1860's Quilted Winter Hood


Last weekend, my friend Steph and I took a day trip up to Gettysburg to experience a pretty fun experience of getting wet plates done, at the Victorian Photography Studio. With it being January and pretty cold and snowy up in Pennsylvania, I wanted to wear a nice head covering that would be historically accurate for the period I was dressed for. The quilted winter hood was one of the most popular bonnets women wore in the 1860's as it not only covered the sides of your face but also protected the back of your neck from the cold. 

So, here's how I made mine.

Example of a silk quilted hood
I did not have a pattern for this project, so I made one instead by looking at the construction of the hood through photos on Pinterest. It looked really simple to make: a long rectangle that acts as the brim of the hood, a crown, and a skirt for the nape of the neck. The hoods also looked like it called for wool with a silk lining. Thankfully I had some leftover silk from a previous outfit and sandwiched that over some cotton batting leftover from Christmas, and a yard of fabric that I purchased from Walmart (so needless to say, this isn't 100% historically accurate, but that's okay-I won't be wearing this around fire).

pre-quilting the fabric before I made the patterns

I pieced all of the items together and formed the hood and the skirt. One thing I've overlooked was that I did not make the bonnet a little larger (I have a lot of hair) and that the crown in the back seemed a little weighted due to the skirt. Since this is my "prototype", I'll make an updated one in the future. 


When it came time to make the brim of the bonnet, I attached the rectangle piece and used matching fabric to bind the edges all the way around as well as bound the edges of the skirt.


Given that I did not have a pattern to go from and had to make one from scratch, I'm pretty happy with how it turned out; it certainly did the job with keeping me warm and thankfully the silk lining did not mess up my hair for photograph (I think it's safe to assume that's why a lot of women preferred silk lining in their hats). I'd like to make another one in the near future where I use more historically accurate materials, but for now, I'm going to enjoy keeping warm with this little bonnet of mine. 

Also, while there's no shame in putting out a business promotion plug, I highly recommend checking out the Victorian Photography Studio in Gettysburg! Not only do they do traditional and historical tintypes/wet plates, but they also offer digital photographs as well. 


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