Tuesday, 4 November 2014

Oh for the love of Millinery!

I have to admit I have fond memories of being part of the doll collectors movement in Sydney 20 years ago. Spending weekends at doll shows and rummaging through doll stalls. I soon developed a love of vintage and the amazing work of reproduction antique doll makers, and in particular specialist hat and shoe makers. Oh my nothing made me more excited than a FABULOUS dolly hat.

So what makes a breathtaking dolly hat! Well so many elements, but by far the vintage millinery flowers!!! You simply can't have an authentic dolly bonnet without them.

And I freely admit my love for these simple floral creations is far deeper than just seeing them as hat trims. In my little flower collection I have flowers that I would never dream of ever using. I keep them boxed for no other reason but to look at them occasionally in complete and utter admiration.

I still have my original collection. Some of the flowers I managed to buy decades ago from the USA. Others I found at doll shows or shops. I'll never forget my excitement when I moved to Newcastle to go to university and discovering, what I thought to be, the centre of the universe! Islington Street... shop after shop of antique costumes, linens and laces and flowers.

Somehow my original collection managed to survive. Many years of being fumbled with in my dolly studio and then countless moves, being lost in boxes, stored in attics and garages and even garden sheds, amongst boxes of baby clothes, cots and high chairs! Until now all these years later discovering them in a box, my life finally ready to embrace them all over again.

These days I spend large amounts of time searching the net and yes, still my heart goes fluttering when I stumble upon a lovely bunch. Because the creative possibilities of these rare beauties are endless.

So this birthday week, my 2nd giveaway and representing my 2nd Miss Molly love, is of course millinery!!!

This little hat is made from crocheted Italian linen. I absolutely love working with linen yarn, especially for dolly hats. It has such a lovely weight to it and holds its shape really well. To trim the hat I used one of my favourite pieces of antique lace. This piece is well over 100 years old. When I bought it, it was very brown looking, but with some washing and restoration it is now a lovely vintage ivory colour.

The flowers I've used are a mixed selection from my collection. A silk chrysanthemum, a couple of cherry blossoms, a single lilac flower and a stunning velvet pansy. The pansy is hand coloured and dates back to 1920's.

If you are interested in joining in the Millinery giveaway, please follow the link at the top of this page to my Facebook page. I will be drawing the winner tomorrow morning, Thursday, 10 am AEST.

Stay tune over the next couple of days for a little glimpse of my next Giveaway, representing my next Miss Molly love.

Mel xx


Dorothy Crutchfield said...

Dear Melissa,
I love everything you make and I, too, love the vintage flowers. I have a small collection and I use a few occasionally, but mostly I just like to look at them! Thank you for sharing,

Melissa Frank said...

Oh Dorothy, thank you for leaving a comment on my little blog. If you ever get a chance to take a photo of some of your flowers, I would love for you to share them on the Miss Molly FB page.... I would be in complete awe of them!!! Much love to you and many thanks for all of your support!! Mel xx

Jan Cole said...

I just found your blog and your very lovely creations... I think I am love with your sweet dolls and lovely hats and sweater sets! I am an older lady, but still have a little girl heart, and love dolls.
Recently I bought an older woman's
collection of buttons that she had
collected through the years... I wish that I could share them with
you... many are still on their cards. I will be your fan for sure. Do you know about Ginny dolls? They are eight inches tall, and I still have several from when I was a girl, and my mother crocheted a few outfits for them. I would love to buy one of your dolls if you are still making them. I will be following your blog. Blessings to you. Jan