Friday, August 4, 2017

Straw Bonnet

I'm slowly photographing and writing up up my recent projects, as there may have been a bit of a rush to get ready for English Camp last weekend.  One long-awaited wardrobe addition was a new straw bonnet.
Low spoon straw bonnet c.1859-1862, of 1/2" hemp plait, from the pattern by The Dressmaker's Shop
Straw bonnet blank, made of 1/2" hemp plait
It's from the same pattern as before (the Low Spoon Straw Bonnet from The Dressmaker's Shop), though I daresay my shaping worked better this time. Instead of hand-sewing the whole thing, I used a machine on the flat portion of the brim, then switched to hand-sewing when I joined the back and started spiraling the straw in to form the crown.  For this step, I skipped the pressing ham, and simply drew up each row of braid by sight, which I think produced a neater curve. I also took the precaution of applying full-strength fabric stiffener to the brim, which has definitely improved the bonnet's stability.

I ended up trimming the bonnet on-site (it may have lacked floral decoration at the Saturday cricket match), but will be re-working it before wearing it again.  First, because the lovely 5" wide pink silk ribbon curtain/ties started shredding as I attached it, and second because I miscalculated the lace circumference, and ended up with a lopsided pile of pleats to one side. The straw flowers work well with it, though, so I'll be keeping those in some configuration.  I'm tempted to aim for '62 on the re-trim, and wear it to Snoqualmie in September (and, likely, shift things around again for '59 wear next summer at English Camp).

Initial trim placement: wide silk ribbon bavolet and "brides",
pink, blue, and gold straw flowers under the brim and along one tab.

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