Are you looking for an authentic, vintage sunbonnet pattern for a Little House on the Prairie costume or something similar? This is the one for you! It opens flat for easy ironing and needs less than a yard to make it.
The pattern is in two pieces (which I’ve included below), the Crown and the Brim. The ties (which are optional) will be of the length and width of your choosing.
Note the instructions: Scale 2.5″ for each square (adult size), child size will be less (you’ll have to work that out yourself). You can try enlarging the print copy with your printer, but it’s likely you’ll need to get out some craft paper, a ruler and a pencil to map this out by hand.
Whip up a mock bonnet to test the sizing, you may find it takes a few tries. If you don’t have time or patience for that, look at the image of the finished design. The bottom of the brim (resting at your jawline on either side) should measure the same as the pattern piece of the brim (straight edge side) + the seam allowance for both ends.
Suitable Fabrics: I would use a nice cotton print, nothing too light so it keeps its shape nicely. Note the tip in the provided instructions to line with a piece of heavy muslin to give it some weight…though any commercial interfacing would do the trick as well.
As with many vintage patterns, only the basic instructions are provided so I would consider this an Intermediate level project.
Make ’em to match your housedresses, your gardening outfits, even your sports clothes or your square dance costumes. Here’s one that opens flat for easy ironing and it’s so very easy to make. Two-thirds of a yard of average material will be enough.
The proportions shown on the chart should remain, but the scale may be varied to suit the size you plan–two and a quarter inches for each square will come out about right for the bonnet for an adult. The straight side of the brim should measure 18 inches and crown piece should be 20 inches long and 16 inches at the widest point-enlarge the scale accordingly. For a child’s bonnet, make the squares smaller.
Face the crown piece all around with a bias strip cut an inch and a half wide. Then sew a bias casing at X for drawstrings; work an eyelet in the center of casing and fasten strings at the side seams; later, tie them at center.
Cut an interfacing of heavy muslin and stitch with both brim pieces. Turn right side out and stitch around curve–as many rows as desired. Whip the straight edge.
If you wish a light-weight slat type product, it can be done with long emery boards from the manicure goods section. Use these stiff boards as slats, sipping them into channels that are stitched crosswise just outside a penciled outline of the emery boards; leave one end open so the “slats” may be removed for laundering.
Sew snaps or buttons at dots. From O to O, sew, snap or button a band about a half inch wide by 8 1/2 inches long, to be a stay to keep the bonnet from slipping forward.
The curved outer edge, as well as tie ends, if you wish them, may have lace or embroidery trim. Broken line on chart shows optional shape for neck, if you want more protection from the sun.
Source: The WorkBasket (June 1952)