The Inaugural Easter Bonnet – Along 2018!

The Inaugural Easter Bonnet – Along 2018!

Welcome to the inaugural annual Easter Bonnet-Along!

What’s better than hats?
Really fancy hats.
Really fancy hats paired with friends and Easter treats!

What’s This Easter Bonnet – Along Then?

An Easter Bonnet-Along ( according to me ) is where we all decorate fancy Easter hats so we can feel like Judy Garland in Easter Parade. Sounds great, right!?

Here’s How It Works

  1. Enjoy some fabulous vintage Easter inspiration on the special Pinterest Board I created just for you.
  2. Join the Inaugural Easter Bonnet-Along Facebook group so you can share your inspiration and hat decorating progress.
  3. Sew, build or decorate your themed Easter bonnet however you like!
  4. Post a photo of you looking fancy AF in your bonnet by Easter Sunday ( April 1st 2018)

Optional step 5: Arrange an Easter weekend meet-up with your fellow Bonnet-Alongers so you can admire each other’s handiwork!


Welcome to Velvet DeCollete's inaugural Easter Bonnet Along 2018!


Why Make An Easter Bonnet?

The tradition of wearing new clothes at Easter goes back at least as far as the 16th century, possibly as a result of Christianity adopting Pagan celebrations where the new life and bounty of spring represented the renewal of the year. Wearing new clothes for Easter was thought to bring good luck. By the end of the Great Depression new clothes weren’t affordable for many, so existing hats and clothes were retrimmed. Irving Berlin cemented the modern Easter bonnet in popular culture by celebrating the New York Easter parade in his 1948 film.

Religious beliefs aside, Easter Bonnets can be creations of pure joy. Just check out the incredible creations of the NYC Easter parade; see any sad faces? Nope. Personally I just love anything themed, and who doesn’t want a bouquet on their head as the Autumn months start to loom?

I hope this Bonnet-Along will give people some crafting inspiration and an incentive to catch up with friends and maybe meet some new ones!


I’m so excited to get creative and decorate my own hat while you make yours! While you get a-thinkin about your glorious future headwear, I’ll leave you with the dulcet tones of Bing Crosby. *sigh*
Just look at all those fancy hats.

With Style & Sass,

Velvet DeCollete

Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, LIFESTYLE, 1 comment
Why I Use Vintage Notions

Why I Use Vintage Notions

Notions are the decorative or functional trims and closings on your clothes. If you wear vintage clothing you may have noticed these tiny touches are a little different; A carved button, handwoven lace trim, that hook & eye kissing at the top of a metal zip, they’re all available new but vintage ones are just …. nicer.

So much nicer that I hunt them out to use in my reproduction garments. Not only do they add legitimate vintage elements to a design, but I find they are often better quality than their modern counterparts. ( I’ve never had a 1960’s hook and eye unbend but modern ones sure have! )


Buttons are my biggest weakness. From the 1920’s through the 1960’s buttons were wonderfully inventive. Novelty buttons in glass, carved shell, molded plastics and wood displayed all shapes,designs and colours imaginable. The right buttons can instantly lift a dress from cute to oh-my-god-I-have-to-have-it, and I just adore them!

Some trims that are hard to find new because they simply aren’t used that often nowadays. All my circle skirts and full skirted dresses have a wide braid referred to as Horsehair in the hems to maintain shape and movement – not something you’d often see in a mainstream skirt. Leaded cord to help garments hang correctly was used by Coco Chanel, but isn’t stocked by many  modern haberdashers. Even seams were finished differently, with pinking shears leaving an attractive zig zag edge in place of unsightly overlocking.

The packaging on my old haberdashery is a nostalgic reminder of yesteryear and the importance of home sewing. Needles are meticulously packed in paper envelopes while Newey’s Hooks & Eyes claimed worldwide fame (really?). Sewing materials were salvaged, saved and re-used and notions were pricier than today’s common brands. I really enjoy the detailed packaging – complete with notes and prices scribbled by former owners – and I hope you’ll enjoy this very brief glimpse onto my sewing box…

vintage sewing supplies 1vintage sewing supplies 4vintage sewing supplies 3vintage sewing supplies 2






Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 3 comments
Meet Me in the Olive Grove

Meet Me in the Olive Grove

I feel like I’m running a sewing marathon at the moment! But a nice marathon, where I decide the route and you don’t end up sweaty and red faced at the end. With awesome retro events like the Beach Hop and Very Vintage Day Outnot the mention the Tiki Afterparty – waving on the horizon I feel it’s time to broaden my vintage style wardrobe. After all, I can’t just wear lingerie everywhere … can I?
Thus, I’ve made the Olive dress.

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The Pattern: Burda 5882 – this is a ‘Designed by Gertie’ pattern, she has a rad sewing blog that’s actually a life saver if you’re a beginner sewer, or an expert needing inspiration or a plain english translation of a technique you haven’t tried. This pattern would be easy enough for a beginner sewer, with only the bust shelf being a bit tricky at points.

The Fabric: Before you ask, I found it in the furnishing section. 82% of my fabrics are probably upholstery or curtain fabrics as I find them lovely to work with and a source of super cool prints, like this retro-as olive number. Sadly it’s a 3 way pattern and was a nightmare to match. Normally I’d fight it out but as it’s just for me I didn’t worry about it. The lining is standard rayon lining, often I’d use something else but this is all I could find at the time that didn’t clash horribly. I looked for a matching green but grey to match the black olives works fine.
The contrast bust is a faux raw silk left over from a jacket I made a million years ago for a wedding.

The Details: I might go back and add a horsehair braid to the hem for extra volume, and a belt for extra definition. Also I can’t decide whether I like the strap turned up or down under the bust.

The Style: I accessorised this dress with a pair of white vintage gloves and white leather peep toes. I won’t lie, I borrowed/stole the shoes from my mother. I really need to buy some heels that aren’t 4-6″! I think I’ll make a teeny olive hat to match too.

vintage fashion, beckon couture, 1950s, pinup, sewing, retro, clothing, dress, olive print, fabric,

pinup, beckon couture, rockabilly, vintage style, gloves, dress, clothing, green, white,

1950's, retro, dress, vintage, velvet decollete, beckon couture, cog and compass, pinup, clothing, fashion

Photos | James Beck
(also known as the EverPatient Husband, and The Man Who Remembered We Have Olive Trees.)
Model, MUA, Hair | Moi

P.S : I’d just like ya’ll to appreciate how much better I’m getting at this girly hairstyling thing.



Posted by velvetdecollete in FASHION STORIES, 3 comments