Sunday, June 21, 2009

Flowermaking for Millinery and Hat Girls

Last week I had the good fortune to be offered two lovely vintage hat mannequins for my shop, aMuse: artisanal finery. I have a few vintage mannequins, but none like the ones this woman brought in for me to see. Most of mine don't have features, just the shape of a woman's head is about as defined as they get. I call them my 'hat girls.'

These new (um, vintage) 'hat girls' are just begging for names! And that's where you come in. I'd love to hear what names their unique faces suggest to you. Is it an old-fashion name like Rose, or Pearl, or Clarise? Or a more modern name like Susan, or Jessica, or Stephanie? What about exotic--Lolita?

I'll post their new names here in 30 days, on July 21! You can either leave suggestions for their names in the 'Comments' here on the blog (comments are at the end of each blog entry) or email them to me at

'Hat Girl #1' is above. She is rather alien-looking but with a sweet smile you can't really see in the picture. Her coloring---silver. Yep, silver, with a long swan neck. She'll be wearing some of the more artful hats.

'Hat Girl #2,' as seen above, is from the 1950's. She has beautiful full make-up and 'real' false eyelashes. (Did I just say 'real' false??) She has some 'Hollywood' about her too. She'll be wearing glamorous hats.

OK, on to the next bit in this blog entry.
I have a bride I'm working with who wanted a silk flower in multiple shades of silk to go with her taffeta dress from Nicole Miller. A beautiful dress that has a very, very matte metallic thread running through it. Sometimes the thread shows up as silver, sometimes, gold, and sometimes coppery or even platinum. It is amazing fabric to say the least!
The flower will be coupled with a face veil of vintage silk veiling; the very fine spider webby type that is hard to come by.
Below is the flower, and I've shown some pictures of the process to get the stamens that same silver/gold/copper/platinum color.

The flower is a combo of about 5 different colors, textures of silk fabric.

I used glass glitter to change the color of the stamens. These are 'mica,' '24 carat,' and 'sterling.' Glass glitter is very different than kindergarten glitter. It is finer, less shiny, and very dramatic.

Above you will see that I've used a tiny paintbrush to cover the tips of the pearl stamens with a quick drying glue, then rolled the ends of the stamens into the mixture of glass glitter. I mixed all three of the colors to get what I thought would be best with the fabric colors in the flower as well as her dress.

Here's a picture of the stamens drying after they have been covered in glass glitter, and the various flower petals, all before being assembled.

Now scroll back up to see the finished flower again.
Millinery tip: use fast drying glue to keep your flowers from falling apart as you assemble.


  1. A bit late, but here go my suggestions for names:
    -I think a good name for the wonderful silver head would be Luna (moon in Spanish), because it reminds me of the moon light.
    -And for the fifties lady, perhaps Rebecca?

    And thank you for the tip to glitter-up the flower stamens!

  2. Thanks for the name suggestions. I particularly like Luna!

    And I plan on adding more 'millinery tips' in the near future. I think that is why so many people love your blog--all your tips and techniques.