Friday, February 11, 2011

Sunbonnet for a Toddler

A short introduction: I have 4 Enid books, all very well worn and slightly fragile. I stole 2 off mum who to my knowledge never used them [and she doesn't sew at all any more] so I felt justified. Of the other two, one was ebay and the other in an opshop. I would love more, particularly as my daughters grow, but for now what I've got is still a deep well of inspiration!

My oldest daughter is 17 months and has the right kind of pudgy cheeks for a sunbonnet. I knew I'd seen something cute in these books before, and I found it in Enid Gilchrist's Baby Book.


The Baby Book page 20
I drafted the pattern onto Wheet-bix box cardboard, but I haven't yet found a great way to keep  all my drafted patterns in the one spot. Organisation isn't my forte, so I have lots of random envelopes full of pattern pieces floating around with no rhyme or reason.

The fabric is a gingham that I bought new [unusual for me] to make an Enid inspired dress for Addie [17 months].  The brim calls for stiffened cotton. I only had a lightweight fusible interfacing, so I fused that to a heavy cotton bedsheet [thrifted] and used it in place of stiffened cotton. The brim is soft but holds its own. 

The bonnet in action.

I did some of the back a little differently to the pattern as my good machine is in for service and I couldn't be bothered doing button holes and eyelets by hand. I've put buttons on as embellishment, where they would usually go, but have attached the brim to the back with hand sewn  press studs. They give the swivel movement needed and were much easier in this case. I used an upholstery needle and thin ribbon, separating rather than piercing the fibres in place of eyelets and the wider ribbon I'd rather have used.

Anyone know how to make a toddler
stand still for a picture?

The Sunbonnet is VERY cute! The most sunsmart of all hats too, with a little neck flap and generous brim, I'm very impressed.  I kind of wonder if I could get away with one myself but I think I already know the answer to that!


  1. Oh that bonnet is very cool and fits really well.

    Now I don't see why you couldn't get away with wearing one yourself. Start a new trend or say that you're trying out for a part in a western.

  2. lol yeah... I'd have to do the big skirts too then :) If I were to make one for me it wouldn't take much adjusting the pattern. It gathers at the back with a ribbon, so it can fit heads a little smaller and a littler larger than hers.

  3. That hat is tooo cute! I started hanging my patterns on those skirt hangers with clips the smaller patterns in a big ziplock bag written on with a permanant marker to let me know what it is and where its from.

  4. Gorgeous. I must must give this one a go.

  5. I'd love to make this bonnet
    Any chance you could post the construction methods / instructions? Fingers tightly crossed!

  6. HI Georgina,
    Mrs Gilchirst's patterns are still all under copyright. The copyright is held by her family. It would be illegal for anyone to copy these designs without permission of the copyright owner. Have a look on Ebay for this pattern book. Cheers

  7. Hi, the sun bonnet looks gorgeous! My mother in law suggested putting pattern pieces into a scrap booking album. They have square pages with a plastic window for each page (like a display book but much bigger). It's worked well for me so far.
    I hope this helps you!