Archive for the ‘making hats’ Category

The Cashmere sweaters are starting to arrive. I could not be happier with my new supplier. I have received over 100 sweaters, so the Cashmere hat and scarf production is moving full speed ahead. Check out some of the steps of how I go through the process.
new sweaters
I love not knowing what colors will arrive. It’s like Christmas every time a box of sweaters is delivered.


It’s always fun at the laundromat. People stare at the piles of sweaters I put through the washer and drier. I often get asked “Do you wear all of these sweaters?” . I also get a lot of concerned folks asking “are you sure you want to put those in the drier? They will shrink!”

cut sweaters

The chopping begins. I cut the sweaters apart, remove the ribbing, buttons, zippers. Every little piece of cashmere is saved and reused. I tend to work in color blocks, so one day it will be chopping red sweaters, another day it will be the green ones, and so on. My biggest stack tends to be the 50 shades of Gray!


At times, a sweater will look like Swiss cheese from the hungry moths. It’s OK, there is still so much usable material to work with, it just takes more time cutting it all apart. It is also much easier to see the holes once the sweater goes through the washer and drier and felts. Each piece then gets inspected. If there are this many holes in any particular sweater, i turn it into scrap pieces…


That damaged and useless sweater is turned into beautiful felted Cashmere strips which I sew into hats and scarves.


My tiny showroom is quickly filling up with the Cashmere collection! It is so gratifying to recycle this luxurious fiber. There are days where I chop the sweaters for 12 hours. There are days when I sew for 14 hours. Doing this is a labor of love, and I love every minute of it.


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I will be teaching a workshop at Britex Fabrics on Saturday, August 5th.
Scraps to Embellishments , how to create decorative elements from leftover material. Headbands, flowers, leaves, couching method. This class is great for both beginners and intermediate sewers.

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I got a really sweet e mail with a photo of a hat collection. Dane really likes my bike caps, and every time he visits from Seattle he orders a bunch! Here is his collection…pretty impressive.

Custom bike caps

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I’m hoarding Cashmere sweaters in preparation for the new season. My Cashmere hat and scarf production starts again at the end of May. I found the most beautiful browns, greens, and burgundy sweaters.  They will be transformed into the coziest hats and scarves!

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I created this hat for the Stephen Jones hat competition on Talenthouse.

Please take a moment and vote. Also, check out the incredible hats featured from Milliners all over the world. You can vote for many designs.

It is an incredible collection of beautiful Millinery creations. I hope they publish a book of all the entries!

For my hat, I created a pill box out of steel galvanized wire. It was incredibly hard to crochet with, and my hands are in a lot of pain. I love the openness of the pillbox. I decorated it with flowers made out of plastic bags. The final touch were the rhinestone buttons.

“Steel Magnolia”, please vote here.

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Crochet tam with Mum flower is the latest addition to our  “Crochet novelty” collection.  Now available in our online store. Perfect for chilly spring days and freezing San Francisco summers.

Rainbow, the lovely customer in the photo, bought the first one I made.

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One of my favorite type of hat making involves reconstructing garments into hats. I love using coats because they offer so many great elements. There is a nice amount of fabric, lining, and buttons.

For this project I chose a black woman’s rain jacket. Size XXL, with nice tabs on the sleeves, watercolor painted lining, and 12 large silver buttons. All for $5.99

I took apart all the pieces of the coat. Separated the rain proof material from the lining and removed 12 buttons.

The sleeve tab became the top of the hat crown. The collar became the brim. I used 2 of the buttons and sewed them on with red thread for a little contrast. I used the original lining to line the hat.

The final product of this reconstruction is a great water proof hat with fun elements. The Silver buttons and red thread add a touch of whimsy. The asymmetric brim adds a modern flair to a 1920’s shape.

Rain jacket from Salvation Army, $5.99

Watercolor lining

12 large silver buttons!


The tab on the sleeve became the top of the crown. The collar became the brim.


The coat lining became the lining for the hat.


Water proof hat with a 1920's flair.


The great thing about making hats is that they don’t require a lot of fabric. Since the coat was a XXL, I still have enough material for at least 2 more hats!

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