Quilted Winter Hood

I have decided to share select pieces from my winter hood/bonnet collection. Every few days, I will post a new piece. My collection currently spans most of the 19th century, though lightly at the very beginning and end. The pieces I share will be from the early and mid-Victorian eras, roughly 1830s through the 1870s. All but one of my pieces originate from the United States.

Today’s piece is an adult size hood.  The exterior fashion fabric is a black taffeta with a satin weave dot. It was received with the brim folded back. Black lace is attached to the edge of the brim. I will examine this process closer. Notice how the pieces for this and its overall shape differ from the previous two, making it a winter hood as apposed to bonnet.

The exterior appears to be constructed of two pieces – a single brim, crown, and sides of the bavolet, with a trapazoidal piece for the back of the bavolet. I will look closer at this when I sit down with the piece. The back is gathered where the bavolet meets the crown.

Close-up of the fabric:

Close-up of the lace:

The interior uses a shot silk and a polished cotton. The silk has shaed of gold, green, and purple depending on how the light hits it and where the soiling is. The diamond quilting is only through the silk and batting. The rectangle placed on the lower part of the brim may be a patch as the opposite side has a different shaped piece of polished cotton.

Note 1 – Additional Winter Millinery can be found in posts from September though November, 2019 using the search term: Winter Millinery Series or clicking here.

Published in: on October 9, 2019 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Child’s Corded Winter Hood

I have decided to share select pieces from my winter hood/bonnet collection. Every few days, I will post a new piece. My collection currently spans most of the 19th century, though lightly at the very beginning and end. The pieces I share will be from the early and mid-Victorian eras, roughly 1830s through the 1870s. All but one of my pieces originate from the United States.

Today’s winter hood is a child’s size, ca 1840s-1880s. The exterior is a solid brown wool. The exterior is quilted with sets of three narrow rows. These narrow channels may have cording in them, tbd. The seam between the crown and brim is piped. The seam connecting the crown and bavolet may have the cord applied on top. I need to look closer. The brim folds back to show a plaid which is constructed from ribbon.

This may also be made from two pieces – a single brim and bavolet, with a crown piece. I need to look closer to see if I can find a seam connecting the bavolet to the brim, because I did not see one at first looks.

Notice there is no easily visable seam along the bavolet area. It may be skillfully hidden in the quilting. Or, there may not be one.

The interior is made with two solid fabrics, tbd. The whole of the brim and bavolet are lined with the pieced plaid silk ribbon.

I am pointing to the only seam along the bavolet I’ve found. This is nearly center back. (there is a bias piecing seam towards the front.)


Note 1 – Additional Winter Millinery can be found in posts from September though November, 2019 using the search term: Winter Millinery Series or clicking here.

Published in: on October 2, 2019 at 6:00 am  Leave a Comment  

Quilted Winter Bonnet

I have decided to share select pieces from my winter hood/bonnet collection. Every few days, I will post a new piece. My collection currently spans most of the 19th century, though lightly at the very beginning and end. The pieces I share will be from the early and mid-Victorian eras, roughly 1830s through the 1870s. All but one of my pieces originate from the United States.

This adult size winter bonnet is a quilted piece, ca. 1840s-1870s. The exterior is a brown silk which has some staining. The interior is a cotton in a slightly lighter shade of brown on the brim and bavolet, while the crown has a darker polished cotton. The batting is not visible at any point, leaving it undetermined, likely a wool.

The bonnet is constructed of three main pieces, typical of many winter hoods of this era. These pieces include the crown, brim, and bavolet. The brim was cut on the bias, while the bavolet was cut on the grain. The shape and construction could classify this as a winter bonnet rather than a hood.

The quilting is is by hand with a running stitch. The front most edge around the brim having a narrower and slightly thicker section. The quilted rows appear to be done by eye rather than being fully traced out. This can be seen in the cheek area (below) as the rows curve and narrow imperfectly.

There is evidence that this piece was either made from fabric taken from a previous garment or the quilting was redone. In this photo you can faintly see the holes from former threads.

The gathered seam along top of the bavolet where it meets the crown.

The interior seams are treated in multiple ways. The neck edge where the bavolet is gathered to a gathered crown, the seam is covered with a darker fabric. This may or may not have been a later addition/change. Often this neckline has a channel for drawstring to assist with fit. The seam where the bavolet meets the brim is turned under. The seam where the brim and crown meet was trimmed and overcast


Note 1 – Additional Winter Millinery can be found in posts from September though November, 2019 using the search term: Winter Millinery Series or clicking here.

