Wednesday, April 23, 2014

Tops and Toes: An Easter Bonnet

The Challenge: Tops and Toes
Fabric: Buckram, silk taffeta, and cotton velveteen
Pattern: Miller's Millinery Portfolio Pattern BEBE BONNET
Year: 1870's
Notions: Millinery wire, silk flowers
How historically accurate is it? 70% maybe
Hours to complete: Maybe 10, it actually went together rather quickly
First worn: April 19, 2014 Old Sacramento Easter Bonnet Promenade
Total cost: Everything was from my stash except for the flowers which I purchased for $1.00 

For the Tops and Toes Challenge I decided to make a bonnet to go with my bustle gown to wear to the Annual Easter Bonnet Promenade in Old Sacramento. 
Step one research:  I have discovered Pintrest and I love it! I spent several hours researching 1870's bonnets and found the mini one that would sit on the back of the head as a good one for me to be able to actually make. 
Step 2 a pattern: I found a pattern at Miller's Millinery for a Bebe Bonnet.
Step 3 Construction: 

Carefully cutting the pattern pieces and then the buckram. Using sharpies to mark isn't a problem since all of the buckram will be covered.

Sewing the pieces together then adding the wire along the edge.

There were 3 main pieces to put together. I used a heavy quilting thread and a strong needle to get through the layers of buckram.

Next step was adding the fashion fabric. This involved a lot of pinning to keep the fabric smooth and tiny little stitches so that you can't see.

Brim from the back.

I actually enjoyed adding the front piece, once it was sewn along the outside I had to make cute pleats to attach it to the back on the inside. 

Add some flowers. For the time period that I was going for a lot of the decoration was in the inside of the bonnet. I was trying to stick with a budget so I used the flowers I had rather than buying more appropriate ones, but I like how it turned out. 

And to tie it more into the gown I added a bit of dark velvet trim. 

Ta Da!! My first bonnet!


  1. Perfection! I love it, and the whole ensemble together. :-)

    1. Thanks, it was really fun to actually have it all come together.