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Tag Archives: Meaghan Armstrong

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

 

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

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.

Welcome to our World Video

We made a video! Woo! Ok. It’s not a master piece but it’s still pretty neat so click the link and have a look and like us or comment. We plan on making more fun little videos and we hope you subscribe to our channel.

 

My Journey to Becoming a Clothes Horse

Once upon a time I was a jeans and t-shirt kind of girl, or tank top and board shorts as illustrated in my very poor quality picture.
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My sense of style didn’t get better than this in my teenaged years, but thankfully as an adult I got some excellent guidance from a great friend and awesome boss. It also helped that Goodwill used to have a 50% off sale every Friday.
It all started with a “no pants at work rule”. This was a dilemma as all I owned were pants, so Meaghan made me a denim pencil skirt and the original tie belt.original work outfit
Since this one outfit, I’ve come a long way.
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This is only the winter half of my clothing and almost everything I own was bought second hand. The exceptions to this would be things I made for myself, Awkward Stage pieces and the few, rare mall finds.

Now I after five years of work I have a pretty great sense of personal style that always seems to be evolving in someway. But to find out about that you’ll have to click here or here.

Cheers,
Sara.

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