Four Green-Blue 1700s Bonnets

These are 1700s-style bonnetsI made from a pattern I drafted myself, loosely based on images on the right found at this website. They are made of the same upcycled material as my blue-green skirt, and are a part of the 2019 fabric use-up project.

This is my first experience with sewing bonnets, though I have made hats in the past. The pattern was delightfully simple to draft once I got the oval shape for the bag right. It took a couple iterations of folding newspapers, drawing an arc and cutting it, and seeing how the arc looked and if it fit around my head, but that’s really the fun part! The first time around, I actually tried just using a large circle, however, it did not sit on my head correctly in the test version: the top was too much and the sides were too little. The second time, I made an oval with the bottom edge cut off, but I made it too short to reach from the nape of my neck, around to the top of my forehead. The third time, I made the entire thing a bit larger than I thought necessary and told myself that I could just use the large-ness as the seam allowance if it was a problem. I did exactly this and it worked!

I couldn’t decide between two brim-edge styles, so I made them both. I made the back gathering in the same style as the chemise I made for the same general era. I’d like to experiment with starting the gathering at different points and also with different bag and brim sizes. Since making these first attempts, I’ve gone on to make caps that have a brim, bag, and a band to gather the two. I am looking forward to watching my hand-drafted head gear patterns evolve.

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