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1  Halloween / Halloween Costumes / quickie costume bonnet tutorial on: October 28, 2009 04:26:06 PM

You can read this tutorial here or on my blog: http://beckyhaycox.com/hamblog/?p=1797

Here's a fairly quick and fairly easy tutorial for a bonnet that I whipped up. If you are planning a pilgrim/pioneer/villager/amish costume, read on.

As part of a group costume, I'm going to be a "generic peasant from a generic time in history", hence I need a "generic bonnet":

(can't divulge what the group costume is, yet)

Here's what you need to make an costume bonnet for an adult:

  • A piece of cardboard, approximately 5" x 16" (note: wrap the cardboard around the top of your head to customize your fit. Some may want to cover their ears completely, others may want their ears partially free, like me)
  • Two pieces of low-loft cotton batting to cover both sizes of the cardboard (note: this was intended to cover up the cardboard and to add a bit of comfort. You could go without, I'm sure)
  • Spray-on adhesive (to adhere the batting, if wanted. You could also use double-sided tape or staples)
  • A piece of cotton fabric that is double the width of your cardboard plus 1", and 2" longer than the cardboard's length. For example, if your cardboard is 5" x 16", you want a piece of fabric 11" x 18".
  • One piece of cotton fabric, 9" x 25"
  • 2 thin strips of fabric about about 1.5" x 16" (for the bonnet ties; you can also use ribbon or other tie-like things)
  • A sewing machine (see "Before you start," below)
  • Needle and thread (thread preferably same color as your fabric)
  • Scissors, chalk (or pencil), pins
  • Iron
  • A head of some kind; since I didn't have another human in the house, I used a styrofoam wig head to hold the bonnet in place; I also tried on the bonnet on me throughout the making process to make sure things were going the right way.

Before you start:
  • This project took me a little over 3 hours, including screwups and re-dos.
  • I will be telling you to sew through the batting-covered cardboard, as well as fabric. My machine did fine, but you might want to test yours.
  • You could certainly do a quicker-and-dirtier no-sew version of this bonnet, using tape and staples. if you want to go that route, comment here and I can help.

Let the fun begin! First, give all your fabric a nice pressing.

Cardboard time! A side from a 12-pack of Diet Grapefruit Soda works great as your piece of cardboard; just the right size (click any picture to enlarge):

Spray a side of the cardboard with adhesive, smooth a piece of batting over the surface, then trim to fit. Repeat on the other side.

Now,  you're basically making a tube of fabric to fit your cardboard. Wrap your cotton around the cardboard; mark the joining points of the fabric. Sew where you marked. Turn the tube inside out, press.

Slide the cardboard inside the fabric tube. If your tube is too tight, rip your stitches (or use a new piece of fabric) and try again. If the tube is too loose, roll a long edge down and run a stitch, as I did here:

Finish the short ends by folding the fabric's raw edges down and in, like a package. Then sew.

I'm going to call this piece the bonnet band.

Here's where we make the bonnet ties. Either follow these instructions, or use ribbon. Fold each long strip in half, then half again, until you get about a 1/4"  of fabric. Press to hold the folds, then run a stitch on the long edge. Remember: nothing has to be perfect, especially if you're a peasant!

Finish the ends by tying a knot about 1" from the end, or run a quick stitch at the end.

Sew the bonnet ties to your bonnet band. Make sure you sew them to the inside of the band, about 2" from each end.

I sewed a rectangle on each tie, for strength. Here's what the inside looks like:

And the outside. Quick and dirty, people!

Take your 9" x 25" fabric and cut a slight curve on one of the long side of the fabric. Exactitude is not necessary. Here's the general idea:

Finish all edges but the long, straight edge by rolling or folding the edges and sewing a seam:

On the straight, long side, iron in some pleats, as shown.

Adjust until your pleats until that side is the same width as your bonnet band. Then pin. You're pinning on the inside (wrong side) of the bonnet band.

Sew it. I ran two stitches, myself, so that the pleats were secured close to the edge of the bonnet band. This is what you have so far:

You might want to attach your bonnet to a head of some kind at this point. This is where we're going to gather the fabric to make the poofy back of the bonnet. If you prefer to attach some elastic instead, go for it. But here's my quick and dirty way:

Thread a needle and knot it so you have double thread -- about 2 feet will do.

Sew a wide stitch along the seam of the fabric you just attached to the bonnet band. Starting at one end of the bonnet band, sew stitches about an inch long.

As you sew, you can start tugging on the thread so that the fabric starts to gather together. See where we're going with this?

After you sew the whole way around, back to the other side of the bonnet band, play with your thread length and gathers to find the look you like:

Here's where you want to try the bonnet on the person who's going to wear it, to adjust the gathers to fit their head.

