Sunny Day Bonnet

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By General Crafts Contributor Michelle

Sew a pretty little bonnet for your favorite girl with this simple project.

Here’s what you’ll need to make your own:

To begin, fold your fabric, right sides together, selvage edges together. Measure down 10 inches on the fold, and across 15 inches–cut a 10″ x 15″ rectangle (when you open it out, it will measure 10″ x 30″). Not on the fold, measure out a 20″ x 5″ rectangle, and cut out through the double layer of fabric (you will have two 20″ x 15″ rectangles). Measure a rectangle 2″ x 20″, cut through the double layer of fabric (you will have two 2″ x 20″ strips). Measure a rectangle 1″ x 25″, cut through the double layer of fabric (you will have two 1″ x  25″ strips).

Here are all the pieces you need to assemble the bonnet:

  • One 10″ x 30″ rectangle (Back)
  • Two 20″ x 5″ rectangles (Brim)
  • Two 2″ x 20″ rectangles (Neckties
  • One 1″ x 25″ rectangle (Back Tie)

To begin, with the brim rectangles right sides together, fold the stack in half so the 5-inch sides are all together.

Using your marker, either sketch a curve across the end, or trace a plate, like I did, to give you a nice, even curved edge for your brim.

Cut along the curve you drew, going through all the 4 layers.

Using your brim pieces as a pattern, cut a matching brim piece from either your interfacing, or your stiff fabric.

Stack your brim pieces with the two fabric pieces right sides together, and the interfacing (of stiff fabric) on top of the stack. Iron interfacing to secure.

Sew 1/4-inch away from the edge all around the curve of the brim.

Trim the curve close to the seam.  Turn right side out, press.

Top stitch close the outer edge all along the curve.

Open up the back piece, and iron flat. Turn so the wrong side is facing up at you. Fold a 1/4-inch edge along each 10-inch edge, iron to hold. Then fold that 1/4-inch edge you just made one more time, and iron to hold, so you have a nice, 1/4-inch rolled edge on both of the 10-inch edges of your bonnet back rectangle.

Sew along close to the edge of your rolled edge to hold in place.

Along the 30-inch edge of your bonnet back, working on the wrong side of the fabric, once again fold back and press a 1/4-inch edge. Then, roll that edge one more time, this time about 1/2-inch, and iron–this will form the casing. Stitch in place close to the inner folded edge.

Sew a long, loose basting stitch along the remaining, raw 30-inch side of your bonnet back rectangle. With the right sides together, working along the raw edge of the brim, match and pin the edges and centers of the brim and back pieces.

Gently pull the bobbin thread to gather the edge to fit, and arrange the ruffles so they are even.

Once your the back piece is fit, and the ruffles are even, sew the back piece to the brim.  Trim the seam as needed. Press the seam away from the brim.

Take the two necktie pieces, and sew together across one of the short edges so you have one strip measuring 1″ x 50″. Trim the seam close to the stitching, and iron flat. Fold all of the ties in half across the long way, and press.

Sew 1/4-inch seam clear along the long edge of each necktie, and down across one end. To sew the long, skinny back tie, begin about 1-inch from the middle, and sew down to one end. Then, leave 1-inch from the middle, and sew down to the other end. This will leave you a gap in the very middle (which will be hidden in the final product) to turn the tube out.

Use your turner (or in my case, a pencil) to turn all of the ties out right ways. Press the ties flat.

Top stitch the neck ties, if desired. Stitch together the turning hole in the back tie–I just top stitched it shut, as it won’t show.

Poke the raw ends of the neckties to the inside, press to hold. Then, stitch that end to the inside of the bonnet, where the brim meets the back. Repeat with the second necktie.

Stick your large safety pin through the end of your back tie, and thread the tie through the casing.

Cinch up the tie to form the back, and tie into a bow. This bonnet would probably fit a fairly good size range of children, and most adults, my little girl is 7, but it also fit me fairly well too. If you want a more custom fit, use a fabric measuring tape to measure from the jawline on one side, across the top of the head, to the jawline on the other side, and add a inch. That will give you your bonnet brim long measurement–you’ll have to figure out how deep you want the brim. To get the back rectangle size, take your custom brim measurement, and multiply it by 1.5–this will give you the measurement for the long side of the back rectangle. To figure out the back rectangle width, I suggest measuring from the ear to the back of the head, and adding a couple of inches.

Now tie on your bonnet, and go enjoy the sun!

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