Sunday, 10 December 2017

Everything is Extravagant

I didn’t have time before Jafa this year to make a bonnet to go with my 1830s dress so I decided to get it done plenty early in preparation for next year. I used the Lynn McMasters Romantic Period Bonnet pattern. The base of the bonnet is buckram edged with gardening wire and with thin batting tacked on.
The pattern definitely worked but I did have a few issues with it. I would recommend it for an experienced sewer who is willing to fill in the blanks a bit. The pieces aren’t numbered and use a lot of colours and symbols that are not fully explained. The instructions do not have as many pictures as I would have liked. The instructions also have a peculiar obsession with view C. I made view A, the one in the hero photograph, but the instructions kept referring me to the view C section. The rim of the bonnet in the hero photo is edged with a shaped binding piece but the pattern piece for this is not included. Instead you have to make it yourself by using two halves of an unrelated pattern piece, oriented in a new direction, and attached to a specifically sized rectangle. This struck me as a very odd decision especially when they have printed out full patterns for the ties which really only needed a guide to the angle and width and could then be any length you wanted.

I wanted the bonnet colour scheme to go with the dress but not be too matchy. To this end I bought some olive green satin and a remnant of pink silk. The green didn’t make it to the final product. I decided I wanted to do pleating on the bonnet in several places and the green fabric did not have enough body to hold a pleat. I’m still a bit sad that the bonnet isn’t green but I think the pleating is more important.

Instead I chose a good solid satin in my favourite shade of purple. It’s a surprisingly hard colour to find and there was only just enough for the bonnet - if there had been enough for a dress I would have used it for that instead. I think it still goes ok with the dress.
I pleated the top of the crown. I was hoping to do box pleats but in my attempts they came out very uneven. To do the pleating I cut out two circles and cut a slit in each from the edge to the centre. Then I sewed them together. I used a minimal seam allowance and sealed the edges with fraystop.
I also put piping around the edge of the pleating. Usually I have many ideas about how to decorate something and have to limit myself to two, maybe three of these. But with 1830s, you go into it with a handful of ideas and that may not be enough.
I pleated the brim as per the pattern hero photo and pattern instructions (ie use a piece primarily meant for something else that has no guides for where the pleats go) but didn’t manage as many pleats as are in the photo. I had to piece the brim because of my limited fabric but I think it is disguised well enough.
Last year at Jafa I took in my fabric samples and bought some feathers to go on my planned green bonnet. I also bought a few other feathers that were so pretty I just couldn’t leave them. I was very glad of this when I changed colour scheme as my planned feathers were too dark for the new fabric but the pretty ones were perfect. And too long for me to fit the bonnet in my box of hats, but you can’t have everything.

No comments:

Post a Comment