It’s ‘Make Believe Week’ at GYCT designs this week, and because I love make believe and making I’ve put together a free animal bonnet pattern for the occasion. The best thing about imaginative play, is that it doesn’t require anything, a whole world or magic and possibility can be created from thin air. That said, a few props can be fun and the bonnets I’ve made with this pattern have seen a lot of use.
It’s an easily customised design; in the past I’ve made bat, cow, owl and wild thing versions and I’ve got plans for zebras and unicorns in the pipeline, but for now I’ve included options for a cat and a rabbit bonnet/hood. The cat version features pointy ears and a peak at the front. I made my version in black velvet, lined with grey and black striped cotton. The bonnets in the pictures ties with tape/ties under the chin, but I have since learned that these are against EU safety regulations- so this should not be used. It is possible to simply have no ties (the hoods will stay on without) or to use a short strap and popper.
The rabbit version features a straight front edge and large floppy ears. My version was made with grey wool contrasted with pink cotton.
Both of these bonnets were made with the same one size pattern. As you can see it is a little loose on S (age 2 with a head circumference of 50.5cm) and fairly snug on H (age 7 with a head circumference of 52.5) so I’d put these two sizes as the limits of the pattern. If using a thicker fabric like faux fur it may be necessary to increase the size and seam allowances (which are 6mm in this pattern).
You can download the pattern with options for a rabbit or cat bonnet/hat here. Pages 1 and 2 will need to be be taped side by side and page 3 will need to be taped to the top of page 4.
The method is below (to enlarge it just click on the image and zoom in):
The method for constructing the rabbit bonnet is the same, except in step 5 the ear will not need to be pushed right to the bottom of the dart, just so that two thirds of the ear is encased in the dart and one third into the seam between the bonnet side and bonnet centre panel.