Verna's Slat Sunbonnet Pattern

Sold by MelissaToade
+ $7.50 shipping
+ $7.50 shipping
In stock
Preparation takes 3-5 business days
Arrives from the United States


Item details

This bonnet is a family heirloom. I named it for my mother, Verna.

The original pattern came to her from one of the very elderly ladies in her very southern line. For many years afterwards, Mama made her bonnets for church fund raisers and craft shows, where they were a hit. When she died and I cleaned out her estate, I found two that she had made for sale and the one she wore when working her own garden--which she did almost to the day she died at the age of 87.

I didn't find her pattern, which was probably made on brown paper from a grocery bag, so I recreated it by working from the bonnets she left, drafting by hand and then assembling the pattern and instructions digitally (incidentally, the bonnet in the photos is my prototype, made from the recreated pattern). I know that some people love PDF, but I'm old school, and I wanted to create something tangible.

This is what is known as a slat bonnet--referent to the slats of wood or cardboard that stiffen the front of the bonnet and make it good protection from the sun. The design dates back at least to the Depression, although I think it may be older. Unlike modern versions, which are shaped with elastic, this bonnet is made in two pieces and snaps together, which leaves much needed venting in the back. This was decidedly un-cute, critical gear for countless country women who spent hours every day working in the sun, and had to protect their eyes and skin accordingly.

So whether you want an authentic vintage design to round out a costume, or you need low tech UV protection as you go about your own outdoor chores, Mama's slat bonnet will fill the bill. Just promise me to think of her when you wear it.

PS: My listed shipping price is for USPS Flat Rate Priority. However, USPS 1st class is cheaper, if a tad slower, so feel free to state your preference. Also, if you're out of country, talk to me before you buy so that we can work out a mutually agreeable best price and shipping method.

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Shipping & policies
Preparation takes 3-5 business days
Arrives from the United States
Estimated Shipping
Shipping to
Zip or postal code

As soon as payment has been confirmed, I normally ship USPS Priority flat rate, both domestically and internationally, within 1-3 working days. That way, I can give an accurate shipping quote, the in country turn around is likely to be quick, (note that international shipping is apt to be 1-2 weeks), and the merchandise is both trackable and automatically insured. Customs forms, fees, and regs will be addressed as needed.

If, however, a customer has some other shipping preference, I will do whatever is reasonable to accommodate them.


Payment is due before shipment, and should be sent within 5 working days of sale. At the moment, I am taking electronic payment only through the Etsy mother ship--I've had issues with PayPal. However, once I know you, checks and money orders will be considered--there remains a place for old school. Tax will be applied where required and applicable (I need to check some local rules and regs before finalizing an official policy).

I am well aware that stuff happens. If you need to cancel a sale, get in touch and we'll work out the details.

Returns & exchanges

If for any good reason you don't like what you got--doesn't fit, not what you thought it was (despite my generally accurate, not to mention highly entertaining copy), I will make a full refund, including shipping, once I have received and inspected the item in question for condition.

Additional policies

In the future, I hope to take custom orders for jewelry, sculpture, and graphics. Stay tuned.