Well, not exactly a bonnet and a little late for Easter, but I like it just the same. I purchased the following pattern ‘Late Edwardian Early Teens Small Hats and Toques for Time Period 1909-1916’ by Lynn McMasters. Check out her website for an outstanding collection of period hats.
March Challenge – Protection (okay, so it’s pretty, too). I went with a hat – specifically View A as I had lovely white linen for the base and lots of vintage black soutache trim. There’s something about the dark trim against the light brim that sold me.
Pattern: Lynn McMasters Late Edwardian/Early Teens Small Hats & Toques
Year: 1909 – 1916
Notions: Made of white linen exterior, black linen and silk for lining, and embellished with vintage soutache braid. Other notions include hat wire, crinoline (lots), a jewelry pin and a dyed egret feather.
Historically Accurate: Not sure how accurate this is. Research shows hats of this style were certainly worn, however, using the recommendation for fusible facings would not have been. I instead opted for layers of crinoline basted together, which may have been more historically accurate, but may have detracted from the overall stiff look.
I discovered interesting history while researching this hat, especially when making the Aigrette for the embellishment. The term aigrette (pronounced: [ɛɡrɛt]; from the French for egret, or lesser white heron) refers to the tufted crest or head-plumes of the egret, used for adorning a headdress. The word may also identify any similar ornament, in gems (thank you Wikipedia).
Extravagant feather plumes were all the rage from the late 1800s through the teens, so much so that many beautiful birds were slaughtered for the sake of beauty, and the Egret was almost driven to extinction. It’s nice to know our ancestors knew to be outraged and the practice did eventually stop.
Hours to Complete: Too many to calculate. I’m sure it would have been easier if I just followed the directions and certainly faster had I used a lace panel applique rather than hand applied soutache – ah, such is art.
I enjoyed working with the soutache. It’s like a puzzle to get it all matching from start to finish but I love the process. I’ve worked with soutache before so if you’d like to learn my technique, click here: