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Author Topic: Corded sunbonnet  (Read 8467 times)
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Amorette Bertilson
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« on: December 09, 2010, 08:49:50 PM »

I went on search a bit back and picked up some info, but I'm not *entirely* sure how to go about this still, as I don't have a straight pattern.

http://picasaweb.google.com/woodsy.roisin/MadeThings?authkey=Gv1sRgCPmunPCZz4akGQ#5548893946533998866

That's my diagram- I had to draw it in the computer because our scanner/printer is torn apart, needing fixing.

So I'll try to get the main points- I want the curtain longish, past the shoulders at least (I only have so much fabric so we'll see if it lasts... it's that famous windowpane sheer from JoAnn's), it's corded for stiffening, the curtain 'starts' not quite to the front of the brim, the brim edge is curved, as is the curtain (is this at all incorrect, or... anything else?) so that the brim can be 'folded back' to make it less deep (I suppose you could do that with the curtain and brim starting at the same place, if you know what I mean, but it could be a little awkward)... and I think that's all I can think of.

Let me see if I can remember my questions, too. Basically I only have the slatted sunbonnet instructions of Mrs Clark. Which means, I'm not quite informed on the cording part, and it seems that a lot of corded sunbonnets are constructed a little different due to their cordage. Such as- brim being separate from the rest of the bonnet, and my 'version' has three pieces- brim, back of head, and curtain.

I don't know if that phrases a question- shoot thoughts at me if you get them.

I also wondered how to get the back of the bonnet and the curtain together. I think I remember reading about using cotton twill tape for this, but I'm not sure exactly *how* to use that if I use that for it. Please inform me.

And about cording on the brim- I'm not sure how to go about it at all! I see peoples' bonnets and they do it different, andddd I'm kind of baffled and need someone to tell me just how I ought to do it.

And if anyone has better ideas for what I'm doing, or just instructions, help, anything, I'd love that.

Thanks in advance. ^.^
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Sue Leurgans
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« Reply #1 on: December 10, 2010, 07:17:07 AM »

I've made two corded bonnets. I used the pictures from here http://entertainment.webshots.com/photo/2580413560026040612gEpYZU   as a guide for construction.

I also did the curved front. My thoughts: Cording: 2 ways to do this. sew channels and then using a dull needle run the cords in the channels. I used my knitting weaving needle to insert the channels.  OR   lay the cord between the Fabric pieces and using a zipper foot stitch close to the cording.

Having done both .. sewing channels then inserting the cords was easier but the cords sewn in with a zipper foot was a stiffer brim.

For a curved front, I cut my brim fabric pcs long, inserted the cords, trimmed the brim to length plus 3/4 of an inch, pulled out the cords a little and trimmed off about a 1/2 inch, pulled the fabric smooth (in other words, the cording slid inside the fabric casing leaving the edges uncorded)  then rolled the fabric and hand hemmed. Elizabeth has talked about curving the cords around the bottom of the brim, but I have not tried that.

For attaching the curtain to the crown and brim I looked at the pictures above and after sewing a 1/2 inch seam, folded the raw edges under and stitched the edge down, then inserted the string for adjustment .

Hope this fills in the blanks a bit.  Smiley
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Sue Leurgans
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Marta Vincent
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« Reply #2 on: December 10, 2010, 07:46:22 AM »

The only thing I'd revise slightly is to make the bottom edge of the front of the brim swoop down slightly.  The period shape was not a true rectangle.  Note how the bottom edge of the bonnet http://shop.originals-by-kay.com/product.sc?productId=504&categoryId=103 comes down at a slight angle - not completely straight back to front.
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Samantha Bullat
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« Reply #3 on: December 13, 2010, 10:18:19 PM »

I'm still confused about how to gather and attach the bavolet, and also gather the crown along the neck edge... In the originals I've seen, it almost looks like the bavolet is gathered with whipped gathers, but I don't know if that was a technique as commonly used in the 19th century as it is in the 18th century (I also do Rev War). There's just a lot more bulk to the gathers than just plain gathering would give you




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Joanna Jones
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« Reply #4 on: December 14, 2010, 06:02:42 AM »

Samantha - is it possible the neck edge is bound, then the whole curtain is gathered on a cord, and whipped onto the edges of the brim and crown?

