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When all else fails, sew! The Harvest Fair at Coggeshall Farm Museum approaches and quite aside from the real work that’s gone into a quilting frame, and buttons on breeches, it’s been an excuse for a new bonnet.

A few weeks ago, I found the modern, not-as-fine bonnet based on the KCI bonnet, and similar to one sold by Meg Andrews.

In a 1794 fashion plate, there is a similar bonnet with blue ribbons and an enormous feather. I don’t rate a feather as John Brown’s maid, or the Continental Army veteran’s wife, but blue ribbons seemed OK. Plus, I had them already.

The bows and the band and the strap don’t match, and my dress isn’t blue, but I think that’s all fine. The most I can say is that I’ve found two extant examples of this bonnet, and the fashion plate, which predates the farm’s interpretive year.

As a striving resident of Providence, Rhode Island’s busy port city, I’d have access to more goods than a Greenville woman. Bristol (where the farm is located) was also a thriving port, and again, boats from Rhode Island are sailing around the world bringing back china, silks, teas, spices, shawls and other goods, as early as 1787.

Now, pass me a boilermaker, please, because I’ll need a drink when the mechanical contractor tells me what the boilermaker will charge for a new Library boiler.


ETA: Aaand there’s this painting, Mme Seriziat, by David, 1795. Click for larger version, but she’s the reasoning behind the choice of blue ribbon.  The placement seemed to agree with the KCI and fashion plate ribbons, and joy! the color was in my ribbon box. I tried to get my ribbon to do what her ribbon is doing, but the bows and loops looked like sad blue silk dog ears– not so nice. So I switched them around to the back, based on the other images.