lay it out. She cut it into a front and back to fit the fabric and then very carefully cut out the fabric. Chiffon is very shifty so it was hard to keep it on grain. The hems were all rolled and hand sewed which took her many hours. The end result was beautiful. I think I want to make one!

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The hat was another one of the new Garden Party Hats and we found shoes were a problem. It was hot and we were on grass so slender heels were impractical so we wore what was best for working instead of the shoes which looked most appropriate.

The first day was great and we really enjoyed the gardens and music.

Day 2 clothing coming soon.

Cheers

Meaghan and Sara

 

Carving Hat Blocks-part 1

Hat blocks. A vital part of millinery.  However,  in Canada  there are no makers of blocks so overseas is the only option.
They are also very expensive.  Most often in wood and made with either specialized equipment or hand carved,  it makes for an expensive and heavy investment into a single shape and size.

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This is the Cadillac of hat blocks I think. Guy Morse Brown Hat Blocks.  Hand carved and priced accordingly.  Gorgeous and worth it.

Several years ago I found a heavy plastic block company out of the USA that was designed for felters to make hats. Since I had been in theatre props for several years moons ago I knew I could potentially alter the plastic blocks to work for me. I ordered them and went to work.

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This is Sara drilling into the headsize line to create pinning holes.

The company was rather alarmed at the drilling and cutting and couldn’t approve of what we did but many hats later they have held up!

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This lovely wool fedora was made on the modified plastic block.

As many of you know Sara has been with the studio for several years now and her skills have increased so much that she is always looking for a new challenge. She had already been thinking about carving a block out of of styrofoam when a customer came in for a 1920s reproduction.  I knew I could make it without a brim block but when I started I realized it was going to be much more difficult and frustrating than I thought. 
Sara dove in to make a block for the brim.

The final result was exactly like the picture the customer wanted and Sara went about solving problems that arose with using spray foam.

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This custom hat made from our first carved block was a success!

I scoured my brain for sculpture information from my ancient art degree and remembered that you can use high density insulation styrofoam glued together in layers to carve into a shape.

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Sara gluing.

She is continuing to make this block and learn carving and creating solutions to problems that pop up. We will let you know what happens next as the block is nearly finished which means we can make a hat!

More to come!
Cheers
Meaghan and Sara

Outfits of the Day

There are a lot of people who want to see the inside of my closet, apparently.  Sara’s too. I decided that I would start taking outfit of the day photos when we can so people can see all of our sartorial choices.
The last few weeks have been very busy so we didn’t capture every outfit but here are the ones we did.

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This is a 1960s style dress in knit lamé that I made near chirstmas holidays. Thrifted belt and sweater. Reikers boots.

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A  thrifted outfit except shoes, skirt and beret. The shirt is the kind of 1970s does 30s shirt I like so much. The skirt is one I made several years ago patterned from a suede one Sara owns. The pattern is too big now so it will need to be adjusted.

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A dress I made years ago that I love. I believe it’s a Macalls pattern in a poly that is a bizarre colour combination.  There isn’t a shoe or hat that matches!

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This is Sara in her quasi Edwardian outfit.  All thrifted except hat which is one of our cloches and the shoes. Shoes are Brodawka from Toronto.

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Finally Sara in a 1950s dress that had rotten underarms so she turned it into a skirt. The shrug I  knitted for her. The shirt is thrifted as are the awesome bronze shoes. The hat is one of our Ambler hats and the stag head necklace is from a local company we carry called Loved.

These shots are all in the studio.
Cheers
Meaghan

Hat Classes!

We’ve decided to offer hat classes and we’re very excited about it! After a couple of years of trying to figure out the how, what, when, and where of it we have worked out how to teach right in our own studio space. At the moment we have three different classes lined up and open for registration. Two of them are beginner level, and one is a more intermediate level. Check them out on the Hat Class page for more information. But we aren’t going to stop there, we want to plan more, and we want to know what you guys want to learn how to make!

 

Let us know, either right here on our blog, through Instagram or our new Facebook page. We love feedback.

Cheers!
Meaghan and Sara

Quest Gallery is Now a Stockist!

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Quest Gallery Shop in Midland Ontario is now  Le Petit Chapeau stockist. The Quest gallery is a lovely space on the main street of Midland.

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A modern and well thought building, this gallery has changing contemporary art and an education programme and of course a shop. It shares space with the Midland Cultural Centre which has a lecture series, a performance series and both share a lovely cafe. The shop features Ontario fine crafts people in a range of mediums as well as a small but well thought out section of art supplies.

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The gallery shop has kindly agreed to accept my work and as long as it sells, I get to stay! The selection will be small due to space but I am offering my most popular mens cap, The Poor Boy Hat in a lovely fine black wool with a white fine chalk stripe. When these sell I will add others in a different material so get to them quickly.

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I have also taken 2 weekenders.

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For the ladies I am offering The Bycyclette in a grey check

 

and The Jockey Hat in a heavy and warm pink and green fabric.

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There is also one Collette.

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I have also taken several fascinators but space allows me 3 so I choose wisely. Grey, purple and ivory crins.

All of the hats offered are under $100 and lots under $80. I only live 50 kms away so I will be able to restock fairly quickly if Midlandiands shop!

My commision from the sales goes directly to their art education programming so support us all and shop local and handmade.

Quest Sign

 

If you are from the area and would like to see a hat pop-up shop at the gallery space please let me know!

Quest School + Gallery

333 King Street

Midland, ON

L4R 3M7

705 527 2787

http://www.questart.ca

 

Cheers!

Meaghan

 

An Accidental Walk to History

An Accidental Walk to History

IMG_20150517_193135Earlier this week Sara and I decided to spend the Sunday of the holiday weekend antique hunting in a new area. About an hours drive from the homestead is an area called Midland/Penetanguishene. Lots of great hunting is in the area as well as lovely towns and scenery. We had a picnic, which since we didn’t get out-of-town with any speed, ended up happening in the car. After some hunting in Midland we took a wrong turn and ended up going the wrong way. I pulled into a road which led me to a park to check the map. Right on the Wye River and since it was a lovely hot day we decided to go for a walk.

IMG_20150517_193813Under the highway bridge on a bike/walking path opened up to this old train bridge which is now a trail which was not part of our walk but Sara and I decided this was a good place to bring our bikes for a bike picnic. It led us to the living history museum called Saint Maire among the Hurons. It is a fabulous museum which I have visited before and I highly recommend.

For more information on this museum click http://www.saintemarieamongthehurons.on.ca

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The view from the path at the museum of the Wye River.

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The path along the outer palisade and the river.

The path will take you to the grave site of the sainted Jesuit priests which is located on the grounds of the museum.

You enter a small gate and into a building. There are no electrical lights so the light was not enough for my tablet camera. The grave site is free and open during regular museum hours. Often there is an interpreter to give you the history of the grave. In the first photo you can see a cathedral behind Sara which is the other direction of the path which will take you to the final resting place of these saints.

I am not a catholic and even though I visited all of this as a primary school trip I didn’t know you could take this pleasant walk to the graves and to the church. I love museums and I enjoyed this surprised and the drifting wood smoke and glimpses of the museum through the palisade logs. Sara wants to visit the museum soon so I will take lots of photos and report here for all of you.

Please fell free to tell me of a surprise walk you went on in the comments below.

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