That's kind of how I was planning to do mine.
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Samantha Bullat
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« Reply #5 on: December 14, 2010, 08:34:36 AM »

Ooh, certainly sounds possible! I remember how gathers looked that I did on a cord, and they looked just like that! So that means the bonnet wouldn't be adjustable in the back, then.
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Joanna Jones
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« Reply #6 on: December 14, 2010, 08:54:59 AM »

Um...that part I'm stumped on, too!  Unless the sides are on a cord, then the back has a casing and drawstring inside??

Joanna
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Samantha Bullat
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« Reply #7 on: December 14, 2010, 11:07:51 PM »

Hmmm perhaps that's it! I really wish I knew! I'd like to be able to make my corded sunbonnet without having to buy a pattern, but Timely Tresses does offer a nice one...
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Elizabeth
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« Reply #8 on: December 17, 2010, 04:23:25 PM »

I've seen a few that do have a bit of a cord adjustment at the back for a *little* adjustability--not a lot, but a tad. I agree, the sides/cheeks portion of the bavolet does appear to be finished and gathered on a cord.
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Elizabeth
Amorette Bertilson
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« Reply #9 on: January 14, 2011, 04:29:45 PM »

By what you all are saying... I'm sort of confused and I'm still stumped on this- I may be being too particular. I feel like there might be a one right way to do this and no other way. I should probably just be told how to do it according to what I want for it, and ... I need to know how for a corded sunbonnet I should 'get' my measurements? I probably could do it without asking but I feel I should ask. Especially I'm wondering about 'fulness' of the back portion of the bonnet. I suppose all it needs is enough fulness to get over your hair, right? Andddddd should I just do whatever I want for that? Are there any things I should watch out for... like make sure it's bigger than so much so that it's not too tight somewhere?

I'm figuring out soo many things right now, sorry if I ask 'too many questions'.
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Amorette Bertilson
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« Reply #10 on: June 23, 2015, 02:42:23 PM »

I am goin' to ask more questions on this, because now I may finally undertake this project, and I want to be reasonably clear. I was at first thinking to just bounce through it on my own, but I feel very unsure about what to do... like I described above.

https://www.pinterest.com/pin/53058101832347626/?prev=%2Fpin%2F53058101832347626%2F
For the mo', I want to know what's happening on the edge of the brim here in the front. It looks almost, almost like it's frayed... weirdly textured and all. Does anyone know what the person did there? Is it just tattered from use?

Also, does anybody have a picture of what Samantha and the others talked about- having the bavolet gathered on a cord? I'd love to see someone's recreation of that, so I know that I think it looks like this. Or else, tell me how and I could try it to see myself... it isn't in the Dressmaker's Guide, is it? I don't remember seeing that there.

Other than that, I am trying to figure out how to get measurements. Is the length along the top of the head of the brim (does that make sense?) from your chin over your head to the other side? Sometimes it looks shorter, sometimes it looks possibly longer.

These are examples I'm going off of for length-of-brim, since I haven't found much else I like the look of:
http://bonnyblue.net/HistoricalClothingPhotoGallery/redcottondresswithselffabrictrimonskirtbluecottoncordedsunbonnet.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/736x/07/05/5a/07055a33f19d285d12ca38519f3d97a3.jpg

I assume the back of the bonnet is a half-circle gathered to the brim around the top.  Is it possibly a rather elongated half-circle, so you have more to gather on the top? The first picture I showed shows mostly gathering on the top, and I really like that look, rather than gathering it all the way down. It kind of has that... 1840's cap look.

I also think it would be cool to put it on the bias like it is, though I might cop that in favour of saving fabric. Smiley

Anybody think that's a bow on the back of the neck? A real, decorative bow?!

My dream right now is if I ever figure this out to my satisfaction, to try to make a tutorial on making a corded sunbonnet for those people in the future who feel as I do that they just can't figure it out, and have to buy patterns they aren't satisfied with. And patterns for something so simple seems such an expense to me. If anyone wants to help me with this, that would be nice.
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EKorsmo
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« Reply #11 on: June 24, 2015, 11:47:53 AM »

I can't get a good close look at the pic, but from what I can see, I think the fabric is just wearing out and fraying--several of the cords have a similar texture going on. 