Published in: on September 25, 2019 at 6:00 pm  Leave a Comment  

Newest Hoods

Now that all of December’s hoods have made it to their owners, I can share photos. Though, I do have to wait for the youngest to let her mom and dad put her hood on her and get her photo taken.

Published in: on January 2, 2012 at 9:48 am  Comments (1)  

Quilted Hood Pattern Update

Thank you for the wonderful response to the release of my Quilted Hood Pattern. I have been floored, completely floored, by the level of interest. I didn’t expect the stock to run out so quickly, then run out again in days over Thanksgiving. You are all amazing.

As of this morning, I’ve asked my printer for a larger run which he will have available Friday. I put the Etsy listing back up so people won’t get nervous or think they are completely gone. Check here to order.

My Chocolate Hood

One would think with all the other hoods I’ve been making, I would have made one for myself before now. Nope. Not ’til now.

My hood is a chocolate silk taffeta purchased last year. The lining is this great red polished cotton with paisley motifs. It is quilted with a simple double line and curved chain, which I’m sure has a real name in the quilting world. The brim is trimmed with a wonderfully soft mink. (Huge Thanks to Gail for the lining and fur)

Here is the hood pre-fur. You can see the quilting here a bit better. This vertical diagonal is achieved when the quilting runs directly across the crown. A shallower, more horizontal angle is achieved with quilting directly front to back.

Here is a look at the great lining fabric. The quilting looks really great against this red. One thing I did learn though – my machine really hates polished cotton. It just doesn’t like to move it along with the feet, even with the walking foot. Polished cotton will be hand-quilted from now on.


If there is a video at the end of this post, it is an advertisement. My apologies for the inconvenience.

Published in: on October 6, 2011 at 8:33 am  Comments (3)  

Update on the Hood Pattern

2 New Updates!

I have just a bit more left to do with the images. Then I’ll be ready to take the pattern to the printer. Availability could be as early as next week. Look for a Pre-Order Announcement. 

I also have the printer estimates which means a price estimate. Based on the printing costs it looks like the pattern will be  $12.60 plus shipping. This price may adjust that again once the printer has the materials.


Thank you to the many of you who voiced an interest in having my hood pattern available.

I am focusing this week on getting the text, illustrations and pattern pieces in a publishable state. My goal is to have it available for those who will want to make a hood for this winter. Fingers crossed there since this is both a matter of preparation and funds for publication.

I would also like to pull together the hood workshop some of us discussed.

For the published pattern, here is what I have in mind:

  • Pattern pieces for an adult hood in two depths (I was going to include the child’s hood but am having difficulty fitting that.)
  • Directions that are short and easy to understand using a combination of illustations and photos, including information on quilting.
  • An explanation of this type of quilted hood along with observations of extant hoods.
  • Tips on a successful hood in terms of materials and techniques.
  • Passages from Godey’s, Peterson’s, etc regarding quilted hoods and bonnets.
  • Ideas for how to trim your hood based on originals and extant hoods.
  • I’m hoping for a price point between $10 and $15, which will be based on what my print shop can do for me. (they are great.)



If there is a video at the end of this post, it is an advertisement. My apologies for the inconvenience.

How I Made the Hood Veil

Many people have asked about the veil I made for the hood last week. I’m happy to share. But first I must say the person who has done the research along with the trial and error on veils is Bevin Lynn. She’s done a good deal of research and working with different shapes, materials and colors. I keep waiting and hoping that she will put all of her great work into an article. But, now she has herself incredibly busy. So, we shall see.

In the meantime…..

The veil I made was a request from a client to go with her black taffeta winter hood. She wanted both some sun/glare protection for her eyes and face protection from the cold winter wind.

This black silk hood is edged with black velvet and is draped with a veil. Commission/Sold

I used the 3mm silk gauze from Dharma which Bevin determined to work nicely. I chose black. They have a white which can be dyed. Bevin determined plain white actually makes the sun glare worse. Dharma’s gauze comes 45″ wide. The selvage is there but barely so, therefore usable. I do not know if there is a comparable net to originals at an affordable price.

