A Triple Ruffle Bonnet from Martha’s Attic

Triple Ruffle with Back Bow Bonnet

One of our most popular features in Sew Beautiful magazine is “Martha’s Attic” – a regular column in which Martha Pullen showcases garments from her vast antique clothing collection. Martha has been collecting for around three decades, and it is always exciting to see what fabulous find she will share with us next. 

Pieces from Martha’s collection have also been featured on episodes of “Martha’s Sewing Room” and in various books. In the book Vintage Baby, Martha showcases infant and older babies’ clothing from the Victorian era.

Many of the beautiful antique embroidery designs found in Vintage Baby were replicated and released as a two-part companion machine embroidery CD. These designs have been some of our most popular embroidery designs over the years. Now, for the first time, digital download versions of these CDs are available to purchase in the Martha Pullen Store.

To celebrate, we’d like to share the following excerpt from Vintage Baby in which Martha details a lovely Triple Ruffle with Back Bow Bonnet:


Triple Ruffle with Back Bow Bonnet 
American, circa 1900 

For years I’ve been holding back some of my most special baby pieces to put in a “baby only” book, and now I finally have an opportunity to share them with you. I purchased this one in Sturbridge, Massachusetts so many years ago I can’t recall the circumstances. The bonnet is made in a Swiss embroidered fabric with a batiste triple ruffle. When a baby wore the bonnet, the three 1-1/4-inch ruffles would encircle her sweet face. A very narrow piece of baby French lace is whipped to the tiny, turned-under edges of the tightly gathered ruffles. Even tinier baby piping attaches the inside ruffle to the bonnet and the bonnet to the gathered back section. 


The bonnet was made using a Swiss embroidered fabric with a batiste triple ruffle.

A little bow attached to the back adds to the bonnet’s charm. It is made of white batiste, not embroidered Swiss, and finished in a 1/4-inch hem that is turned under twice and hand picked. This same white batiste was used for the ruffles and ties, which are 19 inches long. The lower back of the bonnet, which would lie across the back of baby’s neck, is a 3/4-inch by 3-inch strip of embroidered fabric joined to the piping that encircles the crown. It is finished at the bottom with a single lace-edged ruffle about 3/4-inch deep. The three front ruffles meet and join to this back section. The bonnet was handmade, which means that it took a long time to make this tiny treasure for a very special baby. 


The little back bow adds to the bonnet’s charm.


This bonnet was purchased in Massachusetts, so I thought I would include this advertisement from the May 1905 edition of The Youth’s Companion, a catalog that was published in Springfield.

Dainty Lawn Baby Bonnet 25 Cents 
Narrow tucks, hemstitched edge. Very neat and of fine quality. Sent post-paid on receipt of price. Give baby’s age. ‘DAINTY THINGS FOR BABIES.’ Bonnets, Bootees, Dresses, Sacques, Sleeveless Undershirts, ‘Alma’ Shirts, etc. By mail. 
Send Stamp for Illustrated Catalogue. Albert D. Smith & Co., Dept. Y, Springfield, MA. 


For great vintage-inspired embroidery designs, be sure to check out the Vintage Baby 1 and Vintage Baby 2 downloads, as well our new digital download for Bonnets and Booties

Sew On, Sew Well, Sew Beautiful
Cyndi and Amelia

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