Monday, April 28, 2008

Anna meets the sewing machine

Hello again. Today I had an inquiry from someone in Lithuania, regarding this hat. what fun it would be to know this hat was alive and well and living in Lithuania. But, I promised to explain how I met the sewing machine. After being hopelessly inspired by the milliner in Toronto, I set off on my quest to learn to sew. I knocked on my neighbour's door and begged her to teach me. We met once a week for a couple of months. I bought a commercial hat pattern and made this one hat in every possible fabric combination imaginable. I became the local pest at the upholstery shop begging for scraps. I don't think I actually bought fabric for about two years. When people get word that you are looking for remnants it is amazing what comes your way. I accumulated mountains of fabric. The amazing thing to me was that people actually bought my hats. I was of course seriously underselling myself, but I looked at it as a paid education. Then one afternoon I had my first and second martini with my friend Carol and I knew it was time to design my own hat. It was amazingly imperfect, but somehow had charm. I now had a repertoire of two hats. Slowly, I bought every hat making book in publication and became a regular in vintage shops, scouring for old hats. Between the books and studying the vintage hats I eventually learned the tricks of the trade. Gratefully, to my customers, people supported and encouraged me along the way. And today I am still reading every manual I can get my hands on and I am constantly inspired by all the great milliners past and present. Until next time. Happy Hatting.
Anna Shoub, The Hat Junkie

Friday, April 11, 2008

a brief history of a hat maker

Hello again, For those of you that tuned in to my last entry , I would like to continue with the brief history of a hat maker, but first I need to take care of the business of linking my web sites to this blog, so here goes.... and Now, where were we?
So, with pink felt hat on head I began my new life and identity as a hat lady. (really girl at that point) When you get so much positive feed back from wearing one hat it doesn't take long to buy a second and then a third and so on, and before you know it you are a certified hat junkie. I began by buying myself a hat as a gift to myself on birthdays. One for my birthday, one for each of my brothers' birthdays and for my cat's birthday, but then I added consolation purchases. One for each of the various rejections in my life. I scored quite a lot of hats from failing my driver's testS. I really can drive now, but that's a whole other story.
And then one fateful Saturday afternoon, while visiting my family in Toronto, I happened by a sign that read Hat Shop with an arrow leading me to a quiet street off the beat and path where a tiny little hat shop lived. I entered. I could not believe my eyes. Everywhere at every level was a beautiful hat, one more beautiful than the next. And at the back of the shop was one woman with two sewing machines, one of which was for her absent assistant. It donned on me then that this lady was actually making the hats herself. With all the hats I owned by this time, I had never really contemplated the fact that someone, some individual actually made those hats. It didn't seem possible, but there she was. I knew in that instant that I was going to have to learn to make hats. The milliner was so helpful. Seeing my flabbergasted, speechless state, she kindly offered that first I would need to learn to sew and then I might want to take a millinery workshop. I thanked her over and over and went home to Massachusetts with a new sense of purpose in my life. If you haven't heard enough of this saga, then tune in next time to hear of my quest to learn to use a sewing machine. Happy Hatting, Anna.

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

My very first entry

Hello and welcome to a day in the life of The Hat Junkie. I hope to provide you with a glimpse into the life of a hat maker, a.k.a milliner.
My obsession with hats began at 19 years of age (21 years ago) I was visiting my aunt in Montreal and we went to beautiful old Montreal. It was there in a little boutique where I happened to spot a beautiful hand made pink felt chapeau. It was love at first site. The hat was $42.00. Totally out of my league. I left the hat on the stand and went back to my aunt's home broken hearted. That night I dreamed about the hat. In the morning it felt like destiny was calling me, but I had a train to catch back to Toronto. What was a girl to do. My aunt, being the immensely amazing person that she is, drove me back to the store to spend my life savings on this hat with just enough time left to catch my train.
The safest place to store my hat was on my head. So, with pink chapeau on head, I headed home. Within five minutes I could feel the difference this hat was having on my life. Strangers held doors open for me, old men and ladies looked teary eyed with the memories of a gentler time gone by when beauty was something that lived in our everyday lives, and a very nice man read my fortune on the train. As the the days went by I sometimes had to find the courage to be noticed and often needed to be quite resolute with myself to put the hat on, but it seemed that the effect this hat was having on world peace was bigger than my own insecurities, so onward I plunged, pink hat on head, racking up the compliments. Well, the saga continues and I can't wait to share it with you all, but my little boy is plugged into the t.v. and Clifford Puppy Days is almost over, so I will continue this story at a late point. But for now I have a new wonderful web site that I would love for you to look at, aswell as my etsy site, if you just can't get enough. Happy Hatting, Anna Shoub, The Hat Junkie