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Heart of Barrie

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The Heart of Barrie is a small paper about the downtown of Barrie Ontario (where my shop is) Recently an wonderful article written by Erin Corcoran was featured about Le Petit Chapeau.  Below is the entire article  because it is just full of such kind words and I really appreciate the support. Erin Corcoran is a real estate agent with Remax in Barrie and also writes, et al, for Simcoe County Shop Local. Check her out  at http://www.ericocrcoran.ca

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Le Petit Chapeau
Walking into Le Petit Chapeau, I instantly feel the urge to travel to Paris and stroll its streets: taking in the sights and sounds of the city, inhaling the delicious smell of fresh baguettes and stopping at a small outdoor café to enjoy an espresso,  all the while watching  fashionable Parisians go by,wearing ‘fascinators.’ Fascinators? You may ask. If you don’t know what they are, you will after visiting Le Petit Chapeau! 
I discovered Le Petit Chapeau because I needed a fascinator for an event. A quick Google search for hat shops in Barrie brought me to their door. I stopped in and quickly realized  this store is much more than just hats! It’s a trip down memory lane, where you can buy vintage tea cups, lace gloves, men’s  cufflinks, or handmade soaps that are all natural and smell absolutely heavenly!
Many items in Le Petit Chapeau are created in store by owner Meaghan Armstrong and her apprentice Sara Czech, including hats, gloves, stationary and bath and beauty products. The shop also houses a collection of vintage items such as  jewellery, accessories,  negligees and robes.

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Meaghan believes in the importance  of community  and supporting local business, so the shop also features products by local artisans.  You will find paper Eiffel towers by eco-artist Lisa Brunetta and jewellery lines  by Loved  and Jill Price. On one visit, I bought a beautiful  pair of decorative hair pins for my mother, crafted by Jill from glass and bits of paintings and fabric from her mixed media art. Le Petit Chapeau  is located across from Heritage Park on Simcoe  Street in the Lakeshore Mews. The store faces the lake and , on warm spring days when the wind blows through the open shop windows and the wind chimes sing outside, it makes me feel like I really am in a little shop in Paris.
Meaghan is one of the most knowledgeable shop owners I’ve ever met. She’s an incredible woman whose passion makes your shopping experience so much more enjoyable.  For example, she sells Le Petit Perfume – oil based, preservative -free perfumes, handmade in small batches. I knew nothing of how scents are composed – just what I  liked and what I  didn’t like- but Meaghan taught me about low notes, medium notes and high notes, and helped me find a scent that suited my tastes and my chemistry.  The perfumes come in small roll on applicators; it’s fun to mix and match the different  scents,  which include rose, lily of the valley, jasmine, cherry blossom and even maple bacon! 
Le Petit Chapeau is online at http://www.littlehatshop..com where you can follow their blog, sign up for hat-making classes, order a custom creation or shop their collection.  Meaghan’s hats have traveled the world, being ordered from locations such as New York, Luxembourg  and New Zealand.
You can also keep up to date on their latest creations by following them   Instagram http://www.instagram.com/littlehatshop, Pinterest http://pinterest.com/tinychapeau  and Facebook http://facebook.com/le-petit-chapeau-handmade-millinery . For serious shoppers  they even have their own app! And, if you’ve visited the shop and are a fan like me, I recommend leaving a review for them on TripAdvisor to help new customers find the store when visiting Barrie.
Like Meaghan, I’m a big fan of supporting our community, and one of the ways I contribute is by creating Simcoe County Shop Local videos, which feature local businesses. After meeting with Meaghan I was inspired to feature Le Petit Chapeau in an episode, to help you understand why I LOVE her store so much. You can find the video on my YouTube channel by searching “Simcoe County Shop Local” or my name “Erin Corcoran”
Le Petit Chapeau is much more than just a store: it’s a complete experience that draws you in and keeps you wanting more.

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(I apologize for the quality of this photo. It is a shot of the page of the magazine. -Meaghan)

Thanks again for the kind words!

Heart of Barrie, Seventh Edition

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1930s Knit Dress

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Finished dress with a 1940s hat made in my studio and plastic necklace circa 1960s.

I have recently been coveting 1930s knit dresses but the sizes and the prices were not the right fit for me. Sara had a bat wing jersey knit shirt which looked very 30s so I  decided to make a copy and turn it into a dress.

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First I used pattern trace material and pinned it very carefully to the t shirt marking the grain and the centre front on the fold. As you can see I added a seam allowance  of 1.5 cm and made a front and back as well as sleeve cuff. The shirt had a lower hem cuff which I eliminated.  I found some sweater knit with this amazing green wavy line in a shine.

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I then decided to add a waist seam instead of making long seams since I assumed the sweater knit might just stretch and stretch to the floor. I used the skirt part of a pattern I’ve made lots since I knew the fit. I eliminated the hip faux pockets and added length to be 30s.

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I sewed up the dress, tried it on and only needed to raise the waist line so it would fit in a more historically correct fashion.  It was very quick to make up and I’m very happy with it. I have already decided on the next fabric for it that will need a full slip to match. I need to make a matching hat for warmer weather since the wool one I am wearing will be far too warm soon.

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I am wearing thrifted shoes and belt and I’m in my studio  with better light and a fab mirror.
Until next time.
Cheers
Meaghan

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