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

Friday, August 10, 2018

A new old bonnet

A sweet bonnet arrived in the mail today. Bought from Moira Hatton of Hatton's Gallery on Ruby Lane, it has a cloth back and bavolet with a straw brim. I have saved a vintage straw hat with a very wide closely woven brim for years in my ever bountiful garage, in hopes of making just such a bonnet. A closely woven straw placemat can also be used to cut the brim from. Narrow ribbon, often velvet, binds the front edge of the bonnet and hides the wire that gives it shape. The bonnet is machine sewn in tiny stitches like my feather weight makes. The fabric is silk.

There was quite a stir among the dolls when I unwrapped it. Jessie Lidianna whose name is written in old brown script on her sleeve, and who carries her Merritt Museum auction tag in her pocket, felt she needed it most. But it is a bit small for her and see who got it! Miss Walker from the house of Walton. It is so sweet with her green dress.  The small textiles and accessories for the doll family are an important part of the collection. 

The bottom of the brim should be close to the chin line. It is too small for her.

Jessie's printed apron is a wonder!

A magnificent doll, my favorite in the now closed Merritt museum.




  1. I can see why you love these dollies so much. They are beautiful
    Thank you for sharing this journey with us.

    linda m

  2. Love this style! I wish this style was popular now. So adorable and feminine! Yes, I think a woven straw placemat could be used to recreate it. I will let you know.

  3. The doll bonnet looks very sweet on her. I love all your dolls and the glimpses we see of your collection. Your photos are great. Thank you

  4. This bonnet is perfect for Miss Walker! So sweet.


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