Friday, May 19, 2023

The Bonnet...


Variations On A Theme...

I am always reluctant, Dear Readers, to glue hats onto the heads of these little dolls, but I always end up doing it anyway. The hat would not stay in place otherwise, and these dolls are quite little.... so I succumb to the power of the kit instructions and follow the steps! But in this case, I really wanted to make some adjustments to the design of the bonnet. I just didn't like that it was so flamboyant! This little girl is not an opera dancer! She is a child prodigy, perhaps, and has a great deal of charm, but she is devoted to her music! The hat should not stand out as the defining feature of her costume! With all due respect to Sandra Morris, the bonnet if completed as described in the kit, would be as tall again as the doll! I wanted a more sedate design. Above you can see the beginnings of construction.... but I had already reduced the size of the bonnet brim by cutting about 1/8th of an inch off from the bottom edge before gathering it as instructed.

Here you can see the other side of the gathered cloth
 with the picot trim glued on. 
(That little strip on the right is the piece
 I trimmed from the bottom edge.)

Then I gathered the lace and glued it into the hat as instructed...
 but since the brim is now smaller,
 the lace was a bit more crowded...
so I didn't use all of it so it wouldn't be too frilly.

The instructions wanted me to glue the bonnet to the doll
 before I added the pink bows...
But since I wasn't exactly sure how I wanted it all to go together...
 I didn't want to glue it to the doll just yet!
After a great deal of testing on her head, sans glue,
 I decided it would look okay if I glued the bows into the bonnet,
 slightly more to the sides rather than all on the top as the kit  picture shows.

Okay, I suppose you need to see the kit picture up close for comparison!

And this is my "lower profile" version!

Slightly closer.... 
and please note the jewels on the shoes too!

And the back view... before completing the bows...

The big blue bow is supposed to be the only ribbon
 on the back of the bonnet...
 covering the gathers.
But I wanted this bonnet to have "ribbons" to tie it on with....
 if one tied them, that is!
So I dug in my ribbon collection
 and found a pink silk ribbon 
that was almost a perfect match...

I made a little knot at the edge of the brim
 and twisted it over the crown and placed another knot
 at the other side of the brim...

Here you can see the other side.
I do think it changed the entire character of the bonnet!
Much more demure and delicate!
And I decided not to add the feather after all....

She could not possibly concentrate on her music
 with ostrich feathers tickling her brow!
And as for the tunes she plays... 
I dug into Sandra's blog to find the listing of this kit
 and the tunes on the list were not familiar to me... 
(I am not a pianist!)
But perhaps you know them 
and can hum along while watching her play...
Schubert's "Standschen Serenade"
Gustave Faure's "Dolly Suite"
"Cherry Ripe" (traditional)
Carl Filtsch's "Romance Opus B #1"
Chopin's "Nocturne Opus 9 No. 2"

As you can see, Dear Readers, 
I managed to add the bonnet
With only a small variation on the themes!
Now I am off to push the little button...


  1. Good call on the bonnet Betsy. I think sometimes these designs are a bit too flamboyant and tend to overwhelm tiny dolls. And also, how could her little neck take all that weight?

  2. The new hat in your version is much better; perfect for this little girl. In the kit version it is really too high.

  3. I LOVE your version of the bonnet - it suits the doll perfectly and it's so charming! I enjoyed reading your descriptions and reasoning too. I also find it daunting to permanently glue something onto a doll! Especially since I tend to get blobs of glue in places they shouldn't go!
    Oh, how I'd love to hear her play those songs!

  4. You are right about the proportion of the bonnet. Your version is perfect for this tiny doll.
    Great work, as always.
    Hugs, Drora

  5. I think she looks adorable, like a little girl, not a child model.

  6. I love your redesign for the little doll's hat, Betsy! To me, it has gone from a bit bawdy to sweet and darling. I really love the pink ribbon, too, as it seems to tie her entire ensemble together. The jeweled shoes are wonderful! I can't blame you for your repeated button pushing - She must be irresistibly charming set to music! Amazing work on impossibly tiny details!

  7. Did I ever tell you before that you never stop to amaze me??? I am totally in awe with your ability to give everything your own special Betsy touch, turning a kit into an ooak and making it totally awesome and unique. Especially changing the bonnet was a stroke of genius according to me. Now I can say it aloud, the bonnet as it was intended gives me associations of a mixture from a cancan dancer at the Moulin rouge and a show horse at Circus Sarrasani... *LOL*

    With your perfect bonnet this stunning dollie looks like it should: Like a little girl enjoying to play her piano. And although 3 of the pieces don't make anything ring in my head I know Schubert's Serenade and Chopin's Nocturne that's why I can understand even better why this play button is so very tempting. Play it again, dollie!