As for gathering the bavolet over a cord, IIRC, the general method is included in the Dressmaker's Guide, for use in flounces on a tiered skirt.  (There isn't a sunbonnet section in the book.)  The basic idea is to make a casing along the top of the fabric, run a cord through it, and then draw up the fabric on the cord.

Yep, measure from chin-to-other-side-of-chin, over the head.  The back piece is usually narrower than a half-circle: more like a mail-box-door, or a rectangle with two of the corners rounded off.  There are pics of my last sun-bonnet, including the pattern piece for the crown, here.  If you want more originals to look at, there are a few links here.

In the period picture, her dress seems to have a lot of '40s features (the tight sleeves, the full bodice shirred down at the front and apparently back-fastening); I haven't seen enough closely dated sun-bonnets to make any claims, but could the very full crown on the sunbonnet be an 1840s style?  The low back hairstyles of the '50s and '60s wouldn't need as much room at the top of the crown, and the caps of the early '40s (see Workwoman's Guide), can have a lot of gathering in the back.   

I agree that it's a bow: whether it's a purely decorative piece, or a tie to help adjust the back gathers, I can't say.
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MaryDee
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« Reply #12 on: June 24, 2015, 07:17:05 PM »

Elizabeth has a pattern and instructions in the Compendium section of this site on making a slat sunbonnet:  http://www.thesewingacademy.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/04/2010Slats.pdf  Its bavolet is gathered by a tie made from the bonnet fabric, tied in a bow, on the outside of the back.  I ended up buying a corded sunbonnet from Originals by Kay (P Palmer Dry Goods), closely resembling the one Martha cites.  Its bavolet is gathered by a narrow string (the kind you'd use for period piping) run through a casing and tied in a bow, all on the inside of the bonnet.  I believe that one of the purposes of using a string/ribbon/tie for gathering the bavolet is so the sunbonnet can be laid out flat for ironing, especially since it will generally need starching.  (If you buy one of Kay's, it needs a really good dose of starch because it's a very lightweight fabric--it's going to be great for my next re-enactment, with daytime temps forecast in the upper 90s).  

Since the only difference between a slat bonnet and a corded bonnet is the method of stiffening the brim, Elizabeth's article I just cited should help you out, although you're on your own for the cording part.  I ended up buying a corded sunbonnet, not because I couldn't follow her directions, but because I couldn't sew straight enough for neat cording channels, and the result looked pretty ugly.  Her article also includes how to measure!  

If you haven't checked the Compendium, there are lots of neat articles.  Some are from the Dressmakers Guide, but there are others that aren't found elsewhere.  All are worth perusing!
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Sherry Key
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« Reply #13 on: June 25, 2015, 07:09:32 AM »

I have used Liz's pattern several times and it is quite easy and quick.  The only thing I changed was the length of the back/curtain.  I really wanted it to cover my shoulders and the original measurements reached just slightly below the shoulder line.   This pattern will give you a good starting point.

I also recently took Carolann Schmitt's class on a sheer drawn bonnet.  The curtain is separate and has a deep (1.5") hem, the sides have a narrower hem (1") and the top is just turned over about 1.5" and has two rows of gathers.  It is attached to the bonnet by hand; stitching line is between the two rows of gathers.   

Hope this helps.
Sherry Key.
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Amorette Bertilson
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« Reply #14 on: June 25, 2015, 04:25:15 PM »

I know... it's hard to see what's going on in that picture, but I hoped someone might have some knowledge I had not.

I am specifically in the market for a pattern or tutorial that explains the nuances of corded sunbonnets like the blue one I posted, as it is the shape I like... frankly, I love loads about it, but I can't exactly reproduce it now.

I'm aware of the slatted sunbonnet pattern, but thought it only helped me generally, since it's only one form of sunbonnet.

Yes, I thought it was '40's, but had been thinking especially of the length of brim, and of how in the pictures of separate-backed bonnets, there was generally more fulness near the top, though, yes, not as much as in this picture.

Thanks for the responses. I think I'm close to ready to start, hopefully.
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« Reply #15 on: June 26, 2015, 06:23:25 AM »

Amorette,
Have you searched the site for corded sunbonnets?  Somewhere there is a pattern and detailed measurements for a bonnet similar to what your describing.  I've used them to make my own corded sheer sunbonnets as have several other people.  I'm on my iPad so I can't find the link right now.  I believe Duchess Martin did the research.
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Amorette Bertilson
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« Reply #16 on: June 26, 2015, 10:00:04 AM »

Is this the link: http://thesewingacademy.org/index.php?topic=267.msg4912#msg4912 ? I think this could be helpful to me, although I never know what people mean when they say something like 'well behind the ears'. It makes me think 'beyond the back of your head'.

