A friend of mine had already drafted a wonderful pattern for a drawn bonnet, so I didn't have to do any kind of mock-up. It actually went together really well, but I did have a lot of trouble with the white dupioni lining completely fraying apart, especially on the grain for some reason. The back seam where the crown piece attaches was the worst.
I did, from experience, know that the crown piece was just a little bit small, so I went ahead and enlarged it just a little to accommodate more seam allowances. I also had to sew that bit by hand, because of how badly the lining had frayed. Next time, I will just spend the extra money to use silk taffeta; the quality has proved to be amazing and completely worth it. Actually, I had to sew it twice because the first time I winged it, and the crown didn't line up. The second time I drew up the gathers and actually measured *gasp*! I'm more of a measure once, cut twice kind of seamstress.
The plastic boning is a little bit funny; first, it wouldn't stop coiling back into it's original roll, then I pinned it inside out to sew the crown on and left it overnight. It completely lost it's shape, but now it's pretty pliable. Goes to show how flimsy plastic boning is, especially to support a garment.
It looks like a lampshade at this point.
One secret to plastic boning: if you use the hand crank on the side of your sewing machine, you can stitch right through it. It makes your needle dull, but it's pretty important to be able to sew them in for this particular project, otherwise the fabric wouldn't stay gathered up right to the edge.
The crown piece probably could have used some buckram to help it lay more flat.
Now, I'm trying to decide if I want flowers on the inside of the brim, or not.
What the item is: Drawn Bonnet
The Challenge: Accessorise
Fabric: Silk taffeta, lined with dupioni
Pattern: Made from a friend's, which she drafted herself
Notions: Thread, plastic boning, faux flowers, ribbon, lace
How historically accurate is it? Not particularly; with the plastic boning, it's not really shapeable. I'm going with 40%. Not historically accurate materials, except for the main fabric, but it looks accurate enough. I was hoping it would turn out a little higher at the top, like in 1860's fashion plates, but the outcome is more of in the shape of 1840s and 50s round.
Hours to complete: 12-13
First worn: Not yet
Total cost: Around $35