With my 1830’s gown complete, it was time to move on to the Bonnet. Well, that’s not entirely true. I started work on the bonnet while I was still working on the dress. A bonnet promised to be such a fun project I couldn’t wait to get started.
After using grid paper to blow up the pattern (manually) from the pattern in the book. I traced it onto heavy Peltex interfacing. I learned this trick by watching videos by Angela Clayton. She makes amazing hats using this method and has hours of Youtube videos showing how she makes costumes, hats and more.
The pattern I created did not have seam allowance, so I butted up the seams and ziz zag stitched them together on the machine. This worked for all seams except the top of the crown, which I stitched on by hand.
The hat was then stabilized by hand stitching (whip stitch) millinery wire to all the circular seams and also the the brim edge.
I then added a layer of cotton quilt batting around the top of the crown and eventually covered the entire hat to give it a smooth appearance.
Here you can see the whole hat covered in quilt batting that was stitched on by hand. And then, you might notice below, that I skip entirely to the trimming of the hat. I was diligently working and apparently did not take any photos in between. As consolation, you may want to head over to the American Duchess Blog where there is a great tutorial on how to cover this kind of hat.
Here you can see the hat in it’s untrimmed state. I’m fairly happy with it, but it is not perfect by any means and I don’t think I’ll become a professional historic milliner any time soon. The top of the crown has a ridge I’m not happy with. It looks like thhe crown could have used more batting to smooth this out, before I covered it.
Using only materials I had on hand, I dipped into my supply of vintage trims and found this bright green piping that matched some bright green ribbon also in my stash. I went about hand stitching it to the brim and then covered it will some green wool trim I had on hand as well. And when I say “on hand” and “by hand” I really mean it. After this project, I somewhat of a permanent hole in one of my fingers (the one that should have a thimble on it).
Thank goodness for a great stash of feathers and trimmings. I knew I would use them some day. The feather came from a feather vendor at The Great Dicken’s Christmas Fair. I bought it several years ago, after I fell in love with it’s color and volume. Isn’t it pretty? The ribbons were in my stash and the bright pink one, from the same roll as the velvet ribbon on my gown’s belt.
My Finished bonnet in Action! I’m pretty happy with it, overall. Two things to note would be to find extra ways to secure it to my head & secure the feather in place more strongly. The ribbon ties were not quite enough for a windy day out in nature. The reason you can’t see the ties in the picture is because I asked my friend to wrap the ties back on top of the hat, and tighten so it wouldn’t come off. This worked until I left the picnic, when the winds picked up and blew the hat back away from my head with the ties wrapped securely around my neck. The feather almost came off as well. I really was not accounting for being outside, ha ha!
Next up, the day of the picnic and all the finery that came with it. Until next time, happy sewing!