Thursday, May 23, 2013

Regency Bonnet Shenanigans

In which I transform an ugly hat and remnants of a chair cushion into passable* Regency headwear:
Said ugly hat

*Remains to be seen

The first order of business was to locate my seamripper so I could unpick the ugly hat and separate the straw brim from the crown.  (I recently moved, so this part took a while.)  When I was done I had this:  

Next I needed to find fabric from my stash to make the new bonnet crown and decorate the bonnet.  I had a vague idea of what I wanted the bonnet to look like, but I knew I wanted it to coordinate with my blue day dress and a possible future yellow Regency dress.  Therefore I settled on green for the base color.  After a brief hunt through my stash, I came up with a lovely pale green cotton (probably) that used to be the cover of a chair cushion:

I had originally disassembled it years ago in order to make a doll dress, which apparently was going to have a half-circle skirt.  I'm not sure what happened to the rest of the fabric, but if I ever find it maybe I can make a matching reticule or something.

I took no pictures of the actual bonnet-making process, but if you'd like to see it halfway done you can look at my previous post on the Regency Picnic I recently attended.  I hadn't sewn on the ruffle and ties yet, but it was wearable for the day.  Now here it is completed:

I am much happier with it now, and can't wait to wear it out and about!  Luckily, an opportunity to do so is forthcoming...  more on that later  ;)


  1. How adorable! I wish I was brave enough to make a hat from a modern one... I love the ruffle on yours. :)


    1. I actually feel it's less scary re-purposing a pre-made hat, especially one I got for cheap at Walmart! :p

  2. What a lovely bonnet, Chelsea! I simply love the finished product. I'm finally getting around to decorating my own bonnet, though its for Civil War reinacting.

    1. I'd love to see what you come up with! I've found Regency-era and Civil War-era bonnets to be remarkably similar in many ways.

  3. Cute! It's a lovely color and the trimmings really do add to the overall look.