You have all asked over and over again about custom bonnets and after much thought, organization and a few meetings my team and I have decided it's something we can take on. I didn't do them before because I never felt we had things under control enough to take on more orders. The 400 bonnets we make every month is a lot to organize, but (knock on wood!) we have it down to a science now and things are flowing nicely with my team. Adding in the extra bonnets each month will mean my team has more work to do which is something they have asked for! So it's a win win!
So, how will it work?
We will have 10 listings available at each drop. They will be $48 each no matter the size (this price includes the shipping of your completed bonnet). We will offer only the danish style bonnets (which is the non brimmed, non ruffle, trimmed bonnets. See photo below)
You will buy your custom listing and I will email you a form to fill out. In that form you will tell us the size you need, what gender to make the bonnet for and your return address. You will then place your garment in a plastic bag with your full name writtne on it so we can be sure not to lose your special garment/fabric (all of these directions will be included with your purchase, so don't feel you have to remember all of this!)
Once I have your fabric here I will design your bonnet. By letting me design your bonnet you're giving me artistic license to do what I see fit with what you send. Meaning I will pick the trim and the lining, you will not chose these fabrics.
What can you send us:
You can send us garments and/or fabric to use for bonnets BUT you need to be sure of a few things. These garments cannot have a lot of seams, tons of rips, or staining. Carefully look over your garment/fabric and be sure that if we were to lay a bonnet pattern down on it that we could cut at least one bonnet (in the size you need) from it. If you send something that is not useable I will mail it back to you and refund your purchase.
What types of fabric we can work with:
We can work with cotton, rayon and linen. NO polyester, stretch knits or thick wool. I can work with lace but it CANNOT have any beading on it (like from a wedding dress) If you are wanting me to make a bonnet from a large garment (such as a wedding dress) please do not send the whole thing. Cut a good amount from the garment (1/4 a yard) and send me pieces. I will include measurements in the order form for you to follow if you are cutting material for me to use. I will be choosing the linings of the bonnets since I will determine what trim will be used so please do not send extra material expecting your bonnet to be lined with it.
People keep asking if they send a garment can I make them two bonnets. You're welcome to buy 2 listings and I will waive the shipping cost for one. It's still the same amount of work for me even if you're only sending one garment. You can however send 2 garments and I will choose which one will make the better bonnet and send back the unused garment with your finished bonnet. I cannot make you free bonnets if you send extra material in exchange, I wish I could but I just don't have the time. I also cannot send back the unused material. I have my friend helping me sew them all and I cannot keep track of who wants what back, if you're wanting to keep part of the garment I suggest cutting me enough to make the bonnet (1/4 yard) and keeping the rest at home.
Finally, just to reiterate. If you send something that is not useable I will email you and send the garment back. I don't want to cut into something that is special to you if I will fail at making your bonnet. Cotton, linen and rayon are the best materials for us to work with.
I think that covers it. As I think of things I may add more to this post, so refer back to it before those custom listings go live. If this is successful we may include the option of having ruffle and brimmed bonnets added to the custom listings, but for this first go around I want to keep it simple for my team.
The turn around time on these bonnets will be 3 weeks to ensure I have enough time to design them. I want to respect the fact that you have sent me a special piece of fabric and take my time to ensure I make you the best design I can.
As for donated yardage. Please keep in mind all of the things I mentioned above (rayon, cotton, linen) I do not need small pieces of fabric, I am drowning in fabric here. What is helpful is full yards of fabric, large skirts, big mens shirts, quality sheets, curtains, lace curtains... But fat quarters or sleeves of garments, scraps of curtains or anything under 1/2 yard is not something I need right now. I may in the future, at which time I'll update this post. But for now, if you see something and say "hey! I think Carrie could make a bunch of bonnets from this" then send it along to this address
Carrie Keefe 10 Central Street Turners Falls MA 01376.
I cannot make you a bonnet in trade for the fabric, I reserve that time for the people who buy the custom listings. But I can make some fabulous bonnets from what you send and you can help me save this world from textile waste #onebonnetatatime
I will try to answer questions as they come in but if I do not answer you personally it may be that I have updated this blog post and answered your question here (if I feel it will benefit everyone) I hope this goes well, I am excited to do this for you guys since you have asked SO many times. If this is not successful and I am way too overwhelmed we won't do it again. I've learned in my adult life that it's all about balance and heart. If my heart is in it, then I do it. If I can balance it all, then it's worth it. If once we take on all these custom orders and my heart says "no!" and life becomes unbalanced, we simply won't do it again. You're all in this with me, this is a group effort.
ok, before I ramble on any longer. Love and bonnets guys, see you all on "the gram"