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Tag Archives: Women’s Accessories

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.


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.


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.

christmas shoot 15 (27 of 33)

1928 Reproduction Turban , Le Petit Chapeau


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.


Meaghan & Sara


A Gatsby Weekend Day 1

Spadina House Museum20160625_112007

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.


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!


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.


Meaghan and Sara


Quest Gallery is Now a Stockist!

street shot tiny

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.

midland main street

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.

Quest shopquest shop 2

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.

poor boy pin stripe

I have also taken 2 weekenders.

weekender 17

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.

Jockey pink green

There is also one Collette.

Collette Hat 5

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





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.


I don’t often make an all black hat but…


I will and have often said I won’t make an all black hat but in the case of using this wonderful black silk organdy I made an exception.

The soft architectural nature of this fabric lets most wonderful things happen.

Sometimes simplicity is best.




As of Nov 27th 2013 the hat is in the shop and under $100 CAD


Dale Chihuly Exhibit in Montreal

A recent trip to one of my favorite Canadian cities had me waiting in line at the Dale Chihuly exhibit at Musee des Beaux Arts.  Several years ago I watched a fascinating documentary about the American glass artist and his studio method.  His exuberance for trying new things and pushing towards the seemingly impossible was inspiring. The glass works shown in the following photos is just a small sampling of this tremendous talent.


This is at the entrance to the old building which is across the street from the new entrance. This is a large museum. This glass explosion is about 12′ across.

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These two are mounted as a ceiling. They are resting on thick glass and lit from above. some of the pieces were almost a meter across. The documentary I watched showed how is pool has the floor like this. Beautiful.

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These 2 chandeliers are both lit from above and seemed to made of hundreds of components. They were about 3.5 to meters long.


Then we entered this underwater forest al on black glass to reflect back. That large white disk is about 1 meter across and those red spikes are about 2 meters tall. Remember this is all blown by hand glass.

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These boats of huge glass balls on a lake of black glass were enchanting.


Finally this last boat of glass rods. There were several more rooms but I didn’t know that you could take pictures and tweet etc.. during the exhibit so I only had my phone which isn’t the best camera. I highly reccomend seeing this exhibit wherever it is travelling to next and checking out the documentaries where he makes these object. It fascinating.


I Heart Hats Sale Summer Edition

i heart hats summer

The Summer Sale is in 2 WEEKS!  Yep 2 weeks. Yikes!

We hope to see you there!

Directions and other information can be found at



Photo Shoot!

Sara, Shot by Anton Volek 2011

Sara, Shot by Anton Volek 2011

I have had the privilege to have Anton Volek shoot some of my work. With our tiny studio I don’t have the budget to hire the big models and really, no one really looks like them anyway. I am lucky to have a beautiful apprentice who takes a picture much

better than I so I throw her in front of the camera often.

We had great fun using a collection of old lamps and a heating lamp.



Anton’s camera is, however, better than mine as the following picture will attest.

Sara, wedding.

Sara, wedding.

The following picture is Anton’s of the same section.

                                                                                                        Sara shot by Anton Volek, wedding dress
                                                                                  Sara shot by Anton Volek, wedding dress

I think I’ll ask him to shoot everything from now on.




Tricorn, the other affair.

Brown velvet tricorn

Brown velvet tricorn

I imagine you might be realizing that a baseball cap just isn’t my thing by now. I love the way a tricorn looks.

For those of you who aren’t sure what a tricorn is it’s a round crown hat with its brim folded up on three sides to make a triangle shape when looking at it from the plan view. Tri-corn, three horns. get it?

Green silk

Green silk

Tiny wool tricorn

Tiny wool tricorn.

I have made several cocktail tricorns. These are fun and look great when one point sits jauntily over one eye.

It has to have a skull.

It has to have a skull.

I’m not sure a hat like this could have been made without at least one with a skull.

A little more french.

A little more french.

I decided to go for a more traditional french look with this and the next one.

minitricornerblackredI love the way these look and when I have a bit of time to play I will definitely make a few more. I think I’ll make one in embroidered silk next time.





Top Hats, my love affair.

A grey Velvet Top Hat made about 5 years ago

A grey Velvet Top Hat made about 5 years ago

I love top hats. I always have. It might be I was the kid in dance class and took any opportunity to be on stage.  I have a soft spot for the theatrical and vintage circus things so top hats just fall right into that space. I have made quite a few and this past spring finally created a pattern that only takes a few hours to execute a finished hat as opposed to days as this one above did. I loved this one. Unfortunately I loaned it out to a stylist, it was destroyed and somehow I never was reimbursed. Oh well. Lesson learned.

A reproduction of Alice in Wonderlands Mad Hatter Hat

A reproduction of Alice in Wonderland’s Mad Hatter Hat

Of course I had to figure out how to make this one. Yes I have the pattern and yes I will make you one. Although this fabric proved to be too flimsy and I would make the next one out of a heavier weight. It was more important that I was true to the original drawing since I made it for a fundraiser. It really is a 10/6.

Sara at a bridal show in a vintage pop up top hat.

Sara at a bridal show in a vintage pop up top hat.

Yes we really do wear them. This is a vintage one that is my baby. I rescued it from a damp costume storage from a different life before I was a milliner full-time.

The new design

The new design

New design in flocked zebra taffeta

New design in flocked zebra taffeta

I will keep making them, all one of a kind. If not the fabric then the decoration. I just made embroidered taffeta in cranberry red with olive sash and black embroidered with tan cockade.

I think I will make another mad hatter 10/6. I’m not sure what I’ll wear it with though.





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