Facebook Email Pinterest Twitter X Instagram Tiktok Icon YouTube Icon Headphones Icon Favorite Navigation Search Icon Forum Search Icon Main Search Icon Close Icon Video Play Icon Indicator Arrow Icon Close Icon Hamburger/Search Icon Plus Icon Arrow Down Icon Video Guide Icon Article Guide Icon Modal Close Icon Guide Search Icon

Finding Peace and Creativity in Millinery

French Shabby Chic Paris Cloche

Thistle Cottage Studio Blog

Finding Peace and Creativity in Millinery!!!

   It’s been a very bizarre April!!  Way too much stress for me, and to the point where my creativity, my very best friend, has been impacted!!!  This has NEVER happened to me before!!!  Finding the zone, where I am most happy with creativity, and work that usually feels more like play, has been as elusive as picking a winning lottery number!!!  A lot of prayer, massage therapy, and good friends, have begun to pull me through this unpleasant phase!!! And the full moon is now waning, my taxes are paid, so maybe things will finally start to calm down!!  After costuming the play, Triangle, for Hope High School, getting back into my own design work has been difficult to say the least!!!  Ideas for spring, for my ETSY shop, were no where to be found!!  Inspirations were fleeting at best, and unexciting.  Many of my MOE Team,  fellow milliners of ETSY, have shared similar disturbing reports!!  So, I haven’t been singled out to play Job!!  
  Still stuck in 1911 with Triangle, ideas leftover from the costumes have been percolating, and nudging me to create a line of shirtwaist blouses for spring.  There are now, four very beautiful, and romantic period reproduction blouses waiting to be modeled and photographed next week, and more on the way.  I’ll be uploading them to my ETSY shop shortly.  
  A few hats have finally seen completion, and as of this posting, they are in my ETSY shop and for sale. The Kalahari Bush Hat is the result of finding a piece of beautiful Ralph Lauren, African linen print, which I finished with a faux crocodile embossed leather hatband, and a cockade of feathers.  The other hat, is a romantic French Shabby Chic Collage of Paris themed, hand printed textiles, with lots of antique lace, faux pearls, finished with  hand scultped flowers and berries! 
   A recent trip to my favorite fabric store, yielded a collection of gorgeous fabrics for the shirtwaists, including some lovely cotton liseree’s (a woven/embroidered and striped floral), a pima cotton paisley, and some very sophisticated black and white cotton pinstripes.  Those blouses will be uploaded to ETSY in a few weeks. 
  On the cutting tables today, is a new hat that is something of an experiment.  I have started to experiment with a non-toxic professional milliners gelatin, used to stiffen hats while they are being blocked with steam.
I have not yet ventured into working with straw (sinamay or parsisal), so I am working this hat, with a very sheer gossamer, that looks like a very fine brown/black burlap, with an overlay of black vintage straw lace, which I wish I had lots more of!!  After draping, pinning, and stitching  the crown, and overlay in place, I then saturated the piece with a solution of the gelatin, dissolved in hot water.  According to the directions, steaming it while wet is very important, as it forces the gelatin to penetrate deeply into the fibers.  Tomorrow, I will cover my wooden brim block with plastic wrap, and drape the brim in much the same way, then saturate with  the sizing solution.  The crown should be dry and hardened by tomorrow morning.  I’m so excited to see how it turns out.  If it is not stiff enough, I can always go back and repeat the process with a more concentrated solution.  Pictured in this post, are the two finished hats, now for sale at www.orsinimedici1951.etsy.com, and the current brown/black one on the head form. I’ll be updating this post with the progress pictures, as this hat design is completed.
  Thistle Cottage Studio has added Basic Millinery Skills to our summer line up of classes, along with 
Pattern Drafting Iⅈ, Beginner and Intermediate Sewing Skills, and Fashion Sketching.  Summer Sewing Camp is NOW enrolling for adults and children.  An excellent choice of schedules are available to those who register early.  Please see our full list of courses at www.craiglist.org (RI), or give us a call at 401-231-4343.  
    Feel free to leave your comment on this post!!  We love hearing from you!!  Oh–just a thought, since it’s been such an awful month–do something nice for someone, just because!!  We need to start putting good vibrations back out into the universe!! You reap what you sow, or as my Mother used to say “as you sew, so shall you rip”.  Thanks Mom!!



Threads Insider

Get instant access to hundreds of videos, tutorials, projects, and more.

Start Your Free Trial

Already an Insider? Log in


  1. Singnsew | | #1

    These are beautiful! How did you get started?

Log in or create an account to post a comment.

More From Threads

Discussion Forum

Recent Posts and Replies

  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |
  • |

Threads Insider Exclusives

View All
View All