Dec 20, 2017

Millinery Classes - learn to block a hat, make a buckram bonnet and knit a Scottish Tam!

Millinery Holiday Summer School in Canberra this January
Week 1: 8-12 January 2018Week 2: 15-19 January 2018 (only 3 places left)
Ages 12 - Adults ~ 1.30-5.00pm each day
    


Learn to block a hat, wire & cover a bonnet and knit a beret. In this historical millinery summer school Aylwen will introduce you to blocked, patterned and knitted hats and bonnets. Most students should produce two hats during the course, depending on the chosen design and materials. Please leave time to do homework in the evenings. Students will be using professional hat blocks during this course and supplied with information booklets with supplier and material information.

Places are limited to 6 - only when your registration is paid will your place be held.

REGISTER HERE

In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:
Needles (millinery, mixed pack of 3-9)
Thimble (metal)
Tape measure
Fabric and paper scissors
100% Guterman Polyester thread in black and white (100m rolls will be sufficient)
Tailors chalk or tailors pencil
Apron (to cover chest and thighs)
Household pins (26 x 0.75mm)
Dressmaking pins (30 x 0.60mm)
Gladwrap and two rolls of cheap paper towel
Pencil, pen, sharpener, eraser, ruler & 2-ring folder
5mm x 30cm circular needle and set of 5 double point knitting needles, 20cm x 5mm. Birch or addi brands recommended. Do not use Lincraft brand.

Other useful items you may wish to bring include:
Pliers
Wire cutters
Cellotape
Ribbons & feathers

Teacher: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden is a historical dressmaker & milliner in Canberra who has studied millinery at the London College of Fashion, hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework and historic hand sewing at the School of Historic Dress in England.

Millinery Summer School, Canberra, Australia, January 2018


Adult Millinery Summer School Intensive: 22-26 January
Learn to block a hat, wire & cover a bonnet and knit a beret.

Places are limited to 6 - only when your registration is paid will your place be held.


     
Learn to block a hat, wire & cover a bonnet and knit a beret. In this historical millinery summer school Aylwen will introduce you to blocked, patterned and knitted hats and bonnets. Most students should produce two hats during the course, depending on the chosen design and materials. Please leave time to do homework in the evenings. Students will be using professional hat blocks during this course and supplied with information booklets with supplier and material information.

Only 2 places left - only when your registration is paid will your place be held.


In order to fully participate in the practical exercises please bring the following materials/equipment to the first class:
Needles (millinery, mixed pack of 3-9)
Thimble (metal)
Tape measure
Fabric and paper scissors
100% Guterman Polyester thread in black and white (100m rolls will be sufficient)
Tailors chalk or tailors pencil
Apron (to cover chest and thighs)
Household pins (26 x 0.75mm)
Dressmaking pins (30 x 0.60mm)
Gladwrap and two rolls of cheap paper towel
Pencil, pen, sharpener, eraser, ruler & 2-ring folder
5mm x 30cm circular needle and set of 5 double point knitting needles, 20cm x 5mm. Birch or addi brands recommended. Do not use Lincraft brand.

Other useful items you may wish to bring include:
Pliers
Wire cutters
Cellotape
Ribbons & feathers

Registration includes refreshments, light buffet lunch, information booklet, felt hat blanks, wool, buckram, petersham, wire and use of blocks and hat stiffening. Most supplies are imported from Europe and can be rather costly. 

Ages: Adult & students of EDHDA with sewing experience. Less intensive 5 x 1/2 day millinery classes have been made available in early January for ages 12-Adult. Book online above.

Teacher: Aylwen Gardiner-Garden is a historical dressmaker & milliner in Canberra who has studied millinery at the London College of Fashion, hand embroidery at the Royal School of Needlework and historic hand sewing at the School of Historic Dress in England.

Nov 24, 2017

Balmoral Bonnet

Balmoral Bonnet in the Charles Wade Collection at Berrington Hall, UK.
National Trust SNO 1228

Two-colour diced band in process

Diced band complete

Increasing the beret

Me, testing what the bonnet might look like. A bit big.

Decreasing to finish the top of the beret. Double point needles used at this stage.

