Thursday, December 31, 2015

A New Year's Soft Crown Bonnet

Since I don't have access to most of my sewing supplies for now, I decided to work on something quick and fun for the holidays.  That quick, fun thing ended up being a soft-crown spoon bonnet that popped up on ebay a couple days ago, right after I picked up a remnant that was the exact same color.
From tbtfan on ebay
It seemed to be a later-war, or immediately post-war bonnet, since it lacked a bavolet.  I've seen soft crown bonnets in the 1850s all the way through the late 60's when full bonnets went out of fashion altogether.  I tried to adhere to the original when making mine (although the seller didn't help me out much by mounting the bonnet correctly on the mannequin head), but I changed a few features to make it more adaptable; I replaced the gathered decoration at the neck with a bavolet and made the brim larger and more noticeably spoon-shaped.  I've found that a higher bonnet flatters my face more.
This is the closest to the actual color of the silk

It's not identical, but I like how mine turned out - I've never been sold on the soft crown style but I love the gentle curve of the shirred crown.  It looks very neoclassical.  I also love the five puffs up the side, it's a simple but striking trim!
I added a bonnet veil for an extra spooky-scary affect
For the brim I used Past Reflections's spoon bonnet pattern, which I swear by.  I then cut 5 pieces of millinery wire, using my gray bonnet as a template for how long they needed to be to comfortably reach from the base of the brim to the nape of the neck.  I cut out a piece of fabric, hand-sewed five small channels in it, inserted the wire, basted the piece on to the frame, gathered a strip of fabric and mounted it over the crown, added a bavolet (which should have been lined with net, but all I had on me was silk organza), lined it and trimmed it.  Honestly the most time-consuming part was hemming the ribbon, and it was on a selvage anyways.

All it needs is flowers, a profusion under the brim and a big cluster of velvet ones on the top (the ones I had on there are actually a hairpiece/pin that I pinned on temporarily.)  Since I'm leaving for vacation soon I didn't have the time or energy to order some, and I won't have any events to wear it to in the near future anyways.

Every hat that I make I get more confidence in my millenarial abilities, so I look forward to making a lot of them in the future!


  1. Oh this is a gorgeous bonnet! Don't you love making things from extant inspiration! Love the shirred crown and the ribbon trim. The picture with the veil is most excellent! LOVE it!

    1. Thank you!!! it was a challenge but I'm glad I tried it out.

  2. Not only is this fantastically made, but it looks super cute on you! You were born to wear stuff like this!