Thursday, June 20, 2013

Sewing -- My Regency Bonnet

This week I got back into sewing after sewing my Downton Abbey outfit (I needed a little break after all the work I put into that outfit). So what did I sew this week? My very own Regency Bonnet to go with my Regency Era dress that I made over a year ago.

The bonnet that I decided to make is a reproduction of Elizabeth Bennet's tan bonnet from Pride and Prejudice (1995).

The pattern that I used was Timely Tresses's Regency Bonnet Pattern called The Lucia. In this pattern, I had a choice of using a gathered crown or a "puffed" crown (with the rows of gathered lines). I went with the puffed crown since that was the effect that was in the original bonnet. Instead of making the brim out of buckram and millinery wire, I made the brim out of straw (I'll go into more detail about this later).

This is actually my second attempt at using this pattern -- I wasn't pleased with the results the first time around (but there's always a chance of that happening when you first use a pattern), but I'm happy with the way this bonnet turned out.

But enough talk about the pattern: here is the bonnet!

The back view of the bonnet. The fabric I used was a cotton/silk blend from (55% Cotton, 45% Silk). It had a nice feel to it and was pretty easy to work with.

Side view of the bonnet.

Front view of the bonnet.

Inside the bonnet. The bonnet lining is the same lining as the outside. I had my hair up in a bun to test to make sure that there was enough room inside for my hair. There was enough room inside, but I may want to wear this bonnet with a hat pin when I decide to wear it so that it doesn't fall off unexpectedly.

And now some details!

Here is a closeup of the brim detail. Do you see how each row is sewn together? That's right: I sewed rows of "straw hat rope" together to create a bonnet brim. How did I do this? I bought a straw hat from Michaels awhile ago and I wasn't sure about what to do with it until this project. The straw hat is constructed as one giant spiral of straw rope that forms a hat. So I took out the stitching to get a really long piece of straw rope and pinned and sewed together using the brim piece from the pattern to create the right shape. And I also wet the straw so that when it dried it would hold the shape that I wanted.

Here is a close up of the gathers on the crown. After the crown was gathered, I hand sewed gimp trim where the lines of gathers were.

Here is a closeup of the gimp.

I'm very please with the way this turned out. It's a decent pattern and I would use it again if I needed it.

 God Bless,
God Bless, Miss Elizabeth Bennet


  1. Oh, how beautiful! What a lovely pattern, and I simply love the color of the fabric. All that stitching on the straw brim must have been quite tedious- I quite applaud you, Miss Bennet!

    ~Emma Jane : )

    1. Thank you so much! The straw brim wasn't too bad. Pinning together the straw was maybe a little tedious (not to mention my fingers started to hurt after a while of pushing pins into straw), but once that was done, I machine sewed it together. It came together pretty quickly. The only thing was that I sewed the paper that I was using to the straw, so I had to remove the paper (in fact, there are still bits of paper in the stitches), but I would use that technique again.

  2. This is lovely!! I've been wanting to make a Regency bonnet for a while now, and I found this most inspiring. :)

    1. Thank you very much! I would recommend Timely Tresses's patterns. They have a couple of Regency Bonnet patterns to choose from.

  3. You did so well! Beautiful!

    Have you ever thought of sewing and selling your period clothing?

    1. Thank you!

      I've thought about it, but I don't sell my period clothing. Sometimes I get a lot of time to sew and I can go through sewing projects quickly, but sometimes I barely get any time to sew and my projects can take a long time too.

  4. Oooh, I want to make a bonnet like this! At the JA Festival I did that hat workshops but it was with hot glue and store bought rims. I am so jealous; this is so elegant and authentic.

    1. Thank you! A brim that was that small was easy enough to sew together with a sewing machine. If you go to Michaels and buy one of those straw hats they have, you can take it apart by the stitches and you get a nice straw coil that you can use to build a bonnet brim.


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