You’re a housewife – does that mean you sit on the sofa all day and do nothing?

No, because no one is ever just a housewife. In my case I am a dancer, a seamstress and milliner, a cook, a historical researcher and a graphic designer. I have an 8 week cleaning schedule cycle, around which I plan all my other activities. Just because I don’t get paid doesn’t mean my interests and activities aren’t worthwhile.

How can you be a housewife without children?

Very easily. And besides, I have a furry child. He is 17, very fluffy, and meows constantly.

What about feminism? Shouldn’t you get a “proper paid” job.

That isn’t what feminism is about. I am able to make a choice about what I want to do with my life. Whether that choice is to work a paid job, or to be at home. Coincidentally I think any person, male or female or other, should also have the right to make this choice.

What about being financially independent?

Life shouldn’t be all about money. Luckily I am in a situation where I don’t have to support myself financially.

Why does the UK government think you are not an asset to economic growth?

There is an assumption that if I am not making money, that I don’t have money to spend. However I do spend money, on food, fabric and trimmings for making clothes, household items, hobbies and outings – just like everyone else. Perhaps the government should change their view on housewives and homemakers.

What does your husband think of all this?

My husband thinks that I should do what makes me happy.

You like vintage things, would you like to live in the past?

No, the past was horrible. I only like vintage style items, with exceptions. I make clothes from vintage patterns, but I do not like to wear true vintage. I can like refurbished vintage, for example I have a blutooth speaker that is housed inside a vintage radio case. I like vintage handbags if they are dead stock, because I think the quality is far more superior to modern day counterparts. I can tolerate vintage crockery, because I spent multiple hours cleaning it, and am satisfied that it is now hygienic. I think of myself as a thoroughly modern woman.

Can I trust the information on this website?

Yes you can! I use a variety of credible sources to inform my work and research. Please also see a list of my qualifications. If I have tried something and it hasn’t worked, I will write about it and try to analyse exactly what went wrong and why.

I’m trying to follow your instructions and something isn’t working out! What can I do?

Please consider that the content of this website is a documentation of processes that have worked for me. If you tried something using my methods and it hasn’t worked, please contact me and we can figure out the gaps in my methodology together. Here is my email: hello@ilona.me.uk

Do you take any commissions?

Yes for hats. However I do not take clothing commissions. I am happy to have a look at certain alterations.

Why are hats so expensive?

I am also amazed at how expensive hats are! But this is with good reason. When a hat is expensive, you are paying for the time and craftsmanship that goes into making a hat. Generally, more expensive hats are hand blocked, and hand sewn. The materials are only a small part of the price, natural silks are more expensive than polyester versions. However I would always recommend going for natural silks, as they definitely look better. The way the hat is trimmed and decorated will also affect the price, bespoke flowers will always cost more than mass produced decorations, even if both are hand make.

You’ve got some lovely photos and illustrations on your website! Can I use them?

Thank you! And yes you can, but with certain conditions. I have licenced the photos and images that I have created on this website under a Creative Commons Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike 4.0 International Licence. For the full legal licence, see the website footer.

This means you are free to share and to remix my photos and images, as long as you give appropriate credit to me, you are not using them for commercial use, and you also licence your remixed work under the same Creative Commons Licence.

These thoughts are dated as 4th July 2019 and are subject to change.