Aline’s bonnet part II

So, Monday I told you about beginning Aline’s bonnet, and getting all the basic construction done.  Here are the finishing details.

The finished hat, side view

After cutting the brim down a lot, I bound it with blue and white tartan bias ribbon (from Nana, her stash is the gift that gives and gives!) that I folded into bias tape.

Bias bound brim

I like the way it works with Aline’s skirt fabric, without matching exactly.  And it’s hard to find two tartans that work with each other!

I sewed a piece of florists wire under the the bias tape around the upper brim of the bonnet, to help it hold the tight curve of Aline’s bonnet and my inspiration bonnet.  First I zig-zagged on the wire, and then bound it with the bias tape.  The tension of pulling the wire through the machine actually curved it into the perfect curve.

You can clearly see which parts are wired, and which aren't, in this photo. Also, doesn't it totally look like The Scream?

The brim didn’t hug the face enough once it was bound, so I ended up taking in little pleats where the brim meets the back of the hat and tacking them down under the back.  Not as beautiful and tidy as my inspiration piece for sure, but I’m still working on my hatmaking skills!

You can just see the little folded in pleats at the inside bottom of the hat

With the brim bound, the hat looked finished, but untrimmed, from the outside, so I decided to ignore the inside for a while and trim the bonnet.  So as of now there are still raw zig-zagged edges inside the hat.

Bad me

For my trimming, I took inspiration from Aline’s bonnet, but didn’t follow it exactly.  I meant to, but I started messing around with other stuff, and it looked good, so I just went with it.

Aline's hat

First I used extra blue tartan bias ribbons for ties to go under the chin.  I realised they held the hat better if they wrapped under the chin, and up around the top of the hat and down again, and it looked cool on too.  So the hat has lots of blue tartan ribbons!

Ribbons wrapping round and round the bonnet

Then I felt that the crown stood up too high from the brim, so I folded it down a little, and tacked it to the seam of the brim.  It gives it a bit of a military look, like early 1860s Confederate forage caps.

The ribbons slide between the folded down crown and brim

And then, of course, I noticed that the top of the crown is not at all perfect.  I wonder if wire would have fixed that?  Or if I could have found some way to iron it?  Oh well, something to work on next time!

Ughsome. Totally not perfect!

For trimming, I used a bunch of silk samples that I had in a dozen delicious shades of darkest blue: indigo, slate, midnight, prussian, inky, royal…


I bunched them into two rosettes, and tucked one under the brim of the hat, and one on the proper left side.

Scrummy colours on the outside.

I felt the hat was getting a little too blue, so I did another bunch in pale blues and neutrals: alice and ecru, ivory and cream.  This went below the first rosette on the outside

Pretty in person.

It looks fabulous in person, but unfortunately, it doesn’t photograph well:

Another unsatisfactory photograph

This is among the (numerous) flaws of the hat.  I’m not sure how I feel about this though.  After all, ladies in 1882 didn’t usually choose their hats to photograph well!  Still, I think that since that is a part of how I sew, I should re-do the trimmings, with the white lace of Alines around the brim, and a rosette with more contrast under the brim, so it shows up against the hair with the shadows.

So in a few weeks, or months, or hopefully not a few years, you’ll see me re-do this hat.

But for now, it’s done, and tomorrow you can see Madame O rocking it and the whole Aline outfit :-)

Shell in Japonisme

I’m dreadfully overdue in posting images of Shell in my Japonisme dress (the talk was weeks ago), but in a way I’m glad. Because I waited to post these, I had the opportunity to get to know Shell both for her grace and poise as a model, and for her warm nature and wicked sense of humour.

Of course, only her grace and poise are on show in this post.

Perfectly poised

The locket is hers

Her colouring is perfect, and the irises are the final touch of fabulousness

Does it open?

Shell has fabulously long legs, so the skirt is a bit short.

I adore the back view of this ensemble

Most of that is a hairpiece

OK, maybe just a bit of the wicked sense of humour:

Hee hee

In other news, I have recovered my photos from the road trip (yay!) so tomorrow I’ll be posting some of those.

Rebecca in Regency

Rebecca was actually supposed to wear the Laurel dress for the talk on the 2oth of Nov, but I was so scatterbrained that day I tried to duplicate her and put her in two dresses, so she ended up in the Regency.

You know what though?  I think she looks lovely.

I loooooove the back of this dress!  And the hair ornamentations.

Madame Ornata lent me the shawl for the talk.  It’s a real Indian shawl embroidered with paisley designs.  Not an actual Kashmiri paisley shawl, but should I ever be lucky enough to afford one I probably won’t let models trail it around for photoshoots!

Rebecca is wonderfully elegant and graceful in this dress, and looks so tall and slim.

And I’m terribly envious of her profile too.  Look at that elegant nose!

She was a little shy in front of the camera sometimes though.  I had to tease her to relax.

As a result, some of the best photos of Becca are the casual ones Madame O took.

Page 11 of 60« First...«910111213»203040...Last »

Meet the Dreamstress

Leimomi Oakes is the Dreamstress, a textile historian, seamstress, designer, speaker and museum professional. Leimomi is available for educational and entertaining presentations, textile and fashion advice, special commissions and events. Click to learn more

Come sew with us!