Hello hello! Well look-ee here! Jessica is getting into millinery! Well, sort of… *grin* You could say that I am attempting the art, but really this short mini series will be about my millinery adventures (i.e. mistakes and discoveries) more than tips and techniques. I will add though, that I have thought several times about digging into this handicraft, and nearly proceeded with a plan to do so until some other project got in the way. Anyhow, these hats need a little TLC, and since I am trying to add to my hat collection at the moment, it seems like a good idea to try my hand at restoration and alteration. 🙂
Back before Remembering WWII took place, a blogging friend, (Atlanta Goodwin of Home at Winshaw) who lives down in Tennessee and participated in RWWII, was selling a gold mine of hats on Facebook for some very attractive prices. The girls and I quickly made our claims, and arranged to pick them up when we got down to Linden.
I acquired three hats from the sale: one very pretty Spring/Summer hat, which you will see next year, and these two, shall we call them, fixer-uppers. Whenever I bought these two hats it was with the full intention of restoring and altering them.
The white one used to have very dusty and rather frayed cream silk organza flowers on them, crumpled velvet leaves not worth saving, laid out on twigs made out of bark covered wire. The whole thing looked like it had been through countless tea and garden parties under a bright sun before retiring for countless years to an attic lodging. I am hoping that all this hat will need will be a good cleaning, with the renewal of fresh faux flowers and leaves to trim its brim.
This rather austere black thing is, I think, made from rabbit fur felt, as it is very soft and not very stiff. I am not quite sure what lady would wear such a severe looking accoutrement, and in fact, it is my opinion that it wasn’t worn for long due to the lack of wear and tear. I do think that someone recently tried adjusting the elastic string, because of the tear you see in the photo below, and the fact that electrical tape was used to make the stitching secure. Odd is it not? I would love to know the story behind all of this! The last thing that remains to be said about the hat is that my idea of a black felt hat is anything but this bulbous, awkward, unfinished looking thing. Still, the material is of decent quality, and all things considered, the crown was not properly trimmed, so it will be an easy fix. 🙂 The plan is to make the depth of the crown more shallow. To do this I will have to “surgically” remove a full three inches from the bottom of the crown up before stitching it back in place. You will see what it looks like next week!
So begins a rather interesting series. Since the series will be so short I plan on there being no interrupting posts. So you all will be able to see the transformations of these two hats over the course of just a few weeks. It should be fun!
Have you ever restored or altered a hat before?
Do you have any experience in millinery?
In Christ’s love,
Jessica, the Eldest Sister & Singer