Tag Archives: millinery

Nancy’s does Me-Made-May ’16 – days 25-31

June has arrived and, though we are thrilled for the arrival of summer, we are a little sad to see May go.

We had so much fun participating in Me-Made-May! It is, truly, one of my favorite things we’ve ever done as a store. Thanks to all of you for helping to make it such an enjoyable event!

NSB - header MMMay16 days 25-31

Day 25:

Tamara wore three handmade pieces: a coat sewn in linen/cotton suiting, a knit top, and a silk crepe-de-chine skirt! The pattern for her topper is the Palvi, from Lotta Jansdotter’s book Everyday Style. She drafted both her shirt and skirt patterns.

Ellen also donned a trio of handmade garments! Her round-neck coat pattern is from Casual Sweet Clothes: Favorite Pieces for Every Day by Noriko Sasahara; she used a linen/cotton Ikat, a perfect fabric pairing for the simple silhouette. Her top and pants are the Mimosa ensemble from Sewing Workshop, which she sewed up in yarn-dyed linen/cotton.

Kristina wore a second iteration of the Kiomi tunic and a knit tube skirt of her own design. For this version of the Kiomi (originally a dress pattern in Lotta Jansdotter’s Everyday Style), she used washed silk dupioni and created a hi-low hemline. The effect is cool and elegant. Her tube skirt is rayon/spandex jersey; a similar pattern is KwikSew #3765.

Jessica wore a button-down shirt with Peter Pan collar of her own design. She used plaid linen/cotton for a perfect picnic look! Though the pattern for this shirt is unavailable (she drafted it herself), Burda #6840 has similar details.


Day 26:

Ellen was ready for the weekend in her cropped jacket, which she sewed up in a cotton with crewel-work details! Pattern is #009 from Betsy Ross, which is, sadly, no longer in business. For a similar look, try Vogue #9190.

Jessica prepped for the weekend in a restyled vintage skirt! Longer, pleated and a touch too small from when it was purchased twelve years ago, she breathed new life into the skirt her scissors and sewing machine. For a similar pattern, try KwikSew #3794.


Days 27 & 28:

Sadly, we did not have a chance to take photos on either day 😦


Day 29:

Kitrina wore a pleated cotton piqué skirt with petersham ribbon details at the waist and alençon lace trim at the hem. The original Burda pattern is now discontinued; try Butterick #5756 for a similar pleated skirt pattern.

Kristina paired her asymmetrical Kiomi tunic with her favorite straight skirt (McCall’s #3830). The hi-low hemline of her tunic perfectly showed off the border print of her skirt!

Jessica wore a boldly patterned silk/cotton lawn dress. She used Simplicity pattern #2497 (now discontinued) featuring a ruffled neckline and blouson details at the waistline. For a similar-but-updated silhouette, try Vogue #1343.


Day 30:

Kitrina wore a fabulous dress with a draped collar and sash. She sewed the now-discontinued Vogue pattern out of yarn-dyed polyester suiting. For a comparable style, try Butterick #5850.

Ellen got ready to bid adieu to me-made-May by sewing up the Betsy Ross Cropped Jacket pattern with a fabric that she’d had in her stash for at least 15 years! The simplicity of the jacket style was perfectly paired with the yarn-dyed beaded linen. Though the Betsy Ross pattern company in no longer around, try Vogue #9190.

Jessica wore the matte jersey dress she discussed in our post on planning for me-made-May. She used the bold print to make a pattern from the BurdaStyle S/S 2016 plus size special magazine (pattern 417B), a casual dress with cocoon silhouette and draped armholes. For additional coverage, she lined the dress, and added openings to the sides seams for a ribbon sash.


Day 31:

For the final day of me-made-May, Tamara wore a striped tee-shirt style dress paired with a printed cotton lawn overdress. The knit dress, made of rayon/spandex jersey and bound with fold-over elastic, is McCall’s pattern #6612. Her Japanese lawn dress is the same Marcy Tilton pattern from day 11, Vogue #8876.