Once satisfied, tie off the thread and you're done. The gathers will hide the thread pretty well.

Here are some views of the completed bonnet:

Enjoy! I hope this helps someone looking for some prairie action. At least, it will help me if I have to make another one, ever again.

Love from great-great-great-great-great-great-great gramma!

You can see a few more photos on my flickrphoto set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hambox/sets/72157622553790169/

Update! The costume: Mob of Angry Villagers!

That's me in the black bonnet; I made the white one for Talia!

You can more mob photos in this Halloween photo set: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hambox/sets/72157622663517968/
2  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Science Quilt! on: July 23, 2009 10:03:54 PM
Update! See mini-Science Quilt at the bottom of this post!

This is a brief recap of a project I just completed. If youd like to read much more detail about the making process, and see lots more photos, you can go to my blog: http://beckyhaycox.com/hamblog/?p=1492!

Last year, while working (as a civilian) in a university Chemical Engineering Department, I would pass a poster every day in the hallway. On this poster was a chart. One day, I thought hey, this chart would make a nice quilt!

The chart was a part of a computation called Capturing Phase Dynamics of Circadian Clocks. I thought aha the Circadian rhythm has to do with the wake/sleep cycle, and a quilt is something you wake/sleep under!

A mere year-plus later, and here it is, the Science Quilt!

The quilt pattern on top are EEG patterns of the brain during various levels of wake and sleep:

Here's the detail of the stitching:

Heres the full story of the Science Quilt:

Update! I recreated this quilt on a re-proportioned and much smaller scale. There are two upcoming exhibits (that I'd like to enter the quilt into) that have a small maximum size, so I made it about 36"x39":


There were lots of unexpected challenges, recreating a quilt. Lots more sewing in a smaller surface area!

One of the exhibits I'm entering it into is an "Art+Science" exhibit, happening next summer. Wish me luck!
3  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / two macho baby quilts for twin boys on: September 04, 2007 12:46:01 PM
Just finished two quilts for two impending boys. It was my first free-motion machine quilting experience and it was HARD but it got easier! I guess I'm [gulp] ready to free-motion a grownup size quilt now.

Here's a quilt for the more kicky, modern baby:

The solid blue side is flannel. I normally don't use poly batting; but this time, it was GREAT to make those circles really puffy and 3D.

Another view:

Here's the other for the mini-Steve McQueen:

The hot rod side is flannel.

Another view:

Other views available at my flickr craftbox here: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hambox/sets/72157594153145700/
4  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Brown Retro Modern Asian-inspired Quilt on: August 21, 2006 08:13:15 PM
I'm a quiltin' fool these days, trying to catch up with quilts I've wanted to do for gifts for weddings that have passed.

This one is for a couple that got married September 2005. This was my first full-size quilt. In right under the deadline!

The pattern is Turning Twenty Again by Tricia Cribbs. Totally easy to put together! I say this sincerely.. this was my first pattern and it was a breeze.

Always sign your work! I embroidered a little lobster guy, since they got married on Cape Cod (and bride is from there)

Lookit that mess! Here is the quilt top just finished.

My other quilts:

Big Giant Multicolor Quilt:

Black Green Turquoise Birdie Quilt:

Retro Modern Quilt:
My second grownup quilt: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=29574.0

MY CRAFT STREAM on flickr: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hambox/sets/72157594153145700/
5  OCCASIONS AND HOLIDAYS / Baby Showers And Gifts For New Babies / Quick n Easy fleece/flannel unisex modern-retro baby blanket Blue/Green on: July 25, 2006 11:20:55 PM
There's a baby boom a-happening amongst my friends and family, so I don't have a whole lotta time/money to spend on gifts, what with all the showers!

So: A yard-plus of fleece; a yard-plus of flannel (dig the mod pattern from Joann's); wash/dry 'em (a must -- there will be some shrinkage), pin 'em (wrong sides together, remember), sew it: self-bind with double hems for sturdiness. Find the toe in the below picture!

The recipients are one of of the few couples I know keeping the gender of their baby a secret from themselves. I loved getting away from BLUE/TRUCKS and PINK/BALLERINAS and working with the sage green fleece.

Yeah, so the flannel's background is blue, but it's a nice dark teal and, with the green, doesn't come across as too manly. Isn't my living room carpeting just lovely?

I spent 15 bucks on the material, and about 2 hours pinning/sewing.
I *do* need a little practice with sewing fleece, which has a little stretch. I'm used to quilt fabric, so I have a little to learn.