So, in my post I said that I was interested in putting the crown on the bias (like in the first image I posted), and I recollect someone had said that it might look like it's on the bias because it's on a curve and one part of it will be bias, but now I can't find that. I looked at some more pictures yesterday, and found that, indeed, it seems that at least some corded sunbonnets have bias crowns:

https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/74/5f/0e/745f0e7da68f5d7439f77a0143a4a92c.jpg
https://s-media-cache-ak0.pinimg.com/236x/86/6d/04/866d04f65ad932539ad5689814efd766.jpg
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/53058101837174240/
https://www.pinterest.com/pin/53058101832347626/?prev=%2Fpin%2F53058101832347626%2F

This is a bonnet reproduction from Miller's Millinery, I believe: http://www.bonnets.com/images/b23_big.jpg

All of these also place the brim on the bias. For whatever reason, it never struck me that anybody would do this, back when I was first lookin' around for how to make a bonnet. Then I saw Samantha post the blueish bonnet, and I suppose I was Enlightened. It also tickles my heart that the curtain is on the bias as well, which depending on the fabric can look very fun. Of the originals, just the blueish one and the whiteish one have the curtain on the bias, and the Miller's Millinery was destined that way, as well.

http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/169452?rpp=30&pg=1&ft=sunbonnet&pos=11
This one may or may not be on the bias like the others. It might be- it seems at the very top of the head to be on the bias...

http://www.metmuseum.org/collection/the-collection-online/search/168618?rpp=30&pg=1&ft=sunbonnet&pos=15
This one is not on the bias, though. You can look in real close and see the grain very nicely.

Anyway, after that discovery, I sat around trying to figure out how large the crown should be, since it seems it varies, and I want mine to be 'just how I want it'. Then I also thought on how it's definitely wider in the blueish one around the top, and then narrows out near the bottom. Would anyone agree? I know that that one could be an earlier one (especially after reading what Glenna Jo wrote in that ancient thread I ilnked above), yet I still wonder how the pattern piece would be shaped. Anyway, I wish I could do the 1840's and '50's, but doubt I can economically do so here in Minnesota.

Thanks, you all...
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Ms. Jean
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« Reply #17 on: June 26, 2015, 05:03:41 PM »


Skip the nice fabric for right now and cut the slat pattern or the 1857 corded pattern from a plausible remnant.  Find out what you like about the shapes, find out if you can do cording on your sewing machine or will hand sew the cording channels.

I have a couple in my basket for spectator-heavy events.  Little girls like to put on a bonnet and apron and have their picture taken with me.  Explaining sun bonnets a bit keeps some spectators away from the vendors with poly blend ruffled Olde Tyme Sun Bonnets with absolutely no curtain!

Just cut one out and sew it together.  Sun bonnets are quick, useful and ever so Period Correct!

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Ms. Jean
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« Reply #18 on: June 26, 2015, 09:19:11 PM »

I think you're onto something with the brim narrowing as it goes back.

The pieces for the '57 Godey's sunbonnet are basically rectangles with various sloped off corners: I think angling the short ends of the brim-rectangle would give something closer to the shape you're looking for.  So, instead of a rectangle that's rounded off, it'd be a rhombus with rounded corners.   Might be worth messing around with some paper (or interfacing, that stuff is my new favorite for drafting patterns). 

A very bad schematic: the original shape is L, a possible alternate is R (not to scale).



The bias brims are definitely fun; I don't expect that the effect would be lost on the brim curvature.  You can always work out the pattern in paper/scrap and then see how it lays and whether the bias effect comes through or not.
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« Reply #19 on: June 27, 2015, 07:17:07 AM »

Ms. Jean, I understand starting with something simple before going on, but I really want to do this...

EKorsmo, I think I was talking about the crown. The brim does have that shape, and I wants it, too. The crown is a little less obvious. Me wonders what would be a good way of figuring it out; I suppose some kind of a brim and some muslin, and then a whole lot of messy pinning and stitching...
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