Baby Bonnet

I am a sucker for all things vintage. While most people haven’t considered bonnets a necessity since about 1932, I would beg to differ. As a practical garment the bonnet keeps my baby’s head shaded, but unlike bulkier hats she is more likely to keep it on. Most importantly, have you seen how adorable it is?

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This was a fun project. It was fairly quick and straightforward, but involved some hand stitching which I rarely get to do. I even got the chance to use these rosettes and lace which I’ve been saving for years.

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I started off by drafting a pattern based on a few measurements of my daughter’s head. The bonnet consists of sides and a top band and is lined with identical pieces. I also drew on the leaves and placement for the roses so that I could transfer that to each exterior side piece.

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Usually I don’t trace my pattern pieces onto my fabric, but in this case I did so that I could embroider it beforehand. I needed enough extra fabric surrounding the pieces in order for the embroidery hoop to have something to hold onto. You could use any light to medium weight woven cotton for a project like this. I chose a solid colored cotton so that I could add my own decorations.

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I used a hoop to keep my fabric taut for the embroidery, and a needle with a large eye for my choice of thread.

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I used this leave embroidery stitch which is simple and produces a lovely result with each thread crossing over the next.

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To attach the rosettes I lined them up with my placement markings and stitched them on, being sure that my stitches weren’t visible from the outside.

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Here’s what it looks like from the inside. Nothing pretty, but it’s ultimately covered by a lining anyway. Once the embroidery and appliques were done I sewed the side and center pieces together.

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To apply the lace, I basted it to the outside first. Then, with the exterior layer on top of the lining, I stitched over the basted stitch. This way the gathers stay nice and even.

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I also added an understitch on the lining so that the front edge will stay nice and crisp.

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To finish off the bottom edge, I used a strip of fabric that was both a binding and ties. It is 1″ wide and folded on itself so that it finishes at 1/4″. In this photo you can see the second pass after I’ve stitched it on the other side then folded it to the front.

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Also, you’ll notice that there is a little section of gathering under her ear. This helps the bonnet curve to her head and fit properly. I was guessing on the amount of gather that would be appropriate and you can see that my first attempt wasn’t quite enough. So, I took off the binding and gathered it a bit more.

And there she is! I love putting this bonnet on my baby girl. She’s growing so fast. She wears it as often as possible, no need for an occasion.

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