My Blog » The Ridiculous Bonnet: A Lesson in Go Big or Go Home

The Ridiculous Bonnet: A Lesson in Go Big or Go Home

Another just because project, I got it into my head recently that I needed a late 1780s/early 1790s bonnet. Not a demure regency bonnet but a massive mushroom of a hat. I will admit this thing was a little overwhelming when I first put it on, but looking at my Pintrest board of inspiration images, I do think the scale is right. Sometimes it’s hard to get past our modern sense of proportion and embrace the crazy 18th century.

I used the Lynn McMasters’ Seaside Bonnet pattern as the base for the brim, adjusting the shape to make it fuller over the ears and skinnier at the center. The crown is simply a large circle (28 inches in diameter) gathered to a band.

To make the bonnet, I first cut the brim from two layers of buckram, which I then stitched together on the machine. I added 3 rows of millinery wire, two at the edge and one further in, for shaping and stability. Again, this was very sloppily stitched on by machine. Since it will all be covered, I don’t try very hard with the guts of my bonnets.

The buckram base is then covered with a layer of heavy cotton flannel, using my favorite bonnet making shortcut – tacky glue! Yes, I could have been super accurate and stitched the mulling on by hand, but I’m lazy and tacky glue works wonders. Once the glue was dry, I added the outer layer of silk taffeta (no glue here), pleating the brim lining to give it some visual interest. To finish the edge of the brim I added a strip of self-fabric bias.

The crown is one layer of silk taffeta, lined with two layers of tulle to help keep it nice a puffy. Again, this part is not historically accurate, but it’s a great modern solution and so much cheaper than silk organza or anything else.

The bonnet is trimmed with a blue taffeta band and bow, accented with a wheat spray and cute green berries. I’m planning to pack this for Costume College so the trimmings are just pinned on at the moment. Now I just have to work up the courage to wear this ridiculous thing!

Posted: 5/29/2013 12:09:07 PM by Aubry | with comments
Filed under: 1790s, hats
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Project Details

The Ridiculous Bonnet