Friday, October 25, 2013


colonial, praire, sunhat
prairie, sunhat sun bonnet, colonialA friend asked me if I had a bonnet she could use for a Halloween costume. I didn't, but I tried to offer some easy bonnet ideas and suggested there are probably many tutorials out there, possibly even out of paper.

After I sent off my suggestions, I couldn't help checking out some tutorials. I found one that seemed easy and quick. My daughter would need a bonnet this year also for their Colonial Days.  I offered to help my friend out.

Adult vs child bonnet
The tutorial seemed to be for a child's sized bonnet. I looked around for adult sized bonnet dimensions and wasn't finding exactly what I wanted. I decided to just made the bonnet as the tutorial stated and then know better what to change for a second one. 

The child sized bonnet fit me ok, but when my daughter tried it on, I liked the way it fit her better. I decided to add 1" to the brim front, 1" to each brim side and 2" to the crown square.

Child sized bonnet - age 9
The tutorial used a 14" x 14" crown piece and a 3.5" x 18" brim piece.  For the adult bonnet, I used a 16" x 16" crown and a 4.5" x 20" brim.  After trying on the bonnets again, I could go either way with the width of the brim (3.5" vs 4.5").  Especially with me adding the 2" (then folded to 1") ruffle, it does extend into the face more.

Each piece has a curve cut into one edge.  I did use craft interfacing on both sides of the brim pieces.

Some helpful tips for the tutorial I did were the following.  After sewing a ruffle from a folded 2" strip almost 2x the width of the brim, finish the ends before sewing into the brim.

In the tutorial, it states to tuck the gathered crown in between the two brim pieces and topstitch.  Doing this would leave raw edges on the brim.  The missing step is to fold under (and iron) 1/4" on the raw edges of the brim before tucking the gathered crown piece in between.  This allows topstitching to occur with no raw edges showing.

Another helpful step is to leave a small opening in the straight crown section.  The directions state to fold under 1/2" and top stitch.  This leaves unfinished edges inside the hat.  I left a small opening near each end (in about 1") to insert 1/4" elastic through and used the 1/2" seam as a casing.

I made bias tape out of a 1.5" strip by about 9".  I noticed afterwards that many people make wider ties.

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