I was browsing the interwebs one day (thanks, Pinterest!) and found a super-cute baby bonnet tutorial on Prudent Baby, a blog I am completely addicted to. I started looking into other bonnet utorials, and I was hooked. I am a huge fan of hats on babies, but the ones I like always cost eleventy billion dollars and are sold at specialty boutiques that don't appreciate visits from a harried mom and her spirited toddler :). SO, as always, I thought "I CAN MAKE THAT!" (My husband's least favorite phrase by now, for realz.) I played around with all the tutorials, gave my seam ripper a good workout, stabbed my fingers with pins a lot, tweaked, played... and ended up with, in my opinion, the most awesomely adorable and cozy reversible baby bonnets in three lovely little sizes!
My first tries (and actually, one of my top fave bonnets) were made from cotton fat quarters, but since it is getting chilly here, it seemed like a good idea to try out some fabrics that would keep little heads toasty warm in the upcoming months. I ended up making flannel/fleece bonnets in newborn and 3 month sizes, and cotton ones in a 6-ish month size.
And can I just say - I am in LOVE with these bonnets. I donated some to my church craft fair to raise money for the Susan G. Komen foundation, and they were (to say the least) well received. It helps that about 8 women in my church have young babies or are expecting, but seriously - the requests to make a sweet hat for all the little ladies at church were more than I expected! Also, Raina has requested a purple hat that is "just for Meow. No baby." Stat. I love that little girl!
A few things about the bonnets...
1. Each one has a piece of elastic sewn inside the two layers so that it fits better across the back of the baby's head. Without the elastic (which was a huge headache at first! There is NO good way to do this step, but it really is worth it) there is a funny gap at the back of the neck unless it is made to fit each individual baby.
2. I used ribbon for the ties. Long pieces of ribbon. In no way would this pass any child safety standards. I know that. But I also know that I'm not going to put my baby to bed in a bonnet, and I know that I keep a close watch over babes in my care. Babies should not be left unattended with long pieces of string.
3. Two pieces of fleece sounds cute and cozy, but in my experience it is bulky and hard to work with, especially in the tiny sizes.
4. Fat quarters are perfect for this project. They give you about enough fabric for 2 bonnets, or one and a ruffle if you are haphazard with your pattern placement, like I am sometimes :) You get lots of variety without a big pricetag, and you wont get as tired of the fabric as if you had bought a yard off the bolt. Or maybe that's just me.
I think that's it.
So basically, I adapted this pattern: http://www.prudentbaby.com/2010/01/fleece-bonnet.html
This is the pattern from prudent baby. (Also shown on their blog in cotton in another post). This is what is, in my research, a 6-ish month. I scaled it down a few times to make tinier versions, leaving the length of the pattern pieces intact, but tracing in about .5 inches on the sides/top. It was trial and error. I'm really not a pattern maker or follower. I made the ruffle strip longer and wider, 'cause I love me a good ruffle. After one successful attempt at their binding and elastic method, and a few frustrating ones that left me with what I considered to be under-par results, I changed the last few steps to be as follows:
1. After making the inside layer and outside layer, and ruffling the ruffle... I made a sandwich. No, not PB&J! Two layers, right sides facing, with the ruffle facing in and sandwiched neatly in the middle, and two pieces of ribbon pinned in at the bottom edges right next to the ruffle (which were inside the layers when it was sewn). I pinned the crap out of it and sewed all the way around, leaving just enough space to turn the whole thing right side out.
2. Once it was right side out, I inserted a piece of elastic about half the length of the back piece and sewed it into place with some barely noticeable tiny stitches.
3. To finish the opening, I folded the edges in and slip-stitched it closed. No visible stitches anywhere on the outside.
(I am pretty terrible at explaining my steps. If you have questions, feel free to ask!)
Ta-da! Bonnets! Lots of them. Seriously, lots. My baby is going to have one on at all times.
|Two of the cotton versions - I loved mixing and matching the patterns for these! Seriously, fat quarters give you so many options!|
|Side view, on a wine galss. I love the way the elastic gathers at the back!|
|Side view of my first (and maybe favorite), on a worm model. That butterfly fabric. I want it everywhere.|
|Embellished with felt "buttons," sewed on securely!|
|More details of my fave.|