What a fun start on the summer holidays, of course I get sick, while we were out just Peter and me on a romantic trip to his family’s summerhouse… so what did I do? I was stationed in the sofa and was sooooo bored, until I found the miniseries Jane Eyre on youtube, the 2006 one being the first version of the story I ever came across, and it is still the best version in my opinion. I don’t know how true it is to the book though, since I haven’t read it yet, but maybe I should…
Anyways, this kicked my sleeping idea of a late 1830-40’s assemble I have had in the back of my mind for a while, and have the fabric for at home. The first thing I was really excited to try out was making a bonnet, which I have never done before, not from scratch that is. So as soon as we got home again I started fiddling with a pattern. I am in love with the crazily cuteness of the styles of the 1830’s era, but I don’t like the transitional 1835-40ischy bonnets, or they are funny in one way, but I think they are looking like spoons, they don’t centre the face in the flattering way I feel the later bonnets do, so I decided to go for a later model, more common to be found in the 1840’s.
|What I would call spoony... not so flattering, but I do love the rest of the outfit!|
Then came the decision of the rest of the design, what colour should I pick? If you look at fashion plates from the time one colour seems to be very often used – yellow. It is a colour I adore, it is so happy, so I didn’t think twice about making me a bright yellow bonnet!
And I am so in love with the yellow bonnet Euphemia White Van Rensselaer is wearing in this portrait, simple and beautiful.
So, bright yellow silk for the outside, and creamy white cotton-satin on the inside, for my bonnet was the idea. Now afterwards I think I should have put the yellow silk on the inside as well, but oh well, there are other things I think I should have done differently too now, but I see it as learning until next time, I did it as I said earlier as a total experiment, I had no clue of how to actually make one, still don’t.
But I started out with some sort of buckram, but according to the woman I bought it from it was not buckram.. so I don’t know what it is, but some sort of quite hard net, feels plastic to the touch but is some sort of waxed thread. I have seen other people use something like it to make hats so I thought it would do. Then I sewed on a piece of aluminium thread along the outer edge so that when the bonnet is done I can change the front in which style I please. I know aluminium thread sucks, really, but it doesn’t rust and it shapes easily, too easily really, but I don’t know what else to use since I don’t know what millinery wire is in Swedish, nor where to buy it.. so, aluminium it is! Works better than nothing. Afterwards, to stabilise the aluminium thread and smoothen out the edges, and make a gripping ground for sewing on the outer layer I sewed on bias tape. This was the only thing sewn on the machine, ant then I sewed the cotton-satin lining together also. But everything else is done by hand.
Around this point I realised that I had made the neckline to low, I should have made it higher in the back so that the neckline didn’t lay towards the neck, but instead the lower head and by that I would have been able to wear a low ponytail or bun under the bonnet and not only inside. But I was so irritated about the previous matter and determined to make it anyways so I continued with dressing it in the outer fabrics and decided to sew on the back flounce higher and by that disguising my error.
And the last thing to do was the final decoration, which turned it in to this: (beautiful Peter demonstrating how it looks on)
Finally I will try to find some kind of buttons or so in yellow preferably to sew on upon the white organza ribbons on the sides, but for now it is finished. Even if I would have wanted it to be yellow on the inside brim also, this was a nice saving with the lace.