In the quest to be ever huger in our 1830s attire, the Gigot Girl Gang™ chose a variety of headgear to top off each of our ensembles. Maggie used bonnet shapes from Workwoman's Guide, Chrissy used an 1830s-specific Lynn McMasters pattern, while Nicole made a stellar hat and Abby a monolithic beret.
I went with a bonnet as well, but I started with a more generic buckram form I purchased years ago from Timely Tresses. It's been in naked buckram-and-wire form since 2014, waiting patiently for decoration which, to be honest, I really had no idea how to do.
I studied my Lydia Fast bonnet and determined a kinda-sorta-construction technique. If I had not purchased this buckram form, I would've just ordered the bonnet of my dreams from Lydia (support small business and avoid all that blood and anguish at the same time!), but I hate waste, so covering it was.
|Mull me like one of your French bonnets....|
I've never worked with an already-constructed bonnet before, so this was a challenge. I went in this order for covering with the silk taffeta:
1. Top of the crown
2. Outer brim
3. Crown lining
4. Inner brim
4. Crown stand with special buckram bias magic trick
|Applying the silk taffeta to the top of the crown. This is probably the easiest step in the whole project. It's important to get a good tight fit here. The wrinkly raw edge are trimmed away and later smoothed out with bias buckram.|
|A smooth cover on the brim - tension is very important here and as you can see, I didn't get it perfect. I used Wonder Clips, which are amazing for working on millinery, to fold the silk over the brim edge and hold it taught, adjusting as I sewed.|
|Last bit for the silk taffeta - turning under the raw edge on the crown stand silk and stitching it through all layers. This, thank goodness, doesn't have to be too pretty because it'll be covered by the hat band and a mountain of other trims.|
|And finally, binding the brim edge. This is a nice touch but not the only way to do this - a clean turned edge is also accurate. I wanted the black to tie everything together, though, so I bound with silk satin 1 inch wide ribbon.|
|Decorate with ALL THE THINGS|
|These weird feather bits you always see at craft stores...|
|Sh*t-tons of ribbons and bows. There are bits of antique ribbons, some taffeta self-made ribbon, and some satin ribbon I overpaid for in Paris.|
I know this post is a long one, but I hope it was informative. Constructing and covering bonnets is quite a skill, one that takes lots of practice and many hours. I probably put as many hours into this bonnet project as into the entire gown, but I do love the result. Now to figure out how to get this on the plane!