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(photo used with permission)

Pili-pala is butterfly in Welsh – isn’t that lovely? It’s a fluttery sort of word, somehow.

I finished the above commission for a lovely lady recently – she’d seen my Shanghai Butterfly headpiece (below) and wanted something similar in red and blue to wear to a wedding of a friend. I tracked down this gorgeous crimson silk dupion for the piece, and sewed the emerald-blue silk dupion “eyes” with hand-painted veins and detail. I’m really pleased with it, and I think the customer was too!

Shanghai Butterfly headpiece for sale here on Etsy.

I think these butterflies are possibly my favourite of all the hats and headpieces I make. Each wing is sewn separately with a thin wire frame, which means you can bend and shape it to fit the curve of your head, or have it sticking out for a bolder look – and the wire also means it flutters a little as you move!

I’ve made big ones, small ones, and teeny ones that fit on hair slides so far – and have also started branching out into dragonflies! With a thinner and more defined shape, the dragonflies make a slightly bolder statement than the butterflies – smaller but with more impact! I was recently commissioned to make one in peach silk with brown and gold detail, and it looked really lovely. (Hopefully post pictures soon).

I’m open to commissions on both the dragonfly and butterfly headpieces, so if you’d like one or know anyone who’d like one please drop me an email! Granted I can source the fabric (or in some cases dye it to achieve the right shade) I can make them in any colour you might like. The upside of commissioning your own headpiece is that you can have input in all the design features – and know for sure that no one else will have anything quite like it atop their heads! Think of all those dreadfully dull “fascinators” and hats at the Royal Wedding earlier this year! BORING! These are individual, hand-made, and made to suit you.

Enough self-publicity? Okay. I’ll just leave you with this lovely photograph by Adam Hobden, with the lovely Sophia Louise modelling my Shanghai Butterfly hat at a bridal shoot last summer – wouldn’t it look gorgeous on a bride?