Welcome to My Red Cape. Long ago in another time my husband Jack and I lived in a little old red house. It was the stuff of dreams to us for the few years that we were there. I live there still a number of hours every day in imagination, with old dolls and paintings and fabrics and feather trees. I draw inspiration and happiness from the memories of that space in time and share some of it here with friends who remember how to step with Alice through the looking glass and take delight in whimsies and antiquities.

For more than sixty years I have studied, collected, repaired, and bought and sold antique dolls. They have been back ground music in my life at every stage, sometimes louder, sometimes subdued, but always there with me. To see only the posts about dolls on this blog, click the banner on the right titled Dolls for My Red Cape. Keep clicking “Older Posts” to see more. Some of the posts featuring rug hooking are gathered under the banner For Cathy. From time to time items are offered for sale under the banner “O’Neill’s Antiques” which was our shop name for many years. ~Edyth O’Neill

Saturday, February 16, 2013

19th century Quilted baby bonnets

  Over time I have had a number of these quilted bonnets both for adults and children. Still have 3, one with the silk lining coming to pieces.   My dolls wear these smallest ones.

I believe they were worn indoors in extreme weather as well as out of doors. Keeping baby’s head warm was an important goal, and much needlework was spent on these bonnets. An easy way to replicate them is to use parts of an early quilt, not overly thick, and a binding at the edge. I enjoy the name of the skirting at the back of a bonnet, the word bavolet. is defined as “flounce sewed to back of bonnet, covering hair and neck".  In the case of bonnets for infants like this, the small flounce is not very significant.  

The brown and blue bonnet is modeled by an early Greiner doll with the stamped letters PaT Head on her shoulder plate. This stamp was used before the paper labels saying Greiner's Patent head. All of the Pat Heads have a rather different  squirrelly expression.  She does not like to cover up her great old curls.  This doll was dressed by Rachael Kinneson.  

Birdie is the name of this bright eyed Voit doll. She wears a lovely old dress that was a gift from friend Phyllis, and a dear quited bonnet.  E


  1. Beautiful, Edyth. Having done a good deal of SCA camping, I can attest to the efficacy of a quilted bonnet--ours were more in the style of the 13th cent. arming cap, but they were a blessing on a cold night!

  2. These links are NEVER a bother! I love looking at all the wonderful old things you find. Please don't stop!

  3. I love seeing photos that others find on the web, and great inspiration for future ideas. I would like to do some reproduction dresses and bonnets to hang on my peg racks.


  4. Edyth,
    Thank you for the wonderful little history lesson! I learned something new today. Lori

  5. Thank you for your wonderful post. I learn something each time and really look forward to them. We need people like you that share history of antiques. Thank you

  6. Love the quilted doll bonnets and the adult sized ones, too. Thanks for sharing, Edyth.

  7. I find the history of clothing and fabrics fascinating. Thank you for this interesting article about quilted bonets.


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