Izzie, our resident milliner, wore a summer straw hat of her own creation! She used sinamay straw and vintage trimmings for the perfect look! If you are in the Seattle area this weekend, Izzie will be showing her hats at a trunk sale at the Beppa store; be sure to check it out!

And for a final me-made-May farewell, Jessica ended the month in the same dress from the first day, her favorite Decades of Style pattern, #2003 1920s Hazel’s Frock. For something new, she added a handmade straw braid hat, which she made in classes with Izzie and trimmed with millinery flora from our Ribbon Room!


Thanks again for joining us for Me-Made-May! We had a blast participating and look forward to doing it again next year!

Trimming a hat for the Kentucky Derby

The Kentucky Derby is just a week away! Though we live many states away from the actual event, we still have the urge to celebrate it in style, which can only mean one thing: fabulous hats!NSB - Kentucky Derby header

We checked in with coworker and milliner Izzie, who kindly shared her hat-trimming expertise with us. She brought in several of her undecorated hats and used ribbons and millinery trims from our Ribbon Room to create several different looks.

The first hat was hand blocked from a natural color straw braid, and features a rounded crown and wide, curved brim. NSB - Kentucky Derby straw braid 1 untrimmedWorking in a rich red color palette, Izzie selected millinery roses & berries, vintage ribbon, and veiling for trimmings. NSB - Kentucky Derby straw braid 2 with trimmingsShe created a wide, layered bow from the ribbon as a base, formed a second bow from the veiling, and then nestled the roses and berries into the center of the bows. NSB - Kentucky Derby straw braid 3 trimmedThe resulting look is bold and lush, without going over-the-top.

 

The second hat was blocked as a cloche from a raffia-like, vintage yellow straw.NSB - Kentucky Derby raffia cloche 1 untrimmed To enhance the cheery hue, Izzie chose trimmings in sunny tones, including picot-edge vintage ribbon, leaves, and two styles of flowers. NSB - Kentucky Derby raffia cloche 2 with trimmingsShe began by encircling the base of the crown with the ribbon and tying it into a multi-looped bow. After arranging the flowers and leaves, she affixed them atop the bow. NSB - Kentucky Derby raffia cloche 3 trimmedThe final look is a sweet and simple monochrome topper, perfect for wearing indoors or out!

 

The crown and brim of the third hat were blocked from two different straws. NSB - Kentucky Derby double straw 1 untrimmedIn keeping with the color palette provided by the two straws, Izzie selected trimmings with a neutral feel. NSB - Kentucky Derby double straw 2 with trimmingsGreen leaves, little mushrooms, pale yellow black-eyed susans, and a brown poppy all lend to a more natural look. NSB - Kentucky Derby double straw 3 trimmedThe final arrangement is chic and modest, and would look at home at a derby party, a garden party, or rowing a boat on a sunny summer afternoon.

 

For those with a more subdued sense of style, Izzie also shared the perfect simple way to trim a hat: ribbon! For this straw fedora, she chose a vintage striped ribbon. The varied stripes in five colors look especially smart when tied in a clever knot.NSB - Kentucky Derby fedora with ribbon

 


Will you be attending a Derby party? What kind of hat will you wear? Share the details with us in the comments below!

Get to know a Nancy’s employee: Izzie

I am very excited to share today’s “get to know” interview. In addition to working in our Ribbon Room every Tuesday, this employee is also a talented Seattle milliner. As she is both an employee and a friend of Nancy’s, this extended interview includes questions we ask of our vendor friends! Please join me in welcoming Izzie.

NSB - gtk izzielewis header

Who are you?

I’m Izzie Lewis and I am a milliner. I also work at Nancy’s.

How long have you been acquainted with Nancy’s? How long have you worked at Nancy’s?

I’ve been acquainted with Nancy’s for 20 years or so, through millinery and classes with Candace Kling.

I think I started working at Nancy’s in 2008, so I’ve been with the store for about 8 years.

NSB - IzzieLewis pink straw

Izzie models a gorgeous pink cloche constructed from vintage straw braid, trimmed with a ribbon rose handmade using Candace Kling’s techniques.

How long have you been sewing?

