Sunday, 18 January 2015

Custom Cloche Hat for a BJD

I spent the weekend working on a custom orders for hats. The first one is going to be for a BJD needing some vintage millinery. Luckily on my trip to the yarn shop I managed to find some gorgeous rusty brick coloured linen, which will hopefully match her outfit.

The linen yarn is not the most easiest to work with, it separates really easily, so every stitch you have to stop and check that all the sections of the yarn are still with you.... BUT, if you are prepared to give that little extra time the result is quite special. With a small crochet needle, it gives the hat quite nice form and holds its shape.

I spent some extra time shaping the crown with this one, so it swoops down towards the nape of the neck. Extra shaping is a lot more achievable with the linen than with the Perle cotton.

I finished the hat with some antique touches. The lace, MOP buckle and silk trim are all from the 1920's. Very fitting finishes for a cloche hat I think.

Mel xx

Friday, 16 January 2015

Haberdashery Baskets

Well, this week was really all about baskets, and slowly I am finishing them off. The haberdashery baskets are finished  but the little picnic baskets are waiting for some tiny treats to be made for them.

The baskets are really a labour of love, in fact I think anything that has embroidery on it is. It constantly amazes me how many hours can be poured into drawing with thread. And when it comes to the baskets.... you can never have enough flowers! I'm always peering at them thinking... oh wait I can fit more here, just another one there.

These little haberdashery baskets are filled with some of the vintage haberdasheries that I have been collecting; cotton reels, laces and buttons. A sweet little collection of some of my most favourite things.

I have some hats to make this weekend, so I am heading to the yarn shop this afternoon for supplies. I think it is very easy to say, that this is one of my most favourite outings. Browsing through a well stocked yarn shop provides constant inspiration. Fingers crossed I manage to get what I want.

Mel xx

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

My Work Table

Well I woke up fairly early this morning and began work before the kids woke, sipping some tea and surveying my work table. Sooooo happy to have it back. For me, a life without a table to work off is like living without sunlight, sure you can survive, but you really never flourish.

So I thought I would show you all a little glimpse of my work table today. As you can see I have several unfinished items. I never can work on one thing from the beginning to the end. I seem to always be working on several things at once. Today I have some crochet baskets, the beginnings of another hat, items needing to be packed and posted and a little bear named Constance who is in real need of limbs and for her hat to be finished.

I have a list of goals for the next few months, but at the centre of them is filling my sections in my Etsy shop. This is about as far as I have come to having a business plan, not that I ever have thought that Miss Molly's is really a business.... but it has the dream of being one. At this stage Miss Molly supports my obsessions, not my existence.

Mel xx

Monday, 12 January 2015

2015 the Year of the Hat!

Dear husband has returned to work now and  I am counting down the weeks till school returns. My twins, are heading into kindergarten this year and for the first time in many years I will only have one littlie at home. People have been asking me, quite a lot actually, how am I am feeling with my new found, upcoming freedom. Its a funny comment, because I still have Matty at home, but I can concede that is a huge difference to having 3.

In the thick of it, well just after I had Matty, I had 3 under 17 months, my 3 older girls (2 of which were heading into highschool), and I was trying to maintain my studies, studying a bachelor of education.... but any grandiose ideas I had of continuing on that trajectory with 3 babies was soon altered. I found myself in amongst a mountain of dirty nappies, washing, breastfeeding and sleepless nights. And really I had to just go with the flow, it was all about survival.

Its been an epic journey being a stay at home Mum to 6, filled with many ups and downs.  But now I see changes on the horizon, and new beginnings are ahead, what they will be and where they will take me I don't know. So many older women I have spoken to, mention to me how wonderful those early years are at home with toddlers are... and how fast they go. And I am sure I will look back on them as fondly as most do, but for me, there is no doubt,  that every silver lining is still attached to a cloud.

For now though, any real thoughts and plans or long stares onto the horizon to ponder the future are abated with the comforting rhythm of the crochet needle, for 2015.. this far anyway, it has been the year of the hat!! Here is a few glimpse of what I've been up to for the first few weeks of this new year.

Mel x

Friday, 9 January 2015

Back to Work

I have to say, I have had the most relaxing few weeks. My dear husband and children have been on holidays, and for the first time for as long as I can remember we did absolutely nothing, a very underrated way to spend a vacation. 2014 was so busy for our family, constant coming and going. With the older children reaching that stage where they are working and studying all over the place and constantly needing taxi-ing, I know a lot of you can relate! So this Christmas break we made an effort to just do nothing. Simple days at home, resting and relaxing as a family with the occasional competitive board or card game, oh and afternoon naps. I have to say it has been wonderful!!

To top everything off my little work area has been restored, well almost. You may remember my Miss Molly work area was packed away to make room for my Mum to come and stay with us while she recovered from an accident. We are a large family of 8, living in a shoe box of a cottage with really not much room to swing a cat. But if there's a will there's a way and I have become quite an expert in organising and making small spaces work, though even I can admit adding another person gave a whole new meaning to a close knit family. So with Mum back in her home I was able to reclaim my space.

I still have a lot of stock in boxes, but my table is back and that is the most important part. Believe it or not it took only an hour for all my bits and bobs to be covering the surface and my "organised" Miss Molly chaos was back, with piles of laces and flowers and balls of crochet cotton.

I have so many things I want to make and do and I am just itching to back into Miss Molly. I decided to spend my first week back, getting into the swing of things and making some hats for the shop.

I really enjoy creating these simple little hats. Each one is different and they are filled with vintage goodness. I love decorating them with bits of lace, ribbon, buttons, buckles and flowers.

So I am slowly adding them to the shop this week. I know a lot of people have contacted me over these little hats, I will be trying to add quite a few to fill the millinery section of the shop. I am hoping to be able to add a permanent custom listing, where you can design your own, just choose your size, colour and trim. I'll hopefully have that up and running through January, so if you are interested in vintage style hats, it might be worth a look.

I've also set a new years resolution to finally get cracking and design my own hat blocks. I really want to start making some straw and felt cloche hats, specifically for dolls and bears. So hopefully I will have some news about that sooner rather than later.

Mel xx