My 1840’s Bonnet Hack
I started off with a $5, 18” straw craft hat and scraps of related trim and fabric from my stash. I purchased straw trim (which will be returned), a few flowers and ribbon.
18” was too large so I seam ripped and unwound the straw band until it was more manageable. Folding the hat into a bonnet shape gave me a cutting line, which was covered with the removed row of straw. I only stitched the straw band to the exterior, the interior was finished after the lining was done.
The flat hat was dipped into a pot of just boiled water, making it pliable. I could stretch, fold, and adjust the shape as needed knowing the shape would hold once dry. NOTE: The fumes given off from the treated straw aren’t healthy, so do this in a well ventilated area.
Scrap strips of silk were ruched, pleated, and stitched into placed by machine for the interior lining.
The exterior trim is about 5 yards of ribbon with a couple flowers. The back ruffle is made by stitching pieces of the ribbon together (I looked at a lot of extant bonnet photos).