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Tuesday, 8 November 2016

1805 Summer Bonnet

Oh my heavens!  I completely forgot to tell you all about my summer bonnet.  Let me do so now.

After last summer's Promenade I wanted a light, airy bonnet for the inconsistent summer here in Alberta.  June could snow, rain, or scorch us, or quite possibly all three!  July is usually quite warm.  August could be the same as June, though typically in the reverse order.  (I promise I don't jest!  It snowed the day after our end of August wedding)

I discovered this lovely bonnet by FestiveAttyre:


The unlined straw is exactly what I'd been looking for!  While in LA I discovered California Millinery, which has an entire section of straw braids of every shape and colour.  I came home with three different kinds, one being a navy blue that would suit my outfit nicely.

Festive Attyre's blog was the only useful source I could find regarding where to start.  I tried a few Facebook groups, but they all suggested a buckram base, which I was hoping to avoid.  As usual, I just decided to give it a go and hope for the best.

I made my frame out of bristol board, did a quick check for fit and shape, and then started pinning my straw.  As I only had a short length I decided to start with the brim and work backwards.  I was hoping for a longer bonnet, but buying materials in a foreign place with a long line behind you makes it nearly impossible to think straight.

I quickly spritzed my straw with water before starting to pin it to the base.  It did nothing to help and I was so frustrated I nearly gave up on the whole thing.  I remembered reading something somewhere about soaking straw to get it to behave, but only for a short time.  I soaked my straw for 25 seconds in tepid water until the dye started to leak out and I panicked and pulled it out.  I let it sit in a strainer for a few minutes before starting.

You'll notice I wrapped my base in plastic wrap so it didn't get too wet.

From there I just started pinning.  And pinning.  And pinning.

The dye didn't fade at all to the naked eye, but my hands were purple-ish blue for a week!

I decided to pin the entire thing before sewing as I thought for sure I'd make a mess of it.  By the time I finished pinning the crown the brim was dry enough to start sewing.  I used a sturdy thread and just started stitching, removing the pins and I went.


I wanted the brim flipped under at the back so I basically just made a bucket hat.  It was a rather boring shape until I flipped the back, close pinned it in place, and let it dry again before stitching it down.

While waiting for it to dry we went to Chintz and Co.  It's one of our favourite stores, though we mostly spend time at the back in the fabric section.  It's the only place in Edmonton you can get really nice quality silks and velvets.  They are mostly a home decor store and so have excellent quality petersham and faux flowers.  I was able to grab a few items to match my bonnet, and then finish that same evening.

Ta da!

My very, very late HSM entry:
What the item is: Regency Summer Bonnet
The Challenge: #6 Travel
Fabric/Materials: Straw braid, faux flowers, feathers, 
Pattern: My own
Year: 1805
Notions: thread, ribbon
How historically accurate is it? Very.  Based on a fashion plate from 1805 and entirely hand-made
Hours to complete: Oi.  About 16-20
First worn: August 21st, 2016
Total cost: $40 CAD

A bonnet fit for a good frolic!

1 comment:

  1. Very cute! One day I will get brave and try that too! A really want a Victorian style straw boater...