Caps and Masks and a Make Believe Craft Show

Caps with Buttons for Holding Masks.

They are Here! They are finally here! And before I sail off into my typical long winded tangential tale of how I came to be making caps and masks I will first direct you right to the shop and then if you’d like to listen to me ramble you can meet me here afterwards.

Here are the caps. These caps are already made and ready to ship and have sizes. Please pay attention to the size before ordering. Most women will fit the medium size. If your head is very small then the small size is for you and if your head is quite large then choose large. Slightly smaller or larger than average should choose Medium. If you don’t end up with the cap of your dreams, I promise there will be more.

Click the photo to go to caps.

Upcycled Denim Cap with Buttons for a mask

Click the mask photo to head to masks. (more sizes and fabrics coming soon.)

Happy Flowers Face Mask

OK, Now for the rambling part…..I have never thought of myself as a cap girl. I have pretty much been waging a war against baseball caps for the past 27 years that I have been working as a milliner. Convincing women to throw away the baseball cap and don a pretty cloche instead has become something of a mission for me. And I probably would have left that opinion of mine unchallenged had it not been for a certain Pandemic.

Every solution begins with a problem……I would get to the post office, boxes in hand and then clumsily try to put my mask on behind my ears. My ears would project out from my head at a 90 degree angle, and then when my glasses would be completely steamed up they would fall off my face. I really started dreading my trips to the post office.

Then I saw an Instagram post from another milliner who was putting buttons on caps to hold the mask…no ears necessary. Seems this idea had been circulating in the millinery world for some time. I’m afraid I can’t credit the genius behind the buttons, but if anyone knows I will be sure to give credit where credit is due.

I made this straw cap at about the same time, but I really wasn’t thinking of masks. I just wanted to see if I could come up with a cap shape that I love.

My straw braid cap.

Mission accomplished. It’s a cap, but still feminine and kinda flappery. When I realized I could sew buttons onto the side I was doubly in love. I meant to sell this hat, but it ended up in my personal collection. I will happily make more if anyone is interested.

This has been my go to hat all summer. It is so easy to put the mask onto the buttons and I am no longer afraid of the post office.

But the thing with this hat is that it’s a bit of an investment. Such is the nature of sewing a hat from a braid that is 1/4 inch wide. So, the wheels in my head went round and round until I figured out the equivalent design in fabric and because I have been very focused on keeping used textiles out of land fill I decided to use upcycled denim. I’m also making them in hand dyed cotton canvas.

Now, usually I will make one hat and then put it on my website because I get excited by new designs. But I had to do things a bit differently this time. When word of this pandemic first got out, I wondered what the summer would look like in terms of visitors to my studio. In a good year I might have 6 visits a week. This year I have had 4…all summer. Don’t cry for me, Argentina. I have been enjoying my garden and our nearby lake and am way too comfortable with being a hermit, but it has been difficult to keep myself motivated to keep making hats. Summer is usually the time when I get to sell my more artistic one of a kind hats and the best thing about selling hats is that it gives me the excuse to make more. But in the absence of live customers and a studio filled with hats I was in danger of drifting into a slump.

So, I decided to play make believe. I told myself that I had a big craft show coming up and I needed to make as many caps as possible. I must say, I did a fine job of fooling myself. I have been a busy bee. I even managed to stress myself out about being busy. Sometimes Tony would have to remind me that it was OK to go swimming because my upcoming craft show was not real. I managed to make 10 caps. Well, 11 really. My neighbour, Kelly, walked away with one of them.

The other thing I have been resisting is making masks. There have been so many people making masks and for way too little money that I couldn’t really see how it would be feasible. I also hadn’t found a mask that I truly liked. But then I came across this pattern.

3D face mask designed by Japanese Sewing Books.

It’s brilliant. It seals around the face and also provides more breathing room. No more fogging glasses and no more suffocation on every inhale. Because I really believe in the design I am happily sewing them. There are 13 in my web shop right now, but there will be more soon. I will also make a larger size and a children’s size.

I hope you enjoy these last few weeks of summer. These beautiful days have been quite the gift. We will chat again soon.