Vintage Brimmed Bonnet free pattern + tutorial

This post is part of the Vintage May series hosted by Craftiness Is Not Optional and Skirt As Top.

I am thrilled to apart of Vintage May this year. I usually lean toward modern aesthetics, but I believe that everything modern has a touch of the past.

I love the charm of vintage clothing because it’s reminder of life when it was simpler. When laundry was hung on the line, when phone dials spun, when life seemed as slow as a sip of lemonade and babies wore crisp white bonnets:

I almost re-made THIS baby sun bonnet I made last year, but decided to add more vintage flair to it with a sweet, white eyelet fabric and a gathered back.

Even with the changes, it’s as simple or maybe even simpler than the original.

Today, I’m going to share a pattern for making a 12-18 month bonnet. The back is adjustable, so this may even fit all the way up to age 2.

You’ll need:

1/2 yard of fabric (I used a white eyelet fabric)
1/4 yard of very firm and thick interfacing
3/4 yard coordinating ribbon
matching thread

1. Print the free brim pattern HERE.
Please note that this brim is for size 12-18 months.
** It is also the brim I used to make this bonnet and hasn’t been tested further than that. In fact, you may notice some of my stitches are not as crisp, because I had to unpick and rework the brim to get it just right. The brim pattern I’ve included is my revised version.

2. Cut your brim pieces on the fold. You need two of your fabric and one of your interfacing.

3. Sew your fabric and interfacing together like so:
Put two of your fabric pieces together and then your interfacing on the bottom. Pin around the rounded edge and sew with a 1/4 inch seam allowance.

4. Cut notches around the curved edges so that it will lie flat when you turn it right side out. Not pictured: also trim those notches down to about 1/8 of an inch.

5. Turn it right sides out, you will see how the interfacing gets sandwiched in the middle. Press it with a hot iron and top stitch close to the edge of the brim.

6. Cut a 16×16 inch square. Roll two parallel edges under twice about 1/4 inch each time, press with an iron and hem.

7. Fold it in half raw end to raw end, pin up the folded edge and sew a chasing about 5/8 inch wide. Remember to back stitch when you start and stop.

8. Sew the two hemmed edges together, you can sandwich the raw ends of your chin ties here about an inch from the edge if you desire. (I didn’t)

9. Fold the raw edges of the main hat piece under about 1/2 an inch and press with an iron. Pin in the brim, following the curve and making sure the top and underside edges are as even as possible. Top stitch the brim in place. Add a second parallel line of stitching to secure it and to make sure you caught all the layers.

10. Using a safety pin, thread the piece of ribbon through the casing. Tie the ribbon in a bow and cinch the casing closed. Trim the ends of the ribbon and add Fray Check to the raw edges.

If you haven’t already added ties, add more ribbon or strips of fabric pressed inward and in half and sewn (like double fold bias tape but it’s not cut on the bias). Sew the straps on with an “X” at each corner of the bonnet.

This is just a basic tutorial. You could mix it up in a million ways.

Adapt this to a smaller baby bonnet by measuring around the baby’s face from one side of her chin over her head and to the other side…adjust the measurements and the brim accordingly.

Make it reversible by using two different fabrics.

Add lace to the brim to add more vintage flair…I chose to keep it simple, because we really plan on using this bonnet, so I didn’t want to make it too frilly.

As you can see from Natalie’s ruddy cheeks, this bonnet will definitely come in handy this summer. She burned after 10-15 minutes in the sun without a hat earlier in the day. Poor fair skin baby.

I originally made this romper for Vintage May, but at the last minute decided it wasn’t vintage enough. I plan on sharing that tutorial with you tomorrow!

I made the romper a little large so she could grow into it. It seems I also made it for a baby with chubbier thighs as well. ;)

See more great vintage inspiration from Craftiness is Not Optional HERE and Skirt As Top HERE!

Also, be sure to stop by Mad Mim to see Miriam transform a mu mu into something magnificent. (She is a must read and one of my fave bloggers as well!)

Thanks for letting me play Jess and Kristin!

*Please note that the pattern and tutorial is for personal use only.


  1. says

    It’s adorable, Delia! True story: my mom made my sisters and I all white eyelet bonnets that we wore when we rode in my dad’s convertible VW bug in the 80s. MEMORIES. :D

    Thanks so much for joining us for Vintage May!!

  2. says

    Ah, Delia. You never disappoint, this is so adorable! And AS ALWAYS, your photography is so beautiful! Posting partners forever!!

  3. says

    So excited! I had a sweet bonnet for my daughter last summer and was so sad that she doesn't fit into it anymore. I have to make a new one!

  4. says

    This is wonderful! She looks like such a little peanut in it! I can't believe she wasn't trying to rip it off the whole time! Great job momma!

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