How to Sew a Bonnet

Are you doing a period play? Need a costume for Halloween? Or perhaps you'd just like to keep the sun out of your face? A bonnet is a fun way to do so.


  1. 1
    Obtain a pattern. These are available through most pattern companies.
  2. 2
    Alternative: A basic bonnet is only a large (gathered) oval with a crescent brim. Quite simple to devise on your own if you're feeling crafty or thrifty.
  3. 3
    Measure your head in two directions.
    • Around the circumference that the elastic will travel (usually from the nape of the neck around and over the forehead)
    • Over the top of the head from earlobe to earlobe.
  4. 4
    Cut an oval of cloth 30% longer AND 30% wider than your head measurements (above)
  5. 5
    Cut two half circle whose diameter is equal to your over the head from ear to ear measurement.
  6. 6
    Roll the edges of the oval over to create a tube that is slightly larger than your elastic.
  7. 7
    Sew the tube, leaving a small opening for sliding the elastic (or heavy thread) through.
  8. 8
    Cut a length of elastic the length of your circumference of your head. (easiest method is to simply wrap the (un-stretched) elastic around your head, mark it, then cut it.)
  9. 9
    Slide the elastic through the tube and sew the ends to each other.
  10. 10
    Sew the two half circles to each other along their curved edges with right sides facing.
  11. 11
    Leave the straight edge open for turning and for attaching to the gathered portion of the bonnet.
  12. 12
    Iron on stiffener or interfacing to one (wrong) side of the brim.
  13. 13
    Clip the hem edges to allow for smooth turning.
  14. 14
    Turn "right" side out, press, and top stitch to hold the curved edge in place.
  15. 15
    Pin the gathered edge of the bonnet to the straight edge of the brim. (right sides facing)
  16. 16
    Pin ties to the bonnet where the brim meets the gathered portion on the sides. These can be as simple as ribbon, or as complex as a woven strip or a matching material. Your choice.
  17. 17
    Sew the brim and ties carefully onto the gathered portion of the bonnet.
  18. 18
    Cover the raw edges with bias tape.
  19. 19

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Categories: Sewing Clothes