Romantic Era Bonnet

Millinery costume class creating a wide brim bonnet to complete your late Regency and Romantic Era ensembles

You've worked hard on the dress, you've got the petticoats made, you might even have the undergarments in order. But then, your mind catches the thought that you need a bonnet! Oh, dear. What to do?

Many times the last part of a costume ensemble that comes together is headwear.

No worries! I created this class for YOU. Those who put off the bonnet until the very end. Mainly because you're not exactly sure how to make one or even if you can! But I'm here to tell you that making a bonnet IS within your reach!

Through four detailed lessons, I'll cover the steps to create a buckram frame bonnet with formed crown and wide brim (also known as a poke bonnet). Each lesson has full video tutorials along with accompanying PDF handouts complete with homework assignments to keep you on track with your project.

This class is for intermediate-level crafters.

  • You'll learn exactly how to complete each step but you should understand basic sewing techniques including hand sewing stitches like the whip and stab stitch. This is more of a crafting class rather than sewing and for the most part we'll stick with simple instructions for easy project completion.
  • Understanding how a buckram frame with a large brim goes together.
  • Those who want to know the basics of millinery so you can improve your skills and tackle other hat and bonnet designs. (They are limitless. :-) )
  • Costumers who want to connect with others who are as crazy in their creativity as you are!

Detailed Tutorials:

  • Lesson 1: Discuss millinery supplies & tools, recommended fabrics, cutting tips and sewing wire to buckram by hand & machine
  • Lesson 2: Creating the bonnet frame; adding a mull layer then covering with fabric
  • Lesson 3: Embellishing with bias edging and trims; adding the curtain and ties; finishing with the inside lining

Although making a buckram bonnet can seem quite complicated, we'll walk through each step in detail so you know exactly what to do.

You have the opportunity to choose which time period of bonnet shape you want to make in class: the Romantic Era of the 1820s & 1830s (with a little into the 1840s) OR Regency Era of the 18-Teens. Some bonnet shapes work for many, many historical years! The techniques you learn in class will carry you far beyond this early part of the 19th Century too.

Millinery Skills & Techniques You'll Learn:

  • Fabrics specifically recommended for early 19th C. millinery projects
  • How to sew wire to buckram by both hand and machine - two full tutorials!
  • Why you should add a mull layer to your bonnet frame
  • Cutting buckram the easy way (without having to pin your pattern to it)
  • Learning how & why to use a thimble (you won't forget to use it!)
  • Tips for getting the bonnet tip to fit into the formed crown section
  • How to cover a bonnet frame with fabric
  • Working with a curved needle (essential for sewing brim to crown)
  • Types of trims & their placement suitable for large bonnet styles
  • How to apply trims to bonnets
  • Adding a necessary lining to protect your hairstyle (so important!)

Intermediate Level Class (but beginners can join too). If you have sewing experience but are new to millinery, you will feel quite comfortable here. The class is designed for those who know very little about bonnet making. We'll be following general pattern instructions but also other techniques learned over the instructor's personal millinery creating experiences. You should be able to keep up with the class just fine.

If you are new to sewing or crafting, you are most welcome. However, you may need to rely on the glue rather than the hand stitching more often throughout the steps. Challenge yourself to something new!

If you are advanced in your sewing skills and have made/attempted bonnets or hats before, you are most welcome! Many of our students are advanced but take the classes simply as a means of personal accountability. And a way to get those pushed aside projects DONE. :-)

Enroll today and let's start bonnet sewing!!

"Thank you so much for [the 1880s Hat] class. I've made a few hats in the past but I appreciated your tutorials and lesson plans: they really expedited the process."

~ Gailynne B.


Your Instructor

Jennifer Rosbrugh
Jennifer Rosbrugh

Teacher to hundreds of sewing and costuming students since 2004, Jennifer dreams of the nostalgia of the past and brings it into her modern life through creating costume ensembles from about 1780 to 1920. Dark chocolate, Jane Austen and bustle dress fanatic. Daughter of the King.

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the class start and finish?
The class starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online class - you decide when you start each lesson, complete the sewing, and when you finish the project.
How long do I have access to the class?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this class for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
Can I get personal feedback and help with my class project?
Of course! We are here to see you succeed in creating historical fashions you love. We help you every step of the way through conversational comments in each tutorial and through email, if desired. We create a joyful and safe environment for you to ask any question about your project and receive answers and feedback that can be used immediately.
What if I am unhappy with the class?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and give us the opportunity to address your concerns.
If I change my mind, can I request a refund?
Due to the nature of the materials and intellectual property presented in the class, all sales are final.

Start learning and creating today to be properly attired for the next historical event!

The class lessons are self-paced with no specific day or time required to be online. You work at your own speed and schedule. Read the lessons and watch the videos when it’s most convenient for you. Post your questions in the class for additional assistance on your project from Jennifer. All lessons remain available to you with no expiration.

Get started now!