Wednesday, 22 April 2015


Alison was a recent visitor to my little home studio. We had met years ago at a holiday craft sale, where she bought a corduroy poorboy cap from me. She contacted me a few weeks ago and said "I adore the hat because it fits me perfectly and is just the thing to pop on in any kind of weather." And although she had washed it with great success, "It's getting a bit sad though from constant use," and could I make her a new one?

Alison and the first cap, the day she bought it.

Why yes, yes I could. That's just the sort of thing I do. And it's music to my millinery ears to hear that something I made has been worn out from heavy use!

I suggested Alison bring me her own fabric, so she would be sure of having something she really liked. She chose to have me make her two caps, one in light muslin for the summer, and another for spring/fall, in several different fabrics in shades of grey and taupe.

So. Cool.

Alison used to work in theatre costuming, with Livent, then Mirvish. (She knew Lori, my college millinery teacher, who had also worked that circuit. Quel small world.) Over tea as I hand-finished her caps after checking the fit, she reminisced about those days -- sewing while listening to Peter Gzowski on CBC Radio, filching cotton scraps from the knitwear studio next door when it moved, and makeup bits from the commercial photography studio nearby after product shoots. Listening to lots of stories about colleagues' cats...

Alison's collection of costume shop floor scraps became the fabric of the quilts she hand-made for each of her three children when they were little.

Full-sized quilts, hand-stitched. That's love, all right.

What a fabulous legacy! So many stories sewn into each quilt.

In a way, Alison's taupe and grey cap is like a mini-quilt. Most of the fabrics are remnants, so each has a little story of its own of what it was originally bought to make, or what it used to be. The taupe linen was trimmed from the bottom of an Armani coat. (Beautifully stitched and finished seams, I can tell you.)

Alison is still making quilts. She's also exploring, learning about architecture, and computer graphic design, and the list goes on.

It was a great pleasure to make Alison's caps and listen to her stories. Thanks again, Alison!

Friday, 17 April 2015

Picture Perfect Karen Pasieka

My friend Karen Pasieka is a talented sculptor in polymer clay. Her Subtle Details booth brightens up many local craft sales. At Heintzman House she bought one of my cozy, slouchy toques some time ago, which was wonderful of her. Now she's jazzed it up with some of her delightful blossom and ranunculus brooches.

Not only that, she made the top photo in this post her Facebook profile picture. How friendly is that?

I am thrice blessed. Karen invested in my work, she rocks it, and she made it her own with selections of her own art.

Besides making me feel so lucky and grateful, Karen's photos remind me of how many people over the years have bought my work and look so great in it. Time to create a new blog page of real people wearing Hats by Anne, by Anne Livingston, Milliner.

I'll go work on that.