Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Widow's Weeds - Bonnet & Veil

I was just so pleased with the bonnet project! My friend Bridget led me to Just Two Tailors for straw forms and told me to spray paint the form black before trimming out.

I love the shape of their high brim bonnet and how it sits around my small head (as opposed to the styrofoam head).

However, after painting, my sewing needle and then later hat pin would flake off the paint. When all the sewing was finished I had to go back and touch up those parts of natural straw that were showing through. Perhaps I should have used a primer first.

I lined the inside with chiffon (really important so your hair doesn't get caught in the straw) and added the silk curtain. Then I made up two rows of folded silk taffeta that was 1/2" pleated and tacked along the inside edge of the brim. I might go back and add a ribbon or silk rose/flower to the center inside brim when I decide to "progress" into 2nd mourning.

The embroidered veil was also a recent find on eBay (gotta love that site). In October there were quite a few black veils up for auction. I snagged this narrow one. You should have seen the rinse water in the sink! Yuck. But at least it cleaned up well and most of the smell is gone. I used a drop of Woolite to wash it.

Soon I headed to Acme Notions and ordered their 5" black ball hat pins. While there, I found 3" pins that worked perfectly in attaching the veil to the bonnet.

I do believe the solid black bonnet and veil stamp this as a deep mourning widow's costume. I will definitely be wearing it again at future events.


Leigh said...

Would dying the hat rather than painting it black have been an option?

Jennifer said...

I don't have much experience with dyeing things (other than fabrics) so am not sure how the straw would take dye. I know it CAN be dyed.

The straw would take some of the black dye but it wouldn't come out nearly as dark as the paint.

Dyeing the bonnet would also get the color in-between the braid layers so the natural straw color would not peeking out. And it would stay put and not flake off like the paint did when sewing.

The spray paint was much quicker and easier to accomplish my goal of a *black* bonnet, even with the touch-ups I did. If you were to dye it, you would have to make sure the form stayed in its shape while it dried. Could be more time consuming.

If you were to dye it, what dye would you use? Or would you try the spray paint?

Leigh said...

I hadn't thought of the colour it would come out as when dyed or having to block the hat when drying. I think I would go the spray paint route as well.

Jennifer said...

It was so much easier!