Sunday, January 18, 2015

1860's Corded Bonnet

Well, I haven't made my 1970's knit dress yet. I want to. I need to. The baby bump is making my normal clothes fit awkwardly and nothing seems quite so relaxing as the thought of draping myself in yards of soft comfy knit. But, well, when it comes down to it sewing for profit wins over sewing for personal desires and so, I made a new sunbonnet instead.

This sunbonnet is based on the below original, which I've wanted to copy for quite a few years now. For some reason I thought the vandyked edge on the brim would be super hard. It wasn't. It went together pretty fast, although I did use my machine for most parts.

It is a bit different from the standard "on the square" bonnets I've made before. This one has a flared brim which frames the face prettily without giving it a narrowing effect. It has a more fitted crown. The curtain is still rectangular. I gathered it by hand and whipped it to the inside of the finished brim and bottom crown edges.

It needs a little more work to be more like the original. A shorter curtain, a more tailored crown (mine came out a bit too poufy) and another set of 3 rows of cording in the brim.

It might be a nice addition to use a drawstring to draw up the fullness at the back neck. It would be adjustably sized that way and it makes ironing easier. I might try that on the next one.

The brim is cut in two identical pieces, sewn right sides together along the vandyked and short edges, turned and pressed. The cording is put in as 3 rows along the short and vandyked edge, then 2 more sets of 3 rows evenly spaced. (Just over an inch, in my case). Like I said, the next one will use another set of cords to more closely resemble the original.

This bonnet sold right away through a Facebook group but I was truly astounded by the interest in this style. I'll be making more and they will be available in my etsy shop for $45 pp once I refine the pattern.



  1. Gorgeous! The style is truly unique, no wonder it sold so quickly!

  2. Dear Sarah,

    Love how you treated the striped fabric. It's a beautiful sunbonnet and against the background looks like a sculpture, a work of art.

    A plus: it will really keep the sun off the wearer's face: no more sunburn!

    Many thanks for sharing,

  3. Your bonnets are so beautiful! Your sewing talents never cease to amaze me. And what's this about a baby bump, did I miss the announcement? How exciting, when are you due? Congratulations!!

  4. Thanks! Tiff, we are expecting a little girl in May. Ive had a lot of ongoing problems with the pregnancy and didn't think we would make it this far, but we are more than halfway there. Hoping to make it to 34 weeks!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!