Millinery Marvels–TRAMPmillinery

Artists look to the past for inspiration in pretty much every creative genre, and in millinery I think this happens even more frequently. We are drawn to the days when no respectable lady or gentleman left the house without a hat and designers sought to outdo each other in innovation and elegance. In this gorgeous headpiece, Maggie of TRAMPmillinery draws inspiration from not one, but two historical eras:

Grecian Goddess leaf and feather headband by TRAMPmillinery

Aptly named “Grecian Goddess,” the garland of millinery leaves hearkens back to antiquity. The spray of ostrich feathers and the elegance of the design are reminiscent of the glamor of the 1930s. I imagine this stunning piece topping off a beautiful wedding ensemble, or complimenting the perfect outfit for a summer soiree. Every leaf has been carefully arranged, and the silver beading finishes the look.


Work in Progress–MOE Project Runway Complete!

I missed the deadline for the Milliners of Etsy Bridal Project Runway Challenge, and thus was not eligible for the actual competition. Despite this, I wanted to push on and finish the crochet hat and veil that I had designed. After all, I had already put about fifteen hours into the project when the deadline came and went. And I am glad I did! I am very proud of the finished product.

This picture shows the hand crocheted motifs that decorate the wire frame of the hat. If you look closely, you can see the crin covering and even some of the ribbon wrapped wire of the frame.

This picture shows the trailing cascade veil. I machine stitched pearl cotton thread around the edge of the veil as a decorative trim and to tie it in with the crochet theme of the hat. The veil is made of fine nylon illusion tulle and has two tiers.

Things I learned from this project:

  1. Everything takes longer than I think it will. All told, this hat took about 19 and a half hours of crafting time. 
  2. I learned a lot of new hat making techniques! Before this hat I had never made a crochet motif (I had started a few doilies, but never finished them). I had never made a wire hat frame before. I had never worked with horsehair crin before, and I had never made a traditional wedding veil. The fact that I was teaching myself how to do basically every part of this hat as I went probably explains lesson #1.

Dagmar has been hard at work on the wedding dress that inspired this hat as well:

I can’t wait to see it when she is done!

Milliners of Etsy Bridal Project Runway

The talented milliners on the Milliners of Etsy team have completed and submitted their hats for our Bridal Challenge. Each participant found a piece of textile work on etsy to inspire them, and created a head piece based on that inspiration. Sadly, I did not get my hat done on time. I am still working on it and will post more about that later.

The team has compiled all the entries into two treasuries:

‘Milliners of Etsy Go Bridal: Project Runway II page 1’ by MoeSewCoMillinery

Beaded Bridal Headpiece…


Recency Style Milkmaid …


Aingeal Bridal headpiec…


Hampton Bridal Collecti…


Bride Of The Wind By So…


Milkmaid Regency Frock


Aingeal Wedding Gown, M…




Billy Project Runway M…


Baroque Fantasy Bridal …


The Gael Collection – M…


Millie’s Big Day……


READY TO SHIP. Daphnie …


Annuciation Angel 18th …


Medieval Style Dress Ma…




‘Milliners of Etsy go Bridal: Project Runway II page 2’ by MoeSewCoMillinery

Moe Sew Co does bridal:…


Feathered Crown.




White Gold Rose Burlesq…



White Feather Bridal Dr…


Vintage 1900 Lace Victo…


Elegant in Ivory and Go…


Chapeau Gateau – Ivory …


Wedding Day Mini Top Ha…


DeathGlam beginning of …


It Must Have Been the R…


white gown


Bustled and Ruched Bouf…


Making Vintage Re-fashionable–black and silver zig zag skirt

I have to admit, if circumstances were different I would have loved to wear this skirt:

The black and silver zig zags would disorient and confuse all pursuers, making it much easier for me to escape to safety. And really the stretch and shimmer is just plain fun. Sadly, the waist of this skirt would perhaps fit around one of my thighs, or perhaps on a very tall nine year old girl. Perhaps that is why this skirt was nominated by Dame to be taken off the vintage “for sale” rack and get a new life as a hat.

