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  • Writer's pictureVintage Pattern Girl

In My Easter Bonnet

I wanted to give a shout out to a fellow independent pattern maker, Lynn McMasters, for creating this ‘Late Edwardian Early Teens Small Hats and Toques for Time Period 1909-1916’ pattern. Check out her website for an outstanding collection of period hats.

I saw this pattern on-line and had to have it. I decided to make View A as I had an abundance of white linen for the base and even more vintage black soutache trim. It helped that I'm a fan of Edwardian fashion and it reminded me of the hat Rose's mother wore in the movie Titanic. There’s something about the dark trim against the white brim that sold me. And I'm glad I attempted this with absolutely NO millinery experience.

Not sure how historically accurate this is.  Research shows hats of this style were certainly worn, however, using the recommended fusible facing would not have been.  I instead opted for layers of crinoline basted together, which may have been more historically accurate, but detracted from the overall stiff look. More about that later.....

I enjoyed working with the soutache. It’s a bit of a puzzle to get it to match from start to finish, but I love the slow-sewing process. So relaxing. I hope to have a tutorial up for applying the soutache soon.

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.

Now on to my 'more about that later'....

When the hat was done, I sent photos to Lynn so she could post them to show what a novice made with her pattern. I also told her about my fiddling with crinoline, hat wire crisis, and my not thinking it looked like the pattern envelope. Aren't we our worst critics? She was able to troubleshoot issues just by looking at the photos - what a fabulous teacher (via email). I was impressed with her knowledge and willingness to share her expertise. I would certainly recommend her patterns.

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