Thursday, November 24, 2016

Lynn McMasters 1840-1850s Victorian Bonnet Pattern

I have a serious love of 1840s fashion. There is such a gothic flavor to that era. I am probably heavily influenced by having read Jane Eyre in my younger years. I also think it is caused by looking at somber photographs of women with severe hairstyles and tightly buttoned gowns. I am inclined to day dream of leaden skies, thick fog and hearing the clip clop of the carriage horses on the cobbled streets. But don't be fooled by my gothic love affair. There were plenty of colors and patterns in that era. I am just a goth at heart so leave me to my glum Victorian fantasy. Onward to the bonnets!

The Lynn McMasters pattern spans 1840s-1850s. It has 3 brim styles and the bonnet itself is 2 pieces. I made the 1840s version.


You will want to trace off the pattern because for the fabric and mull (flannel or cotton batting) you will need to add 3/4 seam allowances.

The bonnet frame goes together easily. I have accepted the fact that bonnets are easier to do by hand. In my crazy mind I figured I would go ahead and make two, just for fun. So I hand stitched all the wire around the brim and tip. Time consuming but worth it. I use buttonhole twist and a sturdy millinery needle. You then cover the wire with bias tape using glue or hand stitching.

Once you are finished sewing and covering the wire on the 2 pieces of buckram it's time to stitch the main brim seam. This is a bit fussy with the curve and having to overlap the wires. I had to futz with it quite a bit. Then you sew the tip (round piece) to the brim. Easy peasy. Then you mull the tip and brim with flannel or batting. All was going swimmingly until it was time to cover the brim with fabric. My fabric piece was too small!!! Not along the front curved edge of the brim. It was too small at the back seam and the part of the bonnet that fits around your neck. I went back and looked at my pattern and the traced off pieces. Did I forget the S/A? No. The mull did fit along that edge, but just barely. Was I supposed to cut the brim fabric on the bias? Nope. A quick muslin showed me a stretched out droopy mess. So I went back and added an additional 1.5 inches to the back seam and neck curve of the brim fabric piece. That did the trick. Once I had all that figured out the rest of the bonnet went together quickly.

Trim, trim and more trim. Do whatever makes you happy! Flowers, feathers, ribbon, lace. I do cheat in use hot glue for most of my trims. Except feathers. I may want to use them again.

Final thoughts:

Even though it is only 2 pattern pieces I wouldn't recommend this for a beginner. That curved wire join was a bitch.
In the instructions she says to cut 3 pieces of wire for the bonnet. 1 for the tip and 2 for the brim. The brim has 3 sides...Also I wasn't sure if I was supposed to cut the wire into 3 pieces for the brim or bend it around the edges. I decided to cut it. Worked fine.
Even with proper S/A added the main fabric piece was too small. Make it bigger, drape it and trim away the extra.

I really like the shape of my bonnets. There is lots of empty space in the back area when worn to hide a flask or snacks.

No comments:

Post a Comment