Soft Crown Bonnets 

Here is an assortment of soft crown bonnets I have made. 

More on soft crowns:

Published in: on July 23, 2017 at 10:34 pm  Leave a Comment  

Exploring Soft Crown Bonnets – pt 4

Soft Crown Bonnets – 1864-65

 (Peterson’s, February, 1864)

A Black Velvet Bonnet, with plain front and cap crown, from Mrs. Cripps, 912 Canal street, New York. On the left side is a heavy rosette of black velvet, under which is fastened a magnificent cherry willow feather, which sweeps over the front and down the right side to the bottom of the cape. On the inside are mixed black and white ruches on both sides; on the top is a full white ruche, a rich bow of cherry velvet, with an end on the lower side; on the right is a bunch of black feather flowers. Broad black strings. (Peterson’s, February, 1864)


White corded silk front, with puffed silk crown edged with black velvet ribbon, which is fastened inside the front of the bonnet, is carried to the centre of the crown, where it finishes in a point from which to hang clusters of grapes with foliage. Inside trimming is of tulle, scarlet velvet, and purple grapes.


The front of the bonnet is of quilted gray silk. The crown is soft, and of plain silk crossed with black velvet. Deep blue flowers are arranged on the lower part of the crown, and instead of the curtain are loops of ribbon and lace. The inside trimming is of tulle, black lace, and blue flowers


Bonnet for light mourning. The front is of black silk, with a fall of chenille fringe drooping over the front. The crown and cape are of white silk, trimmed with a chenille fanchon. The inside trimming is white roses, black grass, and white tulle. (Godey’s, October, 1864)



Bonnet of white silk, with puffed front and cap crown. The cape is very short, and raised on the right side it display a rose and bud. A bunch of roses with leaves is placed over the crown. Roses and black velvet with blonde are arranged as an inside trimming. (Godey’s, October, 1864)


SC Godeys Nov 1864



Published in: on March 7, 2014 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Exploring Soft Crown Bonnets – pt3

Soft Crown Bonnets – 1863

La Follet, September, 1863

La Follet, September, 1863

From La Follet, November 1863: “A bonnet, having the front and curtain of black velvet, with soft crown of plaid velvet, blue and green; the curtain lined with white satin. At the front-edge, a catalane of peacocks’ feathers, surrounded with black lace, which is carried en herbes on each side, and tied under the chine over the plaid velvet strings. Torade of green velvet, with peacock’s feathers inside.”

La Follet, November 1863

La Follet, November 1863

La Follet, December 1863

La Follet, December 1863

From The Lady’s What-not,  1863 (a London publication) “A bonnet with a soft crown of violet-colour velvet, and a front of white pique satin, edged with a quilling of violet-colored satin ribbon with a few small feathers at the side mingled white and violet, is extremely pretty; as also are bonnets made of the satin pique of various colours, such as azurine-blue, Russian leather-coloured, and violet. Plush bonnets of the same colours are also making their appearance, and are expected to be held in high esteem when the next winter arrives. Another pretty bonnet is made with a soft corwn in black silk, laid in broad box plaits, a curtain of the same, a front of fine white straw, and a bunch of cornflowers in brilliant blue.”

Published in: on March 6, 2014 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Exploring Soft Crown Bonnets – pt2

Soft Crown Bonnets – 1861-62

Godey's, July 1861

Godey’s, July 1861

Godey's, October 1861

Godey’s, October 1861

Godey's, November 1861

Godey’s, November 1861

Godey's, December 1861

Godey’s, December 1861

SC Sept 1862 Godey

Godey’s, September 1862

SC October 1862 Godeys

Godey’s, October 1862


Published in: on March 5, 2014 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Exploring Soft Crown Bonnets – pt 1

Soft Crown Bonnets – 1858-60

From Grahams, July 1858: “Tuscan bonnets are in great favor, and are generally trimmed with wild flowers and oats, or with a large rose, foliage and buds; sometimes with a tulle trimming, embroidered with jet, and finished with a brown fringe; a brown silk curtain and brown strings. Young ladies wear white crape bonnets, ornamented with ruches and loops of white ribbon, inside; acrss the head there is a bandeau formed of a red rose surrounded with wheat ears and grass. Many bonnets are made of a soft crown of spotted tulle; the edge of pink crape, with blonde falling over the front, and a bouquet of white and pink roses on the left side. A bandeau of the same roses crosses above the forehead, inside of the bonnet.”

