I’ve not ventured too much into Regency bonnets, or into straw, but I did flirt with a 1794 bonnet. Now I’ve got hats on the brain, and the time to fully indulge my whimsy (though it runs out Sunday).
From the fashion plates, one would almost say, Anything Goes. Of course it doesn’t, really, but you can get a sense of the exuberance of bonnet trimmings in the illustrations, and the lavish use of ribbons, bows, feathers and flowers.
Not all straw bonnets were lined– in fact, they often weren’t– but the lining protects the straw and the wearer’s face, and finishes this off in a way I like. Pleating in my condition was, ah, challenging, but I figure it was good for my brain to have the exercise. The lining in the brim is white taffeta, but I used white linen in the main crown or tip portion of the bonnet. Instead of bagging the lining, or trying to fit it, I mimicked what Mr B does in the hats he’s made for us. The gathered linen closes with a drawstring and required slightly less effort to fit into the hat.
The velvet ribbons came from Lunarain Designs on Etsy, the ties are taffeta ribbon from Taylor’s Etsy shop, and the straw bonnet form came from Regency Austentation. While the finish work takes time and concentration, I do enjoy both making up and trimming bonnets, and look forward to several more.