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How to Make Victorian Bonnets

Updated April 17, 2017

Victorian bonnets are fancy hats that women wore during the Victorian era. Most of these bonnets come with a big ribbon tied under the chin and flowers or feathers on top as decorations. Today, Victorian bonnets are mostly used for costume parties, and you can make one for your costume instead of purchasing one. Making a Victorian bonnet is easy with the right materials and instructions.

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  1. Copy the Victorian bonnet hat pattern on the buckram using a fabric marker. Also mark the felt fabric with the same pattern. The bonnet pattern can be found on the Internet. You can print it out on paper and use it as a pattern.

  2. Cut the buckram and the felt fabric by following the markings you made from the bonnet pattern. Cut it as exact as possible. Set the cut felt fabric aside.

  3. Close up both ends of the buckram by pinning it with the fabric pins to secure it in place. Make sure it is pinned well so you do not have a hard time sewing it.

  4. Sew the cut buckram together to close up both ends. You can use a simple running stitch to close it, but it will be best to stitch it twice for sturdiness. Remove the fabric pins once everything has been sewn into place.

  5. Wear the disposable gloves and, using your gloved hand, wipe rugby over the top of the sewn buckram. The rugby is the adhesive for the felt fabric. It is best to use your hands for applying the rugby so it can be spread evenly. Expose the buckram with the rugby under direct sunlight or in front of an electric fan for one hour so it can become half dried. Rugby becomes stickier and does not easily detach if you wait for it to become half dried first.

  6. Carefully stick the felt fabric onto the top of the buckram. Start with the edge so that it can be placed evenly. Run your hands over the felt fabric to secure the felt in place.

  7. Drape the ribbon on the centre of the Victorian bonnet and arrange it so the ends will be aligned on the portion where the bonnet covers the ears. Hold it in place with fabric pins. Sew the ribbon on the middle portion of the bonnet. The centre of the ribbon should be sewn on the centre of the bonnet so the ends of the ribbon will also be even. Also make sure the ribbon is long enough so it can be tied under the chin.

  8. Sew laces on the edge of the Victorian bonnet. You can also add flowers or other designs as decorations.

  9. Tip

    It is best to sew the decorations so they do not fall off easily.

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Things You'll Need

  • Bonnet hat pattern
  • Buckram
  • Fabric marker
  • Felt fabric
  • Scissors
  • Fabric pins
  • Sewing kit
  • Disposable gloves
  • Rugby
  • Ribbon
  • Laces

About the Author

Cindy Paterson

Based in Santa Rosa, Calif., Cindy Paterson has been writing articles on travel and lifestyle since 1991. Her work has appeared on ForbesTraveler.com and MSNBC.com. Paterson holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in creative writing from Columbia University in New York.

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