Well, I’ve been sewing for as long as I can remember, but I was in second grade the first time I sewed a garment from a pattern.

What was your first sewing project?

I made a little cotton top with a sailor collar that zipped up the front. It was very cute. It had little puffed sleeves. The fabric was navy blue with white anchors.

Tell me about your business.

I make custom hats and I teach hat making in my studio in West Seattle. I work in straw, felt, and fabric, and find that whatever material I am working with at the time is my favorite. That can make it difficult to change seasons.NSB - IzzieLewis felt hat from scrap

How did you get started in millinery?

I started making hats when I found out that you could actually make hats. It hadn’t really occurred to me before that. I used to wear a lot of vintage hats, so when I found out I could make them myself I started pursuing hat making.

I actually met a hat maker – Wayne Wichern – while shopping at a fabric store in downtown Seattle. I was wearing a hat and he came up to me and said, “I really like your hat. I am a hat maker, if you’d ever like to have a hat made…” and I was like, “What? I can have a hat made?!” I had him make a hat for me and it was through that experience that I started studying with him. Years later, he explained that the day we met, he had just picked up his business cards and he was so excited about it that he came right up to me and gave me a card. He said that he wouldn’t have done that except that he was excited to have business cards.

My background is in architecture, which is still that idea of constructing things. When I began making hats, the architecture firm where I worked – Workshop 3D – had a gallery within the space. My boss asked me to do a millinery show, so I started putting together group shows every spring and fall. These shows became one of the foundations of the millinery community in Seattle.

What is your most recently completed project?

I make garments for myself on occasion. My most recent garment was the sheer overdress/printed cotton underdress for the Nancy’s anniversary sale.

I’m also currently completing a variety of straw hats for a group hat show, which is happening on Saturday, April 2nd. The show, which I am doing as part of the Millinery Artisan Group Northwest, takes place 10am-4pm, at the Phinney Neighborhood Center.

NSB - IzzieLewis parisisal straw vintage roses and veiling

A parisisal straw hat is trimmed with vintage veiling and roses

Do you have a most memorable or favorite project?

I did a fun project in 2015, which started out as a little tweed top hat. I bought a yard of fabric and made the top hat. I had fabric left over, so I thought I’d make another hat. I made a cloche, and there was still fabric remaining, so I made a little cap. Then I just decided to keep on going until I had used every scrap of fabric. I think I ended up with seven or eight hats, the last one being this tiny headpiece on a headband.

It was a fun project that kind of developed on its own, but is in keeping with what I like to do, which is use scraps. One of my signature hats is a felt hat that is made of scraps and pieces left over from other hats.

NSB - IzzieLewis felt cloche made from scrap

Scraps from at least five different hats come together to create this fantastic cloche

Another memorable project was The Great Blocking Marathon. I invited students (former and current) and local hat makers to help block nearly every form that I have in the studio. We worked for 2 days, with a break to sleep and we blocked approximately 50 hats!

NSB - izzielewis great blocking marathon

Hat blocks used for The Great Blocking Marathon

What project is next?

This coming Saturday, April 2nd I have the group show at the Phinney Neighborhood Center. I will be there selling spring and summer hats. There will also be a special exhibit as part of the show: we were given a millinery challenge to create an “elemental” hat. The hat I am contributing evokes the element of whimsy. It was created from the scraps of an oddly sized straw cartwheel, which I combined with some vintage trims (editor’s note: “cartwheel” is a name for a large, unblocked piece of straw or felt).

NSB - IzzieLewis hat element of whimsy

‘Whimsy’ is perfectly captured by curvilinear form and vintage blossoms

In general, I’m working my way through a lot of the vintage trimmings and do-dads in my studio, attempting to use them all. For most of my hats, the trims are an integral part of the design, not just added on. For this new project, it’s more that I am making these hats and adding these vintage pieces. The challenge is: am I taking these vintage materials and making pieces that look like vintage pieces, or am I taking these vintage materials and creating something that looks new and fresh? I’d love to be able to have my pieces look fresh and modern.

NSB - IzzieLewis sinamay straw vintage irises

Vintage irises are the perfect trimming for this sinamay straw hat

What do you love most about Nancy’s?

