Monday, May 20, 2013
1860's Bonnet Construction
WARNING: I may not have done this correctly and I am not a professional milliner in any way. I also highly recommend spending the money to buy this item from a professional. Very much worth it. Every penny.
Note: this is not my pattern. Anna Bauersmith traced it off for me & sent me directions for a drawn bonnet (which I did not do due to a lack of fabric - not kidding, I had exactly enough silk to do what you see here). You can see her blog here: http://annaworden.wordpress.com/
And her Etsy store here: http://www.etsy.com/people/AnnaWordenBauersmith?ref=si_pr go buy something from her, she's fabulous.
1860 is not exactly a decade I visit very often, but there are many Civil War events that I want to walk into & visit this summer, so it required a new CW era day dress & some kind of head covering. I'll get dressed up and have my dear mother take photos of my nifty Plain Jane Day Dress at some point.
All silk is flat-lined with cotton muslin to give it more body & make it easier to handle. Flat-lining also provides a stay stitching line so the silk doesn't fray all over the place while you are working.
I highly recommend obtaining a curved sewing needle. It will make your life soooo much easier. Barring that, a very long milliner's needle will work well. No teeny-tiny short things, OK?
Stitch above the mid-wire line to secure the tip lining.
Leave the back neckline open for now with room to turn under.
Trim the excess off of, leaving a bit of a seam allowance so it doesn't pull out.
(This is a movable line depending on how you want the hat to look. Some are well onto the brim, others are actually gathered in on the tip itself. Just depends on the style you want).
Pull the silk smooth & pin to the inside front brim, pin in place & stitch around all edges. You may have to tuck/cut around the curves to get it to stay flat on the outside. Fray-check optional at certain points.
(Right now I'll tell you that this bonnet is too long for me on the tabs & bavolet, I have a short neck & it scrunches up... so you may want to make sure yours actually fits before you get to this point).
Stitch the bavolet on.
I left the tabs loose for now, you may want to stitch them on here.
OK, Everything look good?
Fix anything that isn't.
The brim lining can be raw if you are going to bind the edge with a finishing strip, or fold it over for a finished edge (that's what I did & it may change because it's uneven in places - see the right side of the pic?)
Feel free to decorate it however. Most of the ribbons come right off the cheek tabs, but I've seen a few that angle to the back neckline/cheek tab curve. Both inner brims & outsides were decorated in various ways: ribbons, silk flowers, netting, etc. If you want to stick with historic accuracy, find a fashion plate or museum piece to inspire you. If not, have at it.
Anna suggests adding a velvet ribbon to the inside brim where it sits on your head to help it "stick" in place.