Wednesday, October 12, 2016

Quilted Sunbonnet in Blue

This was my project the past few days. With the changing of the weather and switching out summer wardrobes for warmer things I have used the opportunity to clean out and declutter. Anything that is in good condition and can be worn next year is saved in our little cupboard under the stairs and all else is donated, either to recycling or to a local non profit thrift shop.

I had a pair of blue striped dress pants that were given to me over the summer when a neighbor moved away. I'm not a dress pants kinda person but I kept them since they were quite nice and fit well and I like to wear actual nice pants (not jeans) when I help at the schools the boys go to. Still, I never did wear them. So I folded them into our donate box but then pulled them out when I realized that the fabric would work really well for a sunbonnet!

Anne has been wanting a new one lately and she didn't like any of the fabrics I have on hand. I didn't consult her for an opinion about the blue striped dress pants but just went ahead and made it. And once the bonnet was done she loved it! Elsa got a matching little bonnet, too. :)

Now; quilted bonnets in the 1860's. Kinda problematic for me. A few years ago I made several quilted sunbonnets but then read that according to the observations of several highly respected collectors, quilted cotton sunbonnets don't seem to make an appearance until post-Civil War. Never say never, you know, but it doesn't seem that quilted sunbonnets were the common thing. There are, however, many examples of quilted winter bonnets, which could also be made in the style of sunbonnets. But plain, everyday, cotton sunbonnets worn outside to keep the sun off? I honestly don't know. Several reputable pattern companies have made sunbonnet patterns with a quilting option but I haven't personally come across documentation of quilted sunbonnets in the pre-1860's or 1860's era yet.

But I did quilt this one. Kinda because I was lazy and was sick of cording (I've done a lot of it this summer) and I was in the mood to quilt, and kinda because this bonnet is meant to be for cooler weather, anyway, since the fabric is a bit heavier. It's a linen/cotton blend and really super nice!

It has a deep shaped rectangular brim, a flattened oval shaped crown and the brim and crown are completely finished separately of the curtain. The curtain was hemmed all round and then cartridge pleated to fit. The two legs from the dress pants had plenty of fabric! If I had made the crown just a bit bigger it would fit an adult size and in that case, I may have kept it for myself. ;)

It was a quick project but nice to have some handwork to keep me busy for a few hours in the evenings. I spent some time with Malachi watching a movie of his choice since his siblings were watching Finding Nemo and he considered that beneath him (his own choice of Spaceballs, was, however, questionably superior).

I am currently having post-Perryville blues. I didn't go but I now wish I had, since it was so close by and I've never been to a national event! And as of yet there is no certain national event for next year scheduled, at least as far as I know. At least its put me in the mood to get a good start on our clothing needs for next year. I need a new cage really bad. That may be next, once Halloween costumes are done.



  1. It turned out perfectly! And I love the fabric, simple but very cute.

  2. Ooooh...this bonnet is so lovely! I love every aspect of it! Maybe I should think of making one for me? You are a great inspiration!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!