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Wednesday, 13 July 2011

A Bonnet For Myself

Last week I began work on a new bonnet...for myself.  

I decided to make this one with a stiffened brim, so I worked out the shape with paper, then when I was happy with it transferred the design to pelmet stiffener (or whatever it's called!), cut it out...then set it aside.

Next I took my fabric, two layers together, transferred the bonnet shape then stitched the outside edge.  Then came two rows of piping cord...(normally, I would buy a thick cord and unravel it for a smooth look, but this time I wanted the cord to show through as I wasn't going to gather it).

The next step was to mark the diagonal lines and sew in the rows of piping. 

It was beginning to look good when I suddenly realised...I'm going to have trouble getting the last couple of rows of piping in!  OOPS!

Plan B...forget first attempt, grab some more fabric and start again!  This time marking in from the edge to allow for edging piping, then starting with the diagonals!


If I had struggled on with the first attempt, the words of my old needlework teacher would be ringing in my head:  That's not good enough...!  So I just had to start again...


  1. Dear Sandi,
    This looks very exciting!
    I'm sorry to hear you've had to take a second attempt, I would have probably poked tiny holes at the end of the channels into the fabric (inside) with an awl and then pulled the threads through (I did this with the cording on my stays) - the awl does not destroy the weave of the fabric and after you've inserted the cord you can close them neatly.
    But - alas! - the words of your needlework teacher are quite familar to me, too...(and all too often I'd then have a cup of tea and start afresh)

    I am looking forward very much to seeing the finished headwear!!!
    And I already visited your brandnew etsy shop! Congrats and happy selling! Your capotes are stunning!

  2. Thanks Sabine...each bonnet has taught me things that do and don't work, so every time I make a new one I learn new things. It's all good fun.

    As for poking holes and threading the cord, I would have had to sew the channels looser to be able to do this. The cord is being sewn in quite tightly so that it shows through and creates the pattern.

    The Lincolnshire sunbonnets were copied from originals in the museum, and I was able to perfect their construction years ago.

    Inspiration comes from the fashion plates of the time, mainly Costumes Parrisiens.

  3. I've always been impressed with craftsmanship and your work shows such attention to detail. Always a pleasure to see what you've created, Sandi.

  4. Thanks Chip. I always like trying different styles each time, so I guess I'm honing my skills as I go along.