Wednesday, February 8, 2017

A Small Millinery Confession. . .

OK, I admit it.  Being a huge fan of Laura Ingalls Wilder and Louisa May Alcott (among others) as a child wasn't the ONLY reason I ended up writing historical fiction for kids.

Here is another motivator: anybody recognize what this is? When I was a kid in Chillicothe, Illinois, there was a Ben Franklin's Five and Dime store downtown on Main Street. I could easily walk there from my house.

Once I finally got tall enough to see what was on the counters, I discovered something like what is pictured: bonnet kits. Each came with a miniature straw bonnet of one style or another, plus decorations that could be sewn or glued on any way the buyer liked. They were very small, about the size to fit a Barbie doll. (Although this was LONG before Barbies infested the planet. We're talking over sixty years ago, people.)

Anyway, I LOVED these kits, and bought as many of them as I could. I was a regular mini-milliner!

Recently I came across this hat in my vast collection of Stuff. I have no idea where I bought it or when I put it together.

But I LOVE it.

I think that making these hats as a little girl helped inspire me to write stories in which my characters could wear hats like this one. Not that any of them actually do: in The Riddle of Penncroft Farm, the main girl character wears something quite different.(I will send the first person who answers the question "what did she wear instead?" in an e-mail to me at jensendorothea@gmail.com an autographed book mark.) In A Buss from Lafayette, Clara mostly wears old sunbonnets and has no desire to be in style. (I will send the first person who answers the question "which character in this story DOES wear fashionable bonnets?" in an e-mail to me at jensendorothea@gmail.com an autographed book mark.)

So that's my confession for today!

(If anyone knows if such kits can be bought today, PLEASE LET ME KNOW!)

Dorothea