Here are some other of my crafts on my flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hambox/sets/72157594153145700/

Oh, and do what this lady did, she's got the tute down pat!
6  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / Big Giant Multicolor Quilt on: July 21, 2006 10:12:18 AM
Well, it only took 14 months (thanks, tendonitis of the thumb!) but finally a quilt finished for my friends that got married in May 2005. You can see it on my flickr set (http://www.flickr.com/photos/hambox/196850441/in/set-72157594153145700/ and work your way backwards), which has a lot more photos and better shots of the details, or check out some pictures below:

It's 75" x 93" -- for a tall couple. I did not plan this quilt hardly at all.. I had a good grasp of the couple's aesthetic ideas and just let that guide me.

I wanted it to turn out great.. I was making it for a bigwig in the  Church of Craft (http://www.churchofcraft.org)!

I used free-motion quilting to create these little drawings. Free-motion quilting is hard, hard. I didn't plan the pics before I started "drawing" them on the quilt. A big risk. I cannot imagine free-motion quilting a whole quilt. I would leave that to the pros.

This is split stitch embroidery.. the only stitch I know. I did plan out the embroidered bits more than anything else in the project. I put a little message, some hearts, the date, etc.

Whew, this was fun. I'm sooo ready to work with a completely different color palette. And next time, I'm actually gonna follow a pattern!

Here are the craftster links for my other quilts:
My first grownup quilt: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=64013.msg606435#msg606435
My second grownup quilt: https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=29574.0
7  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / turquoise/black/birdie/retro first quilt on: November 18, 2005 07:51:18 PM
I made this quilt in March 2004, but only recently got to visit it and take pictures. I have since completed another grownup-size quilt (https://www.craftster.org/forum/index.php?topic=29574.0) and am finishing my third, but thought you might want to check this out for kicks, inspiration, or plain old curiosity...

I found that it was easiest to compile a satisfying turquoise-based palette from my stash. The black field just made sense to me.. modern in feel and simple for a first-timer. The fabric sources range from vintage randomness (like the birds fabric), to an old comforter cover, curtains, Reprodepot.com, to a friend's fabric swap, etc.

This is a visual reminder to sign your creative work, somehow!

Another view.

I learned so much from this project. I learned that it's better to quilt from the center! That I could've cut corners by sewing multiple strips! That polyester batting beards -- boo!

But the satisfying conclusion was to see my friends snuggled under it, using it for their extra-cold-night cover.

Update: More quilts and other crafting on my flickr photostream: http://www.flickr.com/photos/hambox/sets/72157594153145700/
8  NEEDLEWORK / Needlework: Completed Projects / "Mr" and "Mrs" Wedding Pillowcases on: October 30, 2005 10:14:01 PM
Hi there, I'm new to the embroidered life and I SALUTE all you crafty needlemeisters, because this is hard work! For this wedding gift, I bought some very high quality white cotton pillowcases, and I used a vintage transfer kit that have "Mr" and "Mrs" and dogwood blossoms.
Here's one for the bride, in the girly pink:

And for the groom in manly blue:

And a detail of my semi-handiwork:

I used a chain stitch for everything...I'm not there yet with any other stitch. I tried french knots for the dots but found it frustratingly inconsistent. As soon as my hand ceases to cramp, I'll keep on practicing!
Thanks, Becky
9  QUILTING / Quilting: Completed Projects / pinky girly quilted baby blanket on: August 13, 2005 07:15:27 PM
Hi there, here's a little square quilt I did for a friend's impending girl. About 42" x 42", which seems to be a pretty good size; the input from previous recipients say it's great to lay out for a play surface or to use with a stroller. There's low-loft, pre-shrunk cotton batting in between. I used my brand new Kenmore quilting machine, which rocks. I used white thread for the top, green thread in the bobbin so the zigzaggy quilting is different colors on either side.
Here's the front:

Here's the back. It's not so screamingly pink as shown, more of a softer salmon:

Here's closeup detail. LOVE my programmed embroidery stitches on the Kenmore; it's hard not to overkill!

10  ORGANIZED CRAFT SWAPS / Talk About The Swap Process / Swap theme recap in the Gallery section on: July 12, 2005 09:18:38 PM
Hi there, I mentioned this to Goddess a while back but thought I'd bring it up here...
In the Craft Swap Gallery posts, I'm wondering if the swap organizer could either reiterate what the swap was, or if they could provide the link to the original swap postings.

While I love to look at completed craft swap projects, sometimes I am unclear of what exactly the swap is about by just its title ("7 days".. "10 things".. "robots in spring", etc.) If the first post in the Gallery section gave a short reminder of what the theme was, that would be lovely.

Thanks! Becky (craftster id: hambox)
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