Sunday, June 1, 2014

Historical Sew Fortnightly - Challenge #10 Art

I think everything in life is art.
Helena Bonham Carter
What It Is:  Edouard Manet, Spring, Paris - Bonnet 
The Challenge:  Art
Fabric:  Silk dupioni, buckram, flannel
Pattern:  Truly Victorian T551 1880's French Bonnet Frame
Year:  1881
Notions:  Millinery wire, millinery thread, French elastic, net lace, satin ribbon, ribbon flowers, feather flower
How historically accurate is it?  Very.  Completely hand sewn and most of the flowers are hand made.
Hours to complete?  8 hours
First Worn:  No plans yet.  I'm just going to let it stay in the sewing room where I can enjoy it.
Total Cost:  Difficult to estimate with all the many millinery supplies, but I estimate under $40.
Edouard Manet created Spring or Study of Jeanne Demarsy in Paris in 1881.  I imagine that there was a Jeanne wearing this beautiful bonnet and my hope was to try to make one that she would love if she were here today.
To recreate this bonnet for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge - Art, I used the Truly Victorian 1880s French Bonnet Frame pattern.
The pattern has multiple options for peaked  or turned-up brim, narrow or wide brim, and tall or short sideband.  For this bonnet I chose the narrow, turned-up brim with short sideband.  These are all the pieces cut from both fabric and buckram and ready for assembly.
All the millinery wire is hand sewn because of the curves of this bonnet and then French elastic covers all the wired edges.  I use flannel to cover the sideband and crown tip to add extra smoothness to those parts.  The fabric is also hand sewn because of the curves.
Even though I'm careful as I sew, the curves make it difficult to get the fabric perfect but all the pretty decorations will hide the flaws.  This is the finished hat before decorating.

Some of the flowers I used on this bonnet are explained in these facebook albums:
This is my finished bonnet recreating Manet's Spring.  (Please click on any of the photos and it will take you to a larger version.)

With love,


  1. Replies
    1. Thank you, Kura! I love this style too. I made this pattern once before in the tall crown, wide brim, peaked bonnet and it was also a wonderful style.