My Victorian Summer Bonnet by Maggie

As promised, here is an informational post with lots of pictures, all about my Victorian Summer Bonnet.

This bonnet was made for me by Maggie Waterman, a fabulous costumier and milliner.  Her skills of hat creation are outstanding, and she definitely has a knack for dressing hats.  I did not have time, patience, or mad skills enough to make my own bonnet before my event, so I commissioned one from Maggie.

How much did you pay?
I paid $50, which in hat-land is insanely well-priced.  This included all the materials, labor, and the shipping.  Straw bonnets like this are on the easier end of millinery, so please note that if you are planning on commissioning a hat from Maggie, her prices may vary depending on the difficulty, complexity, and materials of the hat.  Still, any headgear under $150 is awesome, as I find hats to be ridiculously expensive!

What is it made out of?
The bonnet form is nice rough straw, shaped into the characteristic curve.  It is all of a piece, with no seams between the brim and the crown.  The ribbons are sage green satin, and left long for easy tying under the chin.  They are set perfectly so that the bonnet does not fall off the back of my head.  The interior is decorated with pleated cream-colored lace, and the decorations on the back are silk flowers, a small bird (a personal touch just for me), and a feather.

How long did it take?
Maggie had this bonnet done in under one week.  She has a particular passion for making hats, so hops to it whenever she has one to create.  You can expect your hat to arrive in the mail in about two weeks, if Maggie is not booked out.

Does it match your dress?
It matches exactly!  I told Maggie the color scheme I wanted, and she had seen pictures of my dress in progress.  I told her I wanted a middle class, understated bonnet with not-too-big a brim, done in sage green, tans, creams, and brown.

How do I commission her?
E-mail Maggie directly at [email protected].  She will take a look at your specs and quote you a price.  She takes PayPal, and check.

And now for the good stuff:


  • MrsC (Maryanne)

    June 17, 2010 at 8:41 PM

    It's so pretty!! And clever both of you as the colours are not cloying so its prettiness is not cloying either, if that makes sense!

  • American Duchess

    June 18, 2010 at 4:36 AM

    Mrs. C, I think if I were to try'n make this thing the colours probably would have been cloying. I'm not sure what cloying means…something not-good though, huh?

    Robin, yeah, she did do a really good job, and I was happy to give her the business.

  • NoraC

    June 29, 2010 at 11:26 PM

    Thank you so much for posting these photos. I've been wanting to make a bonnet. Think I'll try it out over the July 4th weekend!

  • Kaya

    July 9, 2010 at 9:04 AM

    thats's soo beautiful! I love hats ans im sometimes so jealous about actresses who wear these ones in movies 🙂


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