How Do I Keep My Bonnet On?

When I made my first bonnet, I could not keep it upright on my head without lancing it with a very long hat pin. I didn’t like poking a hole in my bonnet every time, but I didn’t know what else to do. I didn’t learn about bonnet stays for several years. Finally, someone told me about a ‘bonnet stay.’ Eureka! 

I made a bonnet stay for my new bonnet and the bonnet sat in its proper upright position on my head without so much as a hiccup! Why had no one told me about this wonderful little item years ago? 

What is a ‘bonnet stay?’ Sometimes referred to as a cross-band or bandeau in mid-1800s writings, it’s just a simple band of ribbon, fabric, or even wire that is fastened inside your bonnet that helps hold the bonnet still. Think of it as wearing a headband inside your bonnet. 

A bonnet stay doesn’t have to be a permanent fixture in your bonnet. I simply straight-pinned mine in place. Choose your stay of an unobtrusive color - you don’t want it to show. I chose a ¾” wide piece of velvet ribbon - fuzzy side toward my hair so that it would grab my hair.

I measured from approximately 1 inch above the top of my ear across the top of my head to about 1 inch above the top of my other ear. After I cut the ribbon length, I pinned it into my bonnet on both sides of the interior of the bonnet where I thought it might fit me best. I had to adjust the placement a couple of times before I found the perfect position. You will likely need to do some trial and error, too. When you find that perfect spot inside your bonnet for the stay, you will notice that the bonnet feels balanced and secure. My bonnet is a fairly high spoon bonnet that can catch the wind a bit, but it never moves. Ever. 

As you can see from the photos, the bonnet stay is well hidden behind the netting and flowers on my bonnet. Also, notice that even on the model, the bonnet sits upright as it should. 

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