Well, the Ribbon Room, of course! I love all of the conversations about different design ideas that happen in the store, and how helpful and knowledgeable the staff is. And seeing all the projects that people bring into the shop.

Thanks, Izzie! It is such a delight to see what our very talented staff creates!

If you are interested in contacting Izzie about having a custom hat made, or in taking classes with her, find her on Facebook or her website. And if you are in the Seattle area this coming Saturday, April 2nd, be sure to check out her show at the Phinney Neighborhood Center! More details can be found on the show’s event page here.

All photographs in this post courtesy of Nancy’s Sewing Basket and Izzie Lewis and may not be used without express permission.

Interview with a store department: the Ribbon Room

Today we get to know a favorite space in the store – the Ribbon Room!

NSB - Ribbon Room header

Who are you?
Hello, I’m the Ribbon Room!

Where do you reside at Nancy’s?
I have a cozy little room in the back right-hand corner of the store. Because I have my own room, some people miss me on their first (or second!) visit to the shop.NSB - RR df satin and petersham

Do you have a special focus?
Yes! I am home to the exquisite ribbons and trims carried at Nancy’s, in addition to millinery supplies like flowers and veiling, specialty buttons, and fun little gifts. For ribbons, there are lots of great basics – like rayon Petersham grosgrain, double-face satin in both silk and polyester, and sheer polyester organdy ribbons – but we also have an incredible selection of vintage ribbons, heirloom laces, and trims.

NSB - RR dessert case

The ‘dessert’ case holds some of our most beautiful and expensive ribbons and trims. Many are vintage, some are reproductions, all are truly exquisite.

As Susan, the ‘ribbon lady’, puts it: the Ribbon Room is where we keep the dessert.

What is your most recently received product?
We just got a large shipment of lovely millinery flowers, including some fun little toadstools! We also received a fun selection of vintage flowers.

NSB - RR flowers and toadstools

Do you have a current favorite product?
A few months back we got a huge selection of vintage ribbons, including exquisite taffeta and lustrous satin in a rainbow of interesting colors.

NSB - RR vintage satin and taffeta

Among the vintage options was this fabulous double face ribbon: velvet on one side, satin on the other. It is a silk and cotton blend, with the most luxurious hand. The color, called Hula Brown, is very beautiful, but what makes it interesting is the satin and velvet sides are different hues, like dark and milk chocolate.

NSB - RR hula brown satin velvet

Plus, the packaging on the vintage options is incredibly charming!

NSB - RR oriole label

Check out this label!

Any favorite projects you’ve seen made from your wares?
Goodness, this is difficult to answer. Like the woolens department, we have sold so much ribbon, veiling, and trims throughout the years that this answer could be a mile long.

There are a lot of projects that are fun, but not necessarily unique. We work with lots of brides who are looking for ribbons to trim their invitations and programs, to make a veil, or who simply want a colorful sash. We are lucky to carry the embroidered trims, laces, and insertions that go into heirloom sewing, so we get to help people making christening gowns. We also sell ribbon for things as simple as hair-bows and gifts, which are delightful.

NSB - RR striped grosgrain

Beyond that, some highlights do spring to mind: Every time Candace Kling comes to teach a class at Nancy’s, we get to see our wares turn into incredible work: striped grosgrains become cockades, wired ribbon and stamens blossom into flowers, and much more.

NSB - RR stamens and flowers

Working with antique doll collectors and miniaturists is always fun and surprising. It is also incredibly enjoyable to help people find the perfect trimmings for costumes, whether historical, for a local theater production, or for a kid’s Halloween costume!

Thank you, Ribbon Room! It is always fun to see your treasures!

From now until the end of the Nancy’s anniversary sale, the Ribbon Room will be featured for daily specials on Tuesday, Sept 15th (15% off flowers), Wednesday, Sept 16th & Friday, Sept 18th (15% off buttons), and Sunday, Sept 20th (15% off ribbons)!

All pictures in this post copyright of Nancy’s Sewing Basket, LLC. Special thanks to Kam Martin for her photography skills.