Your Ultimate Checklist for the Bonnet Making Workshop

A Bee in your Bonnet?

As I prepare myself to meet Mr Darcy at his annual event A Picnic at Pemberley, held at the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology, my thoughts inevitably fall upon my outfit options. What luck! I have a beautiful Regency inspired dress all ready to go and hanging in my closet. Unfortunately, last year my beloved matching bonnet was ruthlessly stolen right off my head by a crow who clearly thought it was as wonderful as I did! Now, barely a month away from possibly meeting my future husband (Mr Darcy Himself) and I have nothing to cover my hair as proper ladies do!

After a small stampede to the computer, I begin combing the internet to find the same bonnet that was stolen from me last year. After conceding that I could not simply replace my lost bonnet, I look through the Abbey Museum’s website and stumble across my saving grace: A Bonnet Making Workshop!

I believe that I am not the only victim of that devilish crow and therefore have compiled an essential checklist of everything needed to make your own bonnets at the Bonnet Making Workshop (this time, mine will have ties to keep it on my head!).



What’s in a Bonnet?

“This year in the lead up to Picnic at Pemberley, Mr Darcy has organised a special workshop to help you prepare your costume for his prestigious event. He has chosen his most experienced seamstresses to assist you in the making of a Regency Bonnet. The lovely seamstresses will instruct and guide you through the process. Choose items that will match the rest of your outfit – maybe use some left-over fabric if you’ve made your own dress. Of course ribbons and flowers always work well! All patterns will be provided on the day for your use!”

The Bonnet Making workshop, held on the 27th of August at the Abbey Hall, features several style options for bonnets which are made with materials that guests will need to provide. The workshop costs $9.90 and runs from 12.00 pm to 3.00 pm giving you plenty of time to create and play around with laces, trims, textures, colours and materials. The hardest choice will definitely be “which bonnet should I choose?”

There are a few bits and pieces you will need to make your beautiful bonnets. All guests are asked to bring the following:

 Scissors

 Pins

 Sewing needles

 Tape measure

 Your own sewing machine (If you have one)

 Safety Pins (Medium size)

 Pencil

 Ruler

Next, all you have to do is choose your style and find whatever colours, trims, laces, textures and materials match your chosen outfit!  Each style available is listed below in a handy crow-stealing-proof checklist!


Converted Straw Bonnet


Materials Required:

 Straw Bonnet (Remember that you will be sewing this by hand and machine).

 2m x 3mm wide bias binding/corded ribbon or fabric to make bias strip (This will be seen on the edge of the brim).

 1m x 25cm wide lace/chiffon fabric for under brim lining.

 1,25m x 45cm of fabric (crown of hat).

 2.5m x 5cm Ribbon for ties.

 Matching thread.

 Trims (flowers, beads etc).


Prairie Bonnet


Materials Required:

 1m Fabric (Cotton, Lawn or Taffeta).

 16cm 1cm elastic.

 ½m Buckram for brim (or thin plastic, heavy Vilene or similar.

 ½m Lining Fabric (Optional).

 2m Ribbon for ties.

 Matching thread.

 Trims. (Flowers, beads etc).

NB: This bonnet style is considered the ‘Easiest’ in skills required to make!


Shirred Bonnet


Materials Required:

 1m 112cm wide stiff fabric (taffeta or similar).

 3m Millinery wire. (Available at Spotlight).

 2.5m Ribbon or Fabric for ties.

 Matching thread.

 Trims. (Flowers, beads etc).

 Small pliers for bending and cutting wire.

NB: This bonnet style is considered ‘Medium’ in skills required to make!


Poke Style Bonnet


Materials Required:

 1m Fabric (Stiff Taffeta, Satin, Silk or Brocade).

 1m Lining Fabric (Bemsilk orLawn).

 ¼ m Buckram for Brim.

 ½ m Medium Vilene.

 1.5m Millinery Wire (Available at Spotlight).

 2.5m Ribbon for ties.

 Trims. (Flowers, beads etc).

 Matching thread.

 Small pliers for bending and cutting wire.

NB: This bonnet style is considered the ‘Hardest’ in skills required to make!’


So there you have it! A list of everything you could possibly need to complete your Regency bonnet in time for Mr Darcy’s Picnic at Pemberley! Don’t forget to bring a water bottle and a snack – Bonnet making is hard (but very fun) work!

Head over to the Abbey Museum of Art and Archaeology’s website and check out not only the Picnic at Pemberley event, but all the other wonderful events on offer! To join the Bonnet Making Workshop, scroll to the bottom of the Picnic at Pemberley event page, where the tickets are available. You can find tickets to the workshop listed there, but be quick, spaces are limited!