SC December 58 Godeys

From Arthur’s Home Magazine, February 1860: “The latest style of bonnet is the soft crown. It is not generally adopted here, but is coming in. It is our province to keep the readers of the Home Magazine apprised of what is the reigning mode, and as nearly as we can – to indicate to them the tendency of the fickle goddess, Fashion.”
From Arthur’s Home Magazine , March 1860: “The plain style of bonnet with soft crown and distinguished in form, is aldo in vogue. It is large and plain in the border all round; but it has a cache of elegance, owing to the flat appearance of the plaited crown.”
Arthur’s Home Magazine , May1860: “The soft crown was of plaits of straw and green silk, alternating. Each ear-ring was of massive gold, in the form of a ring two inches in diameter, like an infinitesimal cart-tire with the outer edge chased.”

From Draper and Clothier, May 1860: “And in the same house, we saw a rice-straw bonnet, with soft crown of plaited tulle. A ruche of mauve ribbon across the front. A bow with rather long ends behind. In the cap, small bunches of lilac all round the face. Wide mauve ribbon strings.”

From Draper and Clothier, June 1860: “A very pretty bonnet has a soft crown of white crape, covered with black spotted tulle, and the front consisting of plain white straw. The trimming, on the outside, is a tuft of red rosebuds, in the inside of the trimming consists of a demi-bandeaux formed of loops of black ribbon, finished at the each end by tufts of rosebuds like those on the outside of each bonnet.”

Published in: on March 4, 2014 at 6:00 pm  Comments (1)  

Soft Crown Straw Bonnets

(Okay, I’ll add text later.)

















Published in: on March 15, 2014 at 2:36 pm  Comments (2)  

Tonight’s Millinery: Green Softcrown Bonnet

Here is the first of the two softcrown bonnets displayed at the Genesee Country Village and Museum. I know many people have anxiously been awaiting these.

This softcrown bonnet is handsewn with a mossy green straw plait. The crown and bavolte are a beautiful green, golden brown, and deep purple plaid silk taffeta lined with cotton net. Pulling from the purple in the silk, I chose a deep plum double faced satin ribbon. Inside is a vintage cotton net frill and vintage blooms.

Find this bonnet in my Etsy shop.

Published in: on July 30, 2018 at 6:38 pm  Comments (3)  

Millinery in Process – Fancy Plait Soft Crown

What happens when I find an Amazing artisan crafted fancy straw plait? I make a soft crown bonnet of course.

This straw is fabulous to work with. The straw artist calls this a “batwing” plait. It is a modern name, while the design is very suitable to historic millinery. It is such a pretty color too.

Originally, I was going to make the crown and bavolet in an ivory windowpane taffeta. But, it seems I imagined that silk into my stash. Instead, I find this pretty blue and yellow plaid to compliment the straw nicely. The colors are light enough to not over power the straw.


I’ll add photos as I work. (around nursing a recovering feline assistant.) When finished, it will be available in my Etsy shop.

In the meantime, here are a few of the soft crown bonnets I previously made.

Want to know more about soft crowns? Here are a few previous posts.

Published in: on April 14, 2016 at 7:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Spring Break Bonnets

I’ve been busy sewing away this “spring break”. (Spring break in quotes because it does not seem spring like out side and does not seem break like inside.)

The first of the week found a new home over the weekend. It is a soft blonde straw made up with a low brim and gently rising crown.??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????

??????????????????????????????? This natural straw plait form wraps up the 1850s with a round brim and cheektabs that curve backward. The crown rises gently from a flat tip. Available on Etsy:??????????????????????????????? ???????????????????????????????
This one isn’t quite dry yet. It is right on that turn into 1860 with a low, round brim and cheektabs that curve in rather than back. Available on Etsy:



Lastly, well lastly for now, is this later Victorian shape that has been stuck in my head for several nights. Available on Etsy:



Published in: on March 31, 2015 at 3:01 pm  Comments (3)  

Bonnets of April 1859

“In bonnets, chip, crinoline, crape, and straw are used singly and in combination. On the street, Leghorn and the plainer straws have made their appearance. The Leghorns are exquisitely fine, and trimmed in a variety of ways. Ribbons approaching the straw color are much used, mixed with blue corn-flowers, to give the desired contrast; sprays of grass, black and maize-colored wheatears, laburnum, acacia, etc etc. For young ladies, wreaths of a single flower, as roses, the daisy, the violet, are used upon chip, crinoline, and all the purer straws. A violet crape bonnet with wreaths of purple azalias—a bonnet of chip, with a soft crown of blonde and thulle, and cordons of Chinese Westeria—bonnet of white crape and blonde, with blue marabouts, twisted towards the curtain; plaiting or torsades of blue crape, lightened with marabouts inside the brim; strings of blue ribbon and thulle lappets. We give one or two styles that will illustrate the trimmings referred to.” (Godey’s Lady’s Book, April 1859)

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Published in: on February 9, 2015 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment