October 9th, 2012
Last year, in the midst of a D.H. Lawrence kick, I knitted myself a grey pixie hat. For some inexplicable reason, I attributed a portion of my inspiration to Women in Love. Go figure.
So many people have asked me where I got my hat, that I finally decided I should try to make some and offer them for sale. Knitting is too time-consuming, so I made a felt version. It’s still mostly hand-sewn, but I can make one in a matter of hours instead of weeks.
Since felt is less forgiving of differently shaped heads, I graded my pattern into three sizes: Small (child), Medium (average woman), Large (average man). And of course, I’m decorating them with felt flowers.
November 20th, 2011
A few years ago, I made a dress to wear to the faux 19th-century funerals that I host (does one host a funeral?) every year for the museum where I work. I spent weeks on the dress, crape-trimmed undersleeves, and crape-trimmed chemisette. But I didn’t think of making a bonnet until the night before the funeral. With no millinery supplies on hand, and just an hour or two until showtime, I scrounged around and made do.
Not bad, considering it’s made on a frame of…wait for it…two hanging file folders and packing tape.
It made crinkling sounds whenever I put it on, but no one ever discovered my secret. Unless I told them of course…which I did with great pride in my own ingenuity.
So tonight, realizing that I would never again run a faux funeral (yeah, yeah, never say never — but at least not for a while), I decided to kill my bonnet in a symbolic gesture. First I took off the ribbon though, which actually belongs to my Elvira Madigan dress (that’s what my husband calls it). Then I took up my sacrificial blade.
It was surprisingly satisfying to tear apart my work.
So, it is with a sombre, yet satisfied, heart that I bid adieu to my make-shift mourning bonnet.