With the zig zags now going in different directions, the hat is even more reminiscent of dazzle camouflage than the original skirt was. I added some nylon wire scavenged from another old hat to give the brim some shape and a black millinery flower I had laying around for decoration.

Millinery Marvels–Lyndahats

Today’s Millinery Marvel was chosen in honor of St. Patrick’s Day. Ok, to be honest today’s milliner was chosen because she makes some really wonderful hats. But I chose to feature her today instead of some other day because of St. Patrick’s Day.  After all, who can resist this gorgeous green topper?

St. Patrick’s Day Mini Top Hat by Lyndahats

I love all of the ornate details on this hat: the gold and green ribbons, the fluffy green ostrich plume, the rich silk and velvet flowers. At 2 1/2 inches tall, this top hat is perfectly sized for a leprechaun, but the convenient hair clip attached to the bottom of that hat means that us big folk can wear it too. Lyndahats has a wide array of mini hats, crochet hats, and other items in her etsy shop.

Etsy Product Review: Lace Earrings from Topiary Designs

I love getting mail (who doesn’t?) and getting mail is especially awesome when you open the package to discover an amazing pair of unique earrings like these. Jen of TopiaryDesigns calls these earrings “Deco Statement Earrings” and I think it is a perfect name for them. You will definitely make a statement wearing earrings that hang nearly to your shoulders. And since they are made of lace they are incredibly light. I love long dramatic earrings, but often find that after a few hours my earlobes are sore from the weight of them. These babies will never give you that problem.
Jen’s love of lace grew while working for Claire Pettibone designing lingerie. While drawn to the “girly girly” and feminine nature of lace, Jen realized that it isn’t always the most practical fabric to wear. Her solution? Turn it into jewelry of course! The lace has all been painted which, in addition to making it lovely colors, stiffens the fabric to be more durable. 
The Topiary business formed when Jen moved from Los Angeles to a small town in Northern California: “When I decided to launch Topiary I wanted to bring that beautiful feminine vintage look I loved and merge it with the beauty of woods, moss, trees, streams, deer and wild turkeys that I’m discovering at this stage in my life.”

So if you are looking for something unusual yet feminine, definitely check out Topiary Designs!

Weekly Wishlist–Women!

Since International Women’s Day was earlier this week, I’m going to focus my weekly wishing on women today. Who doesn’t need more fabulous women in their life? Fortunately, you can’t buy actual women on Etsy (I’m pretty sure human trafficking is against the TOU); today I am going to focus on some wonderful finds that honor the women of the world.

“Saint Anandamayi Ma” Painting by Marisa Redondo

Marisa Redondo is a painter from Northern California who has a talent for abstract female imagery as well as the realistic paintings of her India series. This particular painting honors Sri Anandamayi Ma, a spiritual teacher regarded by many in India and elsewhere as a saint. Marisa will donate 50% of the proceeds from this painting to a Children’s Ashram and School in Omkareshwar, India.

“Julia” By Lark Calderon-Gomez

Many of us in the United States can trace our presence here to a brave woman traveling alone to a new country to seek a better life. For me, it is my great-grandmother Mary Hucik who came alone on a boat from Brezovica, Slovakia in 1911. Since she died when my mother was a child, she has mostly been a mythological figure to me. Likewise, Lark Calderon-Gomez never got to hear her grandmother tell of her immigration to the United States from Guatemala in the 1940s. Calderon-Gomez has created a series of paintings called “Julia’s Journeys,” as well as written back stories, to honor her grandmother and explore her own family history.

“Black Rose” by Niehlah Studios

Unlike the other paintings on my wishlist for this week, “Black Rose” by Francis Bradley of Niehlah Studios does not depict a particular female character, or at least the identity of the woman is not revealed in Bradley’s description of the painting. I was drawn to this piece because of the strength and dignity with which the subject confronts the unknown beyond the edge of the canvass. Bradley works through her art to bring that strength and dignity to the children of Bamako, Mali. Through the Murals for Mali Project, Bradley uses the arts driven educational and vocational programs to raise awareness about child labor, abuse, and neglect.