Bonnet knitting complete. It is soft and large.

Starting the hand-felting process.

Felting over, blocked and drying in the sun.

Photo taken inside while wet and blocked.



Nov 16, 2017

Australian Cabbage Tree Hat

Last weekend the Earthly Delights Historic Dance Academy in Canberra hosted a Cabbage Tree Hat workshop with Sue and Don Brian. Sue and Don had spent five years on Norfolk Island where they became interested in the history and practice of making the cabbage tree hat. The tradition of hat weaving continues on Norfolk except hats are made these days with flax, banana bark and Norfolk Palm.
Men's Cabbage Tree Hat, c. 1860-1880, owned by John C. Read, Governor of Darlinghurst Gaol from 1861-1889.

The earliest reference to wearing cabbage tree hats in Australia refers to an incident with Flinders in 1799 in An Account of the English Colony in NSW 1788-1801:
"Flinders was wearing a cabbage-tree hat, for which a native had a fancy. The fellow took a long stick with a hook at the end of it, and, laughing and talking to divert attention from his purpose, endeavoured to take the hat from the commander's head. His detection created much laughter; as did that of another black with long arms, who tried to creep up to snatch the hat, but was afraid to approach too near".












Feb 7, 2017

My Tidens Tøj Regency Gown (updated)

Original Gown

This Danish wedding gown has long been of interest to me, and this week I received the fabric that I'd had custom embroidered for it. The original can be seen at http://natmus.dk/historisk-viden/temaer/modens-historie/1790-1840/hvid-brudekjole/.

My version of the embroidery pattern

Closer up of fabric with white embroidery along the hem.

I've chosen a fine white cotton with matching thread for embroidery and will be making a size 12 using the pattern below, which is a screenshot of the pdf that is back online at http://natmus.dk/fileadmin/user_upload/natmus/historisk-viden/modens-historie/snitmoenster/hvid-brudekjole.pdf.


Below are the photos I took of this gown on my recent trip to Denmark. It was so fantastic to see it up close, right in front of me. Unfortunately, it was behind glass, so these are the best photos I could get.








Patterns you may wish to use to replicate this gown include:
  • Nehelenia's 1790 Chemise Dress Pattern (based on this exact gown) gives a good bodice base and overlay.
  • Sense & Sensibilities Elegant Ladies Closet Pattern is good to use for dress construction methods as this gown is constructed like the drawstring gown. I used the skirt pattern but adjusted the fabric widths to fit my gown - my front pieces were wider and I used 2.5m for the back panel. Another pattern you could try that I did not experiment with is the Laughing Moon Chemise Dress, but it does not have the pleated collar overlay and I am unsure how the front is gathered.
My recommendation for beginners/intermediate is to make the Sensibility drawstring gown with elbow length sleeves and add the overlay from the Chemise dress pattern.  It's not quite what I did but would probably end being a lot easier.

Dress Base:
I put together two of these from sturdy linen for the boned bodice
and one from fine linen for the lining. 

The bodice is boned with cotton cord.

The back is pleated over the top of the boned bodice.

Laced at the front.
Eyelets are sewn by hand using a thick linen thread
from Burnley & Trowbridge.

Back view of laced bodice.

Bodice Overlay:

Pleated overlay with cotton stay tape as mentioned in the pattern instructions.

According to the instructions the ends are mounted onto cotton stay tape.

Tape pinned for sewing down.

Once the tapes are sewn down the back is sewn together by hand. 

Overlay is attached to the front skirt panel.
I made a french seam for tidiness and then ran a cotton tape through the casing.
Don't forget to sew the ends into the side seam before you finish constructing the gown.


Pleating the back and finishing off the gown:

2.5m fabric pleated onto the back.
Using 2" pleated I make a pleat facing towards center back,
pin it, then measure 1", stick in pin, and do next pleat to that pin. 

Starting to look like a dress at last!

3am selfie after sewing all night to get it finished. 

Front view with proper camera - must check my son's camera
settings because my iphone photos ended up a lot better than this.

Back view.
My husband wouldn't take the shawl away
so its a bit hidden.

Close up of the back. I must say white
is a really bad colour to photograph outdoors.



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