So, the three bonnets I had finished are an 1853/1854 bonnet, an 1859/1860 bonnet, and an 1864/1865 bonnet, so roughly ten years of time. I made them all to go with particular dresses, but since bonnets were generally multipurpose (they didn't have to be matchy matchy with the dress), I can wear them with other dresses as my wardrobe expands.
The first bonnet I made using Timely Tresses' Lavina Ruth bonnet. I used the round 1840's/1850's shape, since this was supposed to be early in the decade. I recently bought a lovely dress length of yellow and white plaid silk taffeta that I want to make into an 1853/1854 dress (Liendo Plantation was built in 1853 and I would LOVE to demonstrate how fashion changed during the time the Groce family lived there (through 1868 or so). Terri usually wears late 1850's dress, Paula early 1860's, and Billie's dress is about 1864/1865 but no one wears anything pre-hoop. I thought it might be good to demonstrate earlier fashions of the time when the Groce's built the plantation.
I chose to cover it in some gray silk voile I had bought from Fabric Marts a few months prior. The rest of the fabric will be made into a gown (eventually) but I figured I had enough to spare for a bonnet. I chose gray because 1) I had it in my stash and 2) I wanted this bonnet to be fairly neutral just in case I get the bug to do another early dress again. Gray goes with anything and it can also be converted into a 2nd mourning bonnet if I chose to do such an impression. I trimmed it in blue and pink flowers from the Timely Tresses website. I also got the blue moire ribbon from Timely Tresses. As with most 1850's bonnets, most of the decorations are concentrated at the ears.
The next bonnet is the first bonnet I ever had made for me. Well, the straw part was done by one of the lovely ladies at Timely Tresses-it is their Ruby Victoria. But I never have things done for me so it was a real treat. I took some ivory silk I had in my stash and followed the pattern to make a drawn bonnet. So, I had the bonnet partially done for me. I just finished it.
I bought most of the flowers from Timely Tresses at the same time as the bonnet. The ribbon I got from Ebay. It was only 1.5" wide so I zig-zag stitched two pieces together to make a ribbon 3" wide. A little thin for period ribbons, but it matches my trimming and I couldn't find something else that I liked. All my other ribbons on my bonnets are rayon moire and I wanted something different.
I box pleated two layers of fine cotton netting inside the brim. It wasn't quite enough, so after I put in the flowers, I added another layer to make it poof out a little more. I made this bonnet to go with the Greek Key dress, but with the way it is trimmed, it could be worn with many of my 1859-1861 dresses: the rosette dress, peacock dress, etc. and it would look great with any of them.
The 3rd bonnet was also created with a Timely Tresses pattern-the Clara Christine. I made this bonnet specifically to go with the red shot black gown that I wore at the TLHA conference. I wore this bonnet (along with the red shot black day bodice) at Liendo in March. I also got to wear the 1853 bonnet in April.
I had a hard time trimming this bonnet. I needed something that would go with red, but that wasn't blue or white (I didn't want the red/white/blue effect with this particular gown). I covered it in some black silk taffeta from PureSilks that was in my stash (it is due to become a fashionable silk jacket one day). I didn't want it to match the dress so I didn't want to trim it in red. I ended up trimming it in cream and yellow. I think it is rather striking with the black bonnet.