Book Review: Hats, Caps & Bonnets: 1855-1875

Earlier this week, I said that I would try to get to sewing this week. Oh well (sigh).

SG and I made fairies to give to some of our friends. We took a trip to DC with DH. I met with a dear friend for a long, chatty dinner.

I learned that my affinity for power tools does not extend to table saws.  I own and can operate my scroll saw, band saw, lathe and rotary tool.  There is a steep learning curve, however, with my new mini table saw. I have even watched YouTube videos for help.  I WILL MASTER THIS.


So today, I thought I would share one of my favorite doll books with you, Hats, Caps & Bonnets: 1855-1875, 12 Patterns for Dolls & An Illustrated History, by Marianne Burke.  When I met her at the UFDC convention several years ago, I acted like a goofy, pop-star groupie and gushed about how much I love her book.

I got it shortly after it was published in 2009 (by Reverie Publishing Company), and read it cover-to-cover many times.


The first section gives a general history and provides definitions for hats, caps and bonnets and their various parts.


Then, the author explains the variations in fashion decade by decade with diagrams from period publications,


historic photos,

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and extant examples of headwear for both dolls and people.


The next section gives patterns and very thorough instructions for making 12 different types of headwear.


From lacy confections to wired bonnets to wool felt or straw, the instructions, diagrams and patterns are very clear and complete.

This book transported and inspired me. I felt that I was learning trade secrets from a bygone era.

Many of my favorite doll reference books are no longer in print, hard to find or very pricy. Hats, Caps & Bonnets: 1855-1875, 12 Patterns for Dolls & An Illustrated History, is still available on Amazon for a reasonable cost and I recommend it highly.



Book Review: Hats, Caps & Bonnets: 1855-1875 — 1 Comment