Thursday, November 17, 2011

Mid-19th Century Quilted Bonnet

I recently was lucky enough to purchase one of Anna Worden Baursmith's pattern for a quilted winter hood. I have been coveting one of her hoods since she started making and selling them earlier this fall, but not having a ton of spare cash lying around, I figured that having one of these hoods was just a dream. But! To cater to her seamstress admirers, she also put out a pattern for her hoods and I snatched one up.

I just finished my first hood from this pattern and I am really very happy with how it came out. It's nice being able to use a pattern and not have to alter it or toss the instructions and make it up on your own. Plus the booklet that comes with the pattern is jam packed with helpful tips, observations, research and documentation.

This hood is shaped more like a fashion bonnet. The past hoods I have made have all been very sunbonnet-like, so it was nice to have a change from that with this pattern. Both styles are correct for the era, but I think this one has a more restrained and formal appearance than ones that are based on a sunbonnet style. It would be lovely to wear for period church services, I daresay even weddings or funerals, shopping, visiting and even Christmas caroling.

I made mine from a pair of silk dress slacks I got at the thrift shop. It was part of a silk pantsuit I got for a few dollars. I am not a fan of the pantsuit look (at least on myself) but the jacket was very cute, and I saved the pants to cut up and use for a project like this. It's actually a really nice silk. It is lined with white cotton sateen and interlined with 2 layers of cotton batting and all hand quilted. It was a little difficult (and painful at times) to quilt the silk since it is so tightly woven the needle would not easily slip into the fabric, but at last the job was done although some of the lines came out a bit crookedy.

I like it. Despite the fact that no wool was used, it really is nice and light and warm. It will be my awesome go-to bonnet for any event that will be taking place in less than 65 degrees.

I did make one little alteration to the pattern. Made up exactly as the pattern said, the neck was a little loose on me. So I made a small box pleat at the center back edge of the tip. It took in the neckline just the little bit I needed.

I have a huge lime green silk shirt that I think I will try to make another one in. What I will do with a lime green bonnet I have no idea. But I think it will look awesome, especially if I can find a little bit of fur to trim it in.



  1. Your quilting job is exquisite, I love your hood !

  2. So beautiful, Sarah Jane! I will definitely be looking into this pattern.

  3. Simply love your hood, Sarah. Would you consider selling them?

  4. Thanks! Connie, the lady who made this pattern sells finished hoods in her etsy shop and her prices are very reasonable. Due to copyrights I can't sell items made with the patterns that others make, so I'd have to come up with my own pattern to make hoods (I've made several before and sold them, but they were from my own pattern and more sunbonnet in style).

  5. I'm curious. Is it just the quilting that keeps it stiff or is interfacing involved?

  6. Just the quilting. . .there is the layer of silk, and the white sateen lining and in between are two layers of batting. The only other additional support comes from a thin wire sewn to the edge that frames your face.

  7. Thanks.
    I've got to get me some millinery wire...I've got wadding already.
    I'm planning on making myself a bonnet of a different style to go with my regency outfit..if that doesn't work I've got beret or turban as a back up.
    I did buy a straw hat to take apart and use..but I liked it so much as it is I couldn't bear to take it apart.

  8. I thought you'd found an original tucked away somewhere! This is so beautiful. Bonnet envy!

  9. Wow. Your quilting is exquisite! And you look so lovely in your hood. Beautiful! :-)

  10. Your bonnet really came out nice.
    For those interested, I should have more patterns up this week. The first print run sold out very quickly. They will be on Etsy, as Sarah Jane linked.
    Someone asked about what holds the shaping. For the most part originals hold their shape because of the quilting. In a few you will find wire, such as this one, as well as cane. Some hoods have piping that may be visual or structural. There are even some which use a structural support in the tip such as woven straw.

  11. Wow, that's amazing. Quilting is beyond me, but I would love a bonnet like that.

  12. This is beautiful. I wish it was cold enough in S. CA to wear one because I would really enjoy doing the quilting on it.


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!