I'm a Kamloops Arts & Crafts Blogger!

Whether I’m sewing, crocheting, card making, painting, or doodling, I’d love you to come join me in my studio in Kamloops, B.C. Don’t forget to check out my free digitals and vintage graphics while you’re here. Enjoy your visit!

Please see my Digital Stamps Info & Terms page for terms of use on freebies and some helpful information on digital stamps.

Aug 25, 2019

Prairie Bonnet Tutorial


It's been an unusual, but enjoyable and full summer. We have had so much company and have been away quite a lot. My husband has been at his job for years and has a lot of vacation time to use. While my son and his family were here, his daughter asked me to make her a 'prairie bonnet.' As she is only six years old, I thought it a strange request, but I guess it's because they watch Little House on the Prairie. I was more than happy to oblige and actually made her one right away, which she has taken home now--but I promised I would make her another one that was more in the fabric style of the era.

There are not many free patterns available for a prairie bonnet online, but this is the one everyone seems to be having good luck with.

I used a pattern by Given Moments. She gives you the measurements she used, so you have to draw it up yourself. Here is mine for reference. I cut out rectangles for both first, and drew in the curves freehand. It's easier than you think, and if you use a pencil, you really can't go wrong.

The crown piece is 7 inches by 14 inches. (fold on long side). You cut one.
The band is 3 1/2 inches by 7 inches. (fold on short end). You cut two plus the interfacing.
(I used a medium weight fusible interfacing)
The ties are 2 inches by 18 inches. You cut two.
Cut an 8 inch piece of 1/4" elastic for neck portion.

My next step was to iron the interfacing onto the backside of one of the band pieces. 

Then I ironed a seam on both pieces of the band and pinned them face to face, before doing any sewing - as seen below. This is a step that will save you time later and make it easier. 

Next I sewed along the curve of the band, clipped the curved portion and pressed it. Do not do your top stitching yet.

Next let's move onto the hat piece. 

I ironed a seam in place along the straight bottom piece. I folded this one twice as it will be a casing for an elastic band. I folded it about 1/2 inch twice, so an inch altogether. The seam folds were about a 1/2 inch each fold.

Next I sewed two lines of long stitches from the bottom to around the curve of the hat so I could gather it later. You can do just one line if you want, but I did two. Be careful not to sew over the casing. 

I then sewed the casing at the top of the fold, about an 1/8 of an inch in.

One of the things I did differently was to use the whole bottom of the hat as a casing for an 8 inch elastic so that the whole neck part was gathered with an elastic. It was easier for me to do it this way and it looked neater and made for a nicer fit, in my opinion. 

Once the elastic was part way in, I tacked it in place on one end and proceeded to pull it the rest of the way through, tacking it in place with a few stitches at the other end as well.

Both ends done.

Now I was ready to gather the curved part of the hat. The gathered curve of the hat will need to match the opening of the band. 

Like so......

Pin the band onto the hat, or rather, pin the gathered curved portion of the hat in between the seams you created on the band with the iron earlier. You will have to play with the gathers a bit and make it all fit right, but it's not hard, just a bit finicky.

Then stitch it all in place. As you can see, the stitch line is close to the seam, just make sure before sewing that the front and back of the band line up well. I did two lines of stitching here too. 

Top stitch the curve of the band at this point. It gives a nice finished look. 

Now you're ready to do the ties. As you can see below, I've also ironed the seams on both ends here. It's much easier to do that at this point than later.

Now fold each one lengthwise, right sides together and stitch along the long edge. It's kind of hard to see, but you can see the start of the stitching on the seam in the photo. Turn them inside out. Finger press, iron and stitch along the edges of all sides of the tie. 

When that is done, you can sew one end of the tie onto the band. Check placement below. Make sure that the band is overtop the tie (the tie is sewn on the inside of the band). I just stitched over the stitching that was already in place and made sure I went over it a couple of time to hold the ties in place well.

It should look like this:

Here is the finished product. I'm using a ladies size foam head, so it's a bit tighter. 

A close up of the neck portion for the inquisitive.

Okay, that's about it. I hope that my instructions are fairly clear for you. I'd be happy to answer any questions if you have them.

If you do use this tutorial, please remember to thank Sara over at Given Moments. She is the one that drew up the original pattern for all of us to enjoy. I just wanted to show you how I put it together.

Have a great day! 



  1. What a lovely wee bonnet - don't think I will be making it though as they are not really known here in N.Z,

  2. Used to love watching that programme. The hat looks very much in keeping. Hugs Mrs

  3. Is the band 7” or 9”? Will it fit an adult?

    1. Hi Lori. The band is 9”. You can find the pattern at Given Moments. If you’d like to make it an adult size, add one or two inches to the middle of the band, and the middle of the bonnet, and maybe lengthen the straps a bit.

  4. Thankyou from OZ. Going to a wild west party and dressing as a pioneer woman's dress from 1840's. I added a small flap at base for a neck cover. Great instructions.
    THankyou. Sue in Adelaide

  5. That’s great! I’m so glad you found the tutorial easy to follow! Enjoy the party!

  6. So cute and very special for some lucky person to receive and use.


Thanks for the comments!