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Friday, May 25, 2012

New Bonnet-tall silk regency plum hat

Here is a new bonnet for a client going to a Regency event. My client requested a tall bonnet in a deep purple shade. This piece is hand sewn from theatrical buckram. The outer silk taffeta is a deep purple shade, and lined in green silk taffeta. My client liked a chartreuse feather on a previous hat, and requested the same for her piece. I ordered the feathers and was surprised at how small and feeble the plumes were. I could not find a good ostrich plume in the shade or size required by this bonnet's proportions. I decided I would make my own using antique dye from the 1920s. I tried to dye it with an ombre type effect to make the plume seem more aged-as many antique plumes were treated back in the day.
This one is a deep green chartreuse at the base which graduates to a more golden green at the top.

It is hand curled and shaped.

I prefer to use antique trim and ribbons when possible. I think it adds a more unique element and links the piece to the past. Many trims are not sturdy enough for clothing use. They are better suited to millinery work, which is not stressed through body movements.

These antique silk tassels are really unique, I can't figure out how they were made with that spiral effect.

This antique silk ribbon is in wonderful condition. The piece was just big enough to form into a bow. I added a dainty metal lace trim to the center. Woven in golden green and olive green shades, it ties in with the feather.

The front of the bonnet has a vintage millinery violet spray in rich purple velvet. I inserted it into an antique metal lace rosette. Vintage gold millinery spray dangles and antique metal lace trim hang below.

The purple and silvery ribbon piece behind it is also antique.

Antique metal trim is layered over green silk satin ribbon at the center. The ties are new silk, which is usually a better choice for the wear encountered with tying and untying.
The brim is finished with hand sewn bias binding in the same silk taffeta.

There are little bias tape makers from Clover which help hold the bias to be ironed. This is very helpful when trying to match fabrics to bias. Modern bias is usually a poly blend, which is not appropriate for this type of hat making.
I am thinking of making some more feathers in unique shades...I will share when I get a chance to get some made.


  1. This bonnet is so beautiful! Where on earth do you find these amazing vintage trims? And kudos on dying your own feather- the result is stunning!

  2. Thank you, I buy and sell antique trim and lace on ebay. I keep some of the smaller pieces for use in millinery work.