I have been re-enacting for 20 years. I did French and Indian War through War of 1812. I met my husband through re-enacting, and we eventually just gravitated toward the Regency era and Jane Austen events. The physical culture of the era is exquisite, it’s easier for a woman to find a “role” in the era, there is more of a civilian option for impressions, and the people involved in re-enacting the era are terrific people.
IF YOU JUST WANT TO BUY ONE CUSTOMIZED SPECIALLY FOR YOU:
I have a digital catalogue of over 50 styles; I have additional styles I make but don’t take orders for (these are not included in the catalogue). Ladies choose a style, provide a head measurement in inches, and send either fabric swatches or decent photos of an outfit they wish to coordinate to their bonnet. I generally send swatches, but sometimes just send photos. To request a catalogue contact me via email email@example.com
When I am ready to start a project a non-refundable materials fee is required (this is applied to the final price, but is insurance should a lady cancel a project mid stream and I’ve no assurance that I can then sell the item). Choosing a style can be overwhelming with so many from which to choose. My styles range from simple and conservative styles, soft bonnets, military influence, and evening wear to day wear. It’s good to have a conversation with me concerning face shape (photos are good if I haven’t met you!), climate in which the bonnet will be worn, style of outfit it will accompany, and budget.
As to budget, I do payment plans to make it easier for the customer to set aside funds for the project (Most of us can save $8 or $10 a week somewhere in our budget to set aside). I ask for a full year in which to make a project because of my many varied work/gallery/teaching obligations, and because of the time required to make a bonnet (average of 30 hours, some more, some less).
A great honor I had this past year was reproducing an 1818 bonnet which is currently on display at the DAR Museum in Washington DC, as an accompaniment to an original ensemble of the era (purple bonnet below).
IF YOU WANT TO BUY IN PERSON AFTER TRYING THEM ON:
My bonnets can be purchased at the annual summer Jane Austen Festival in Louisville, KY, and by looking me up on Facebook: Lydia Fast LG Studio. I have been at the last two AGM’s and hope to go to more in the future (one’s within driving distance). They are all interpretations of fashion plates of the era, as well as extant museum examples. I do not claim them as “reproductions” but as interpretations, as I employ artistic license in their form and in the materials used. I use modern techniques to achieve a period look, striving to remain as true as possible.