Saturday, January 18, 2014

Links for Original Bonnet Patterns

Every so often, I end up digging out these links for someone or another, so here they are in one convenient place, with my comments and the bonnets I've made from them:

1. Godey's 1857 Sun Bonnet You have to scroll down to it.  I used this pattern for my corded sheer sunbonnet, and like the shape it has.  Don't be overwhelmed by the pattern pieces: there's actually only 3 of them, but they are given a second time as "half" pieces (to be laid out on a fold for cutting).  
Side view of sheer corded sunbonnet.White corded sunbonnet, from 1857 Godey's design.

(Back, close up on front brim and ties; 'first draft' bonnet sans ties)

Cut two of the brim/front, one crown, and one curtain.  Measure your head before cutting, to ensure that the brim (longwise) will go over your head, coming down to chin height, with the short side going from the crown of your head to your nose (add an inch or so for seam allowances, and a bit extra on the sides so they can be trimmed straight after cording: my first attempt developed a distinct slant and by time I had it straightened out, it was well-suited to someone much smaller than me). Cord the brim segment: I stitched the outer edge--curve to curve--right sides together, then turned it right-side out, and "sandwiched" the cords, top-stitching between all the layers behind each cord. Sugar'n'Creme crochet cotton was used for the cording, and it holds up alright, though it does better with a good starching.  I then joined the crown to the brim (it needs to be eased in a bit), encasing two self-fabric ties in the seam, so that they can be tied in the back for better fit.  The curtain is hemmed along three outer sides (I cut it on the selvage to reduce hemming), and then the top is sewn along the raw edge of the brim/crown portion.  Self-fabric ties are added to the front to keep the bonnet in place when worn.
2. 1859 Winter Hood (Finished sketch and description) Sometime it's called the "marquise hood", after the site where the pattern is found.  Though only two pieces, this one's a bit trickier.  Make a mock-up, and try it on over your period hair (mine slips down the back unless it's sitting on a bun).  The "half bell" piece is the brim and crown; cut it out with the straight edge on a fold, giving one large bell-shaped piece.  The other piece is the curtain: cut it on a fold as well, making a sort of rainbow-shaped piece.  The rim of the bell (the straighter curve) is the brim, gather the "top" of the bell to fit it into the curtain (leaving a few inches to fold back the brim), and try it on.  Once you're happy with the fit (I had to cut down the brim, despite my large head and mass of hair), cut the real fabric, quilt as desired, and line with a fun silk.  I encased the raw edges in a silk binding, but you could also sew the edges of each piece to it's lining right-sides-together, turn out, and then join the pieces (this will require hand-sewing the lining separately, I'd rather hand-sew binding). 
Red wool hood from 1859 pattern.Red wool hood with striped silk lining, from 1859 pattern.
(This bonnet is shaped by the curvature of the pieces and a little gathering along the connecting seam.)

3. Mrs. Clark's Sunbonnet Pattern (Not an original bonnet, but appropriate to the 1850s-1860s) This is a very straightforward pattern for a slat bonnet.  It includes women's, teen's, and children's sizes, and apparently makes up quickly.  I've seen several pretty cotton print bonnets made from this pattern, and the friendly people at the Sewing Academy have several threads explaining how to adapt it as a corded bonnet or winter hood.

4. Peterson's 1864 Red Riding Hood (Kelly of Mackin-Art made it up beautifully here, and gives construction details).  This is a straightforward hood; it's all one piece (plus optional lining/non-optional ties).  It's basically a 27" square, with scalloped edges.  One corner is rounded, and the whole piece is gathered along the rounded corner, and on the diagonal between it's two neighbors.  That gathered diagonal becomes the edge along the neck, with ties at it's termini, the rounded "corner" goes up over the head, and fourth, intact, corner is the center point of the triangular curtain.
Striped lining on Red Riding Hood, 1864 pattern.
Silk ties on the "Red Riding Hood".Red Riding Hood from Peterson's Magazine (1864).

(The lining in the upper half conceals the tapes used to gather and shape the hood; it also protects the hair when worn.)

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