The Bonnet Moves Along – At a Snail’s Pace

Published September 12, 2015 by mindfulofchatter

The bonnet is moving along quite slowly. It is difficult in some respects, easy in others. I have made top hats from buckram, so building the side band and tip pieces was easy. The crown is made and sitting there staring at me wondering wear its brim is.


Completed Crown


The brim is the problem child. I looked at hundreds of museum bonnets, auction bonnets and Pinterest bonnets. The interiors are sometimes quite plain, but most are pleated or done in rows of light ruching (both sides gathered). Some even have faux flowers mounted on the inside.

I decided (because I am too stupid for my own good) to pleat the interior of my bonnet. I bought a soft pink for the interior and the ties that looks very nice against the brown base. I pleated and re-pleated and re-pleated again. It took me 3 hours (yes, hours!) to get the silly pleats looking as I wanted (meaning even and centered) and stitched in to place.


Pleated Brim Lining


Because I am building this like an actual bonnet, and because I have built top hats following similar steps, I know that I do have to do my lining now. I cannot make this, then insert it into the bonnet once the brim is attached to the crown. Since I using real millinery techniques, I am having to re-work the pattern instructions and steps at certain points.

The pattern calls for a lot of gluing. Ew. Glue is great for some things, but it will not make a hat that will last. My buckram frames are sewn together, not glued as the pattern calls for. My frame is mulled (the wire bits covered to make the lines softer), the fabric also stitched rather than glued. As I read ahead in the pattern instructions, I noticed it called for gluing the brim to the crown. I cannot see this working anywhere except in fairyland where magic exists. The brim is not only a little weighty, but sits on the crown at a sharp upward angle. Honestly Butterick, glue?

Next is the outer brim cover and attaching the brim to the crown.

Unless, of course, I add frou frou to the interior.



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