For this veil I went back and forth deciding between a simple rectangle or the semi-oval/fruit wedge shape. Since I had not worked with this incredibly fine gauze before, I opted for hemming the straight lines for the rectangle. (The hemming wasn’t bad at all. So, the curve should be quite doable.) I cut the gauze in half to get a piece 36″ by 22.5″ giving a veil approx 35″ by 21″, which is in the realm of the original sizes I looked at online. One tip for working with this gauze, this slippery gauze – find your cutting line and draw out a thread from the weave. This is easy enough to do slowly and gently. The drawn thread will provide a cutting line when laid against a contrasting surface.
I do not have the skill to do the incredibly beautiful lace work on the edge. I used a simple rolled hem, which I rolled over three times rather than twice. The hem is about 1/8th of an inch wide. I tend to use a technique where I dampen the edge of fine fabric for a hand-rolled hem. Liz has a technique where she presses the first turn, trims it and uses a stitch to grab the edge and draw it into the hem.(I’ll grab that link when I re-find it.) The gauze did hem nicely to the point where I stopped dampening the silk because it turned quite nicely without much fraying. This hem went on both sides and the bottom edge.
For the top, which is where I put the selvage, I turned under a half inch hem with enough space to draw a cord through. On either end of the cord, I made a loop. I was really guessing here since I didn’t want to bug Bevin on her way to Zoar. Another option would have been to gather the veil onto a ribbon (example). I wanted my client to have the flexiblity of moving the veil to her other bonnets or hood as she needed, making the flexiblity of the drawn cord a better option.
The veil is simply drawn up on the cord, centered on the hood and pinned in place.


Published in: on September 27, 2011 at 8:51 am  Leave a Comment  
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A Story of A Hood

I came across this passage in Peterson’s that I just had to share. Not only does it talk about a type of hood, it says a bit about society and fashion in a small town. The article is called “A Story About Peterson’s” by “A Minister’s Wife”, from the November, 1862 edition.

“Rigolettes, as they are called, were not in fashion: that is, they had not penetrated to Woodstock, there being as I have hinted, only one Peterson in the place, and that was mine. When the women did not wear their best, they generally came out in homely cape-bonnets, which, if they were plain, did not improve their looks, and, if they were pretty, almost deformed them. I saw a beautiful pattern in Peterson, and, as I always considered it a duty to look as well as I could, I forthwith devoted my spare time to manufacturing one of the aforesaid rigolettes. (By-the-way, that isn’t a pretty name for them.) I knit it in plain colors, blue and drab, I believe, and, when it was finished, it was really an exquisite thing, at once convenient and becoming.

“What! Are you going  to dare wear that to the prayer-meeting?” asked Ward, after he admired it sufficiently to suit even my fastidious taste.

“To be sure I am. What could possibly be neater?” was my reply.

“Nothing – if you are prepared to be victimized. It is new, and the Woodstockers resent every innovation. Besides, you look so provokingly pretty, that they will be jealous, even of the minister’s wife!”

“Let them say and think what they please,” was my rejoinder. “I shall not care. When I put my dress on, whatever it is, there is and end of it – it never enters my mind again. If they are weak-minded enough to allow distracting thoughts of any kind to disturb them in such a place, that is their fault, not mine. To be sure, I shall wear my new, pet head-gear.” And I did. Some were foolish enough to stare – no doubt others made invidious remarks, but it did not vex me in the least.

The next day, pretty Annette Sawyer, one of the sweetest girls in the church, came over to the parsonage.

“I must see that beautiful hood, – no, not exactly hood – you wore last night, “ she said, after her good-morning kiss. I brought it for her inspection. She tried it on, and had enough human nature to be pleased with the sweet pink and white face, whose freshness was enhanced by the rich shades of the rigolette.

“It’s just the thing. Where did you get it? If I only had the pattern, I’d make one right off. Haven’t you the pattern?”

“My dear, I paid two dollars for the privilege of using it.” I said, quietly.

“You did? Oh! Dear me; then I can’t have one!”

“Oh! yes, you can. Come over here with your materials, and I’ll show you all about it.”

“Thank you – how kind you are! the best minister’s wife I ever saw.” I knew by the emphasis on the I, that she had heard some disparaging remarks about me, but forbore to question her. She was a constant visitor for the next week, and there were soon two rigolettes to be seen in Woodstock. From that time they multiplied. Cape-bonnets were discarded in summer; and in winter, pumpkin hoods were replaced by warm, thick, but lighter and more convenient wool.


