Wednesday, 6 September 2017

Back To Start A New Season

I'm back from a weeks holiday in Wales where we had a week of lovely weather ! 
As this August has been most unpredictable it was a really lovely surprise I can tell you.
Just before I went away I made my friend Karen a blocked beret in royal blue sinamy with a tutti frutti band of raffia wrapped around the hat, wired navy petersham ribbon and a selection of vibrant beads as a trim complemented her shoes and finished off her vibrant splash of colour. It went really well with her royal blue dress. 
Even Dad approved which I believe was a real compliment so I think I got it right !
I've also used up the final pieces of my beautiful caramel french ticking. This time I've made a shoulder bag wallet and little hand pouch.
Also attention all fabric fans. I will be demonstrating some fabric manipulation at 1.00pm at The Salvedge Fair in Barrowford on Sat 23rd Sept. 
It will be a very inspiring event with embroidery and many other traditional crafts to view and purchase. Plus a pop up shop of various art and crafts and the cafe and garden at the centre are a lovely place to sit and relax.
I think I will be upstairs so come and say hello.
Right I'm off to continue with more autumnal pieces in felt and tweed ready for the cooler months.
Chrissie x


Thursday, 10 August 2017

August But A Tad Chilly

So August the height of summer. I know folks who have had a wood fire burning the central heating switched on and the rain has been endless. Summer it seems is feeling very shy this year and there is no sign of improvement but I am filing the shop with colour and all manor of fabric delights to chase those summer blues away!
I also finally managed to get an image of the grey and gold hat with agate bead trim. It had been too dark every time I tried but there was a moment when I captured it.
I have also finished the teal cocktail hat with blocked straw base and crin swirls
When I was searching for the perfect trimming material I came across some hand knotted silk that I had bought in Dubai many years ago and it was perfect in every way. Just shows that if you keep it long enough it will come in handy again.
Sadly I used the very last of my favourite fabric of the moment to make another bag and once again it sold within 30 mins of me popping it in the shop. It's funny how some fabrics are just a magnet.
So I hope you are all enjoying your summer holidays where ever you may be.
Chrissie. x


Wednesday, 26 July 2017

Hats Under Constrution

So I finished the pink beret with the vintage navy twisted ribbon as the trim. Its very striking on and just needs a simple dress to pair with it. It has a navy sinamay blocked inner and the open weave blocked outer. I love brimless hats but they do leave you very exposed so not always the choice for the first time hat wearer.
The middle image is a reversible sun hat, yellow one side and check the other. It folds up into a small triangle and will pop into a bag while you don't need to wear it. It's so easy to leave a larger hat behind when your on holiday isn't it !
Finally the gold and grey hat has now been sewn together but I haven't taken a picture as yet. Every time I try the light seems to fade or some other distraction happens so I will get one taken for the next post.

Chrissie x


Friday, 23 June 2017

Long Lazy Summer Days

Well Summer has officially begun so we should be looking forward to holidays and sunshine.
With that in mind I have now got a lovely selection of roll up ladies Panama hats with are as soft as butter and roll up inside a strong tube or you can make your own with a piece of card. 
Brilliant for going away, walking or in the garden.
Ascot this week with ladies day yesterday. I wonder if my ladies had any winners ? Always a hat lovers delight to watch the round up of fashion at the end of the week.
Lots of flowers out at the moment including dock weed and seed heads which I just love.
The little piece at the top of the post is a lovely stiffened lace with pearls on a black straw disc bound in pink silk to match a dress for a wedding. So pretty and delicate looking yet actually quite robust as it's wired to keep it's shape.
That bright pink hat has had a second piece in navy blue blocked I am just about start sewing it together and then trimming can begin. I will show you how it turned out next time.
Chrissie x


Tuesday, 6 June 2017

Patent Leather Feathers

Hello hope everyone had a great Bank holiday weekend it's always good to get an extra day off.
I've been using a material called Jinsin which I bought from a Paris supplier a few years ago and have only used a few times.
Jinsin is a woven straw fabric which is brilliant for sculpting into wonderful shapes.
It has a warp of straw and a weft of polyester thread. This creates strong vertical lines which you can twist and shape into amazing curves.
This makes it the perfect material in my book as there's nothing I like better than a sculptural hat.

The feathers have been made from patent navy blue leather which I bought from a friend who makes bags

Ticking is another of my favourites so a bag and a holiday cap seemed to fit the bill with brown suede straps for good measure.
Alliums have been showing off the last few weeks so I took this picture as I watched them open up.
I bought myself a hydrangea for the shop doorstep as the hellebore and violas had come to the end of their season.
Still making Ascot hats but can't reveal them as yet !
Chrissie x

Saturday, 6 May 2017

The Making Of A Cocktail Hat Called Mimosa

It all started with a piece of crin which is a nylon woven fabric that can be twisted into amazing shapes. I like the ability it gives you to extend the width of a smaller base making it light to wear.
After I had sprayed it pale grey I then whipped it into shape and sewed it onto a fine straw button hat which I had blocked earlier.

Next was to start adding the vintage petersham ribbon in grey with a fine black line into the spaces created by the swirls.
Once I was happy with the overall effect I then added a sprinkle of lovely dark grey pearls at the front and a few around the central back.

That left the lining to cut and make and sew into the hat, adding the hat elastic and a little teal braid as an added extra or surprise on the inside. I decided to choose a simple grey cotton lining for this piece.

Now it was just a matter of naming the little hat and of course I though of  a cocktail.
'Mimosa' is now sitting in the shop waiting to be chosen for her first outing. I'm sure she will be whisked off to somewhere glamorous very soon.

Chrissie x


Saturday, 29 April 2017

New Look For The Blog

Sorry for the distinct lack of blog posts over the last few weeks.
As you can see I've been working on changing the look of the blog. There's more to do and it will change again shortly with images from photo shoots and pictures of the shop. It's always great to have a change and freshen up your presence I think.

Weddings are now part of our main bulk of work with brides and mother of the brides / grooms popping in with glorious outfits ready to have a bespoke hat made to finish their look.

We've been blocking like mad to make all sorts of shapes and styles all of which will appear on the blog very soon.

So if you are off to a wedding and need advice of where to start looking / planning or shopping for your outfit drop into the shop or give us a call and we'll gladly help.

I will have been re opened a year since the shop was flooded shortly, can't believe it's gone so fast !
So if you've not had chance to visit you'll be quite surprised when to get here.

Chrissie x


Saturday, 18 March 2017

French Ticking And Market Bags

Last summer I bought quite a few pieces of French ticking in various stripes but for some reason I never got round to making them into anything.
This year I intend to put that right by making lots of items with them and the first is this roomy market bag.
It's lined with navy blue gortex and has a large pocket in the stripes inside.
Soft cream leather handles and a hard card bottom so that the bag keeps it's shape when you fill it with your necessities ! plus the kitchen sink if you're like me.
There's also a d ring and key fob to clip the sides together for security or you can open it out to full width if you need to. This picture shows it with the key fob clipped to the d ring creating a tucking in version.
I am really happy with the shape as it was one I designed in my head quite a while ago !
Last week we had a few days of sunshine so I tried to get out and about spotting my favourite hellebore's in bloom and a few glorious views.
The little flower head sketch is one that I hope to screen print next, Mainly tea towels,napkins and face cloths I think.

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