Tuesday, May 17, 2011

A Corded Bonnet from "Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion"

I have a terrible love of books. It's a bit obsessive really. I got myself a kindle so that my fictions books wouldn't drown me... death by paperback, that's a bad way to go out. But I still buy "flesh and blood" fashion books. One of the more (if not MOST) fabulous fashion books I have acquired lately has been "Napoleon and the Empire of Fashion"

Watch out... there is nudity. Regardless, the fashions in this book are so fabulous all is forgiven.

I've earmarked several gowns and whatnot to be copied. The first of the whatnots is a corded bonnet.

What I feel is the most interesting thing about this hat is that it's completely make-able. There's no material used in this project that is unattainable, the pattern is simple, but the overall affect is intricate, and quintessentially regency.  The ruff doesn't hurt in the sillness factor... OMG. She looks like one of those fancy dancy chickens that Martha Stewart blah blah blahs about. yah... That stupid ruff is going to get made.

I can't be the only costumer that thinks these things about historical costume.


I've made several hats in my jaunts in Historical Costuming... What I've noticed about Pre-Victorian bonnets is that the patterns have 2 and 3 pattern pieces... Brim/Crown, Tip, or Brim, Crown, Tip. There's off-shoots of this idea, but for the most part, this corded bonnet is a Capot (the tip is soft) and it's a 2 pattern piece design. The design is cunning though, because the Brim/Crown flares out toward the face opening like a trumpet but only used one pattern piece to do this. Later in that century 1840's & 50's this design would become the cottage bonnet (it lost it's outward trumpet like flare) and a bit earlier, in the 1820's-30's the brim would remain flared, but the crown would elongate the tip would be hard... this would be called a Stovepipe and a Poke bonnet and would use 3 pattern pieces to achieve that flared shape.

I made the Stovepipe the Cottage and the Capote... the Poke is not mine.

Pattern List:
The Capote is my pattern... I made a tutorial... uh, somewhere on the interwebs... :)

Tomorrow, I'll post a tutorial, and the pattern for my corded bonnet... but for now here is the finish project! :)


  1. Well, I'm certainly glad you dropped by my blog, because I can tell this is going to be one of my favorites!!! Off to do some more reading - Happy Monday! Tanya

  2. Thank you so much for this, as it is one of my favourite bonnets, too!

  3. ooh, such a beautiful delicate looking bonnet.