Published in: on September 27, 2011 at 6:05 am  Leave a Comment  

Hood Observations

I should say quilted hood observations focusing on those which are shaped to resemble bonnets as there are so many kinds of winter hoods from the mid-century. You can find soft hoods which drape the head and shoulders, fluffly soft hoods which wrap around the head, shaped hoods which look similar to bonnets, those which are moderately shaped to cover the head and shoulders, and a multitude of combinations. Right now, I’m just looking at those which are shaped like a bonnet. (Yes, forcing myself to focus.)

Lets start with lining. I assumed incorrectly that I would see the majority of the interiors done in silk. As it turns out the vast majority of the linings are cottons. Some are solids, others are prints. Some are polished cottons, others are un-polished.  Here you can see the brown polished cotton on the interior:

Image A - From "The Graceful Lady" site - A black velvet hood trimmed in fur with a polished cotton interior and black silk facing.



The shape of quilted hoods seems to range from mimicing the shape of bonnets right down to the shape of the cheek tabs to roughly suggesting a bonnet shape, more following the shape of the head in order to hug it with widened or shallowed cheek tabs. This green hood from MFA has rather distinctive cheek tabs. This quilted hood has a roughly follows the lines of a bonnet with a shallower brim, fitting closer to the face and cheektabs which are wider:

Image B - From "The Graceful Lady" site - Silk quilted hood with a bonnet-like shape which fits closer to the shape of the head. The turn back is of an accent fabric, as is the piping and binding.

The tips found in extant bonnets include both circular and those with flat bottoms. Someone also shared with me an ‘ugly’ style hood with a tear-drop shape tip.) Image B, above is an example of a tip with a flat bottom to which the bavolet attaches directly. This black silk bonnet from the MET collection is an example of a circular tip.

The bavolets, or curtains, are most often quilted though at times with a lesser fullness or thickness than the body of the hood. The shapes appear to include both straight pieces gathered to fit the neckline as well as curved pieces shaped to the neckline. The fronts of the bavolets appear in hoods both in attached and not attached states. The bavolet in image B is unattached, while those in image A, the green MFA hood and the black MET hood are all attached to the cheek tabs.


Exterior materials appearing in extant hoods include a variety of weaves of silks, velvets and light weight wools. I have heard word of cotton hoods as well, but have yet to see them in person. The silks include very fine silks to those that may have been considered inferior at the time with varigation in the dye and fiber/thread thickness. Some are woven stripes using taffeta, twill and satin weaves (Image B is a woven stripe). Some are printed fabrics including stripes and floral-stripes. Plaids are also seen. The exterior material is seen both set on the grain and on the bias. I have yet to determine which is more frequent and whether an angle or direction of the bias stripes or plaids is more common than other placements.


Extant hoods show a number of trims including fabric trims, fur and feathers. In this hood, the facing and possibly the lining is an accent silk set on the bias and turned out acting as a trim. On the green hood from the MFA collection  we see a complimenting, nearly same colored fabric being used as a pleated trim around the brim and bavolet. On the black silk MET hood we see a self fabric trim pleated and placed around the brim, bavolet and tip. This hood also demonstrates the placement of ribbons. On this hood we see where the fur or down trim had encompassed the brim:

Image C - from Ebay - Black silk hood trimmed in fur or down. (currently for sale as of posting)

Wadding and Structure

Inside the hoods, the wadding has included cotton, wool and down. In the above image C, you can see some of the wadding revealed. Thicknesses seem to range from under a half inch to almost an inch. (The hoods known as ‘uglies’ are much thicker.) Whether this thickness has compacted over time is unknown.

The extant hoods I’ve looked at thus far have included those which are completely soft with no structure and this with structure in the brim or tip. The green hood from the MFA collection  is caned through the brim giving the brim support. A hood in the Greene collection at GCVM has a woven straw in the tip for support.

Some of the hoods are assembled with piping, same fabric and contrasting/complimenting, others are seen without piping. The same can be said for binding along the brim and bavolet.

Additional Links

This appears to be a black silk hood with a white or off white cotton interior. (who’s hood this was)

This little one is likly a child’s or doll’s.

Published in: on September 14, 2011 at 8:45 am  Comments (1)