Regency Headwear – Riding bonnet/helmet/?

While working on my recently finished Regency spencer, I also decided I (of course) needed the headdress the lady in my inspirational picture is wearing.

Looking pretty awesome, right?

Starting with a modern wool hat I got on sale from one of the leading fashion stores, I begun my hat making adventure.


Before

I stated by removing the inner stay band and completely soaking the hat in hot water.

Then I used force and even more hot water to shape it in a somewhat oblong shape.Β In short supply of proper hat making equipment you got to use what you got…

When dry the hat had a rough but much better shape then before.Β The brown ribbon is pinned on, to hold the brim in while the hat dried.

The shape after the first round.

Once dry, it was time to cut the shape of the bonnet.Β Roughly drawn markings on where to cut the brim down.

Looks pretty decent, but the brim was still to wavy to work.

So I got to work steaming the brim and shaping it using my hands and a plastic bowl

Much better.

Then I re-stitched the inside stay-ribbon

using orange thread – ops…

Lastly I added some bias cut scraps of the spencers red wool to make the bonnet look even more like the inspiration.

I also remembered (even though it really was in the nick of time) to add some millinery wire to the brim to help it keep its shape. I finished the hole thing of by adding a woolen chokade and a cotton neck tie.

The finished bonnet:

Complete outfit

The facts:

What: a 1805s riding bonnet

Pattern: None,just a re-shaped and cut hat.

Fabric & notions: 1 black wool hat, thread, scraps of red wool and black cotton, 20 cm millinery wire, 1 hook & eye and one gold button.

Time & cost: Not including the time it took to dry, I’d say about 3-4 hours. The only thing I bought anew was ten hat and it cost 35 Sek (3 Usd), the rest is scraps.

Final thoughts: I’m really happy of how it came out, and I think I looks smashing. But I must admit it looks a bit like a combination of a riding helmet and a truckers hat πŸ™‚

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