Things You'll Need
- White synthetic straw hat
- White double-fold bias tape
- Sewing machine
Traditional Dutch folk costumes for women include elaborate bonnets of starched organdy and lace in many different styles. These heirloom styles are often handed down from generation to generation. They must be ironed and heavily starched on a regular basis. You can create a costume hat in the style of a typical Dutch bonnet from a white synthetic straw hat with a wide brim. It will never need ironing.
Mark the center of the edge of the brim on each of the longer sides of the hat. Use a ruler to draw a straight line on the brim of the hat from each of these points straight in to the base of the crown. Cut along these lines with the scissors.
Mark the center of the edge of the brim at the front of the hat. Draw lines on the brim of the hat from this point to the end of the cuts you made in the previous step. Cut along these lines. This will give the bonnet a point on top. Fold this point in half from the top of the point to the top of the crown of the hat. Press this crease firmly to shape the bonnet.
Mark the center of the back of the crown at the point between the brim and the crown. Place a ruler against the crown of the hat at this point, parallel to the first cuts. Draw along the ruler, making a straight line from the base of the crown to the edges of the brim. Cut the brim of the hat off along this line.
Draw a curve on the brim of the hat from the center-back mark to the marks at the center of the side edges. This will be from the center of the part you cut off the back to the beginning of the first cuts. Cut along these curves to make the "wings" that stick out on each side of the bonnet.
Cut an arc out of the back of the crown for the wearer's neck. This will allow the hat to sit on the back of the head as a bonnet. To create the arc, mark a point on the crown of the hat 1 inch above the center back edge. Make a mark on the cut edge 1 1/2 inches from each side of the center back. Cut an arc that starts at the marks on the edge and goes through the mark on the crown.
Try on the hat and adjust the neck cutout until the hat fits securely against the back of the head.
Wrap white double-fold bias tape around the cutout for the neck. Sew the bias tape on by stitching close to the folded edges. Be sure to catch both sides of the tape in the stitching. This keeps the rough edges of the straw from scratching the wearer's neck.
If desired, sew close to the edge of the crease in the top of the bonnet to hold it in place. Sew a small comb inside the crown at the front of the hat to hold the bonnet in place. You can also add ribbon ties at the neck.
Camela Bryan's first published article appeared in "Welcome Home" magazine in 1993. She wrote and published SAT preparation worksheets and is also a professional seamstress who has worked for a children's theater as a costume designer and in her own heirloom-sewing business. Bryan has a Bachelor of Science in chemical engineering from the University of Florida.