Baby Caps and Bonnets a Hundred Years Ago

18-year-old Helena Muffly wrote exactly 100 years ago today: 

Wednesday, December 11, 1913: Nothing of importance.


Her middle-aged granddaughter’s comments 100 years later:

Since Grandma didn’t write much a hundred years ago today, I’m going to share some adorable pictures of baby caps and bonnets that were in the December, 1913 issue of Ladies Home Journal. According to the magazine:

Something pretty for the baby’s Christmas gift usually means a piece of dainty hand work.  Illustrated are two lovely crocheted caps lined with soft silk, and two others which are made of handkerchiefs.




23 Responses

  1. They are so pretty. I like the first one the best. I like the crochet, but also the fact that the patter does not have as many big openings.

  2. One thing I’ve noticed after following your blog and your grandmother’s diary is that on days where she writes “Nothing of importance” or similar, I want to say “No! No! Tell us what you had for breakfast! Or what you’re wearing!” My father left some recorded tapes of his memories of his childhood, which made me realize in the same vein that EVERYTHING is important, and no detail is too insignificant to mention, especially to the generations to come.

  3. Oh… those are so beautiful Sheryl. How wonderful that the crocheted bonnets are lined with silk… must look glorious. Thanks…

  4. Love the idea of bonnets from handkerchiefs. A silk lining would be lovely too.

  5. Aren’t they precious! When we were married, my ex-husband’s mother-in-law gave me a baby bonnet made for her (she was born in 1920). I’m not sure if it’s fine crochet or tatting, but it’s just beautiful. I’ve always treasured it.

  6. Just lovely…I wouldn’t mind dressing my baby in a pretty baby bonnet.

  7. What a great post! I have never seen the baby bonnets made of handkerchiefs before.

  8. Beautiful! I love baby bonnets and bandana for women! Cute!

  9. I recognized that one as made from hankies right away. I must have remembered seeing something similar made this way. Which goes to show that my childhood is closer, at least in spirit, to 1913 than to today.

  10. My husbands Grandmother wrote in her 1913 diary “nothing much doing today.” And i wish she had just shared something..:(

  11. I love baby bonnets. I still have the one that my mother saved of mine and the one that my daughter wore home from the hospital. (I came out of hiding just to comment on this! :) ).

  12. I think the “nothing of importance” is hilarious. It shows that even 100 years ago we struggled with finding meaning in life! although, to be fair, maybe “nothing of importance” could mean nothing of importance to others, but something of importance to her – otherwise, why would she bother to write anything? :)

  13. Those bonnets are so sweet :)

  14. I love baby bonnets! Today I see little girl babies with headbands that are cute but not as adorable as bonnets. The ones you posted are great!

  15. I have a picture of my others little brother as a baby wearing a hat sort of like the second one, without the decoration. They look like they would be so soft and comfortable.

  16. Those are lovely. We’ve lost a lot I of those skills, it seems.

    • Hopefully the old skills won’t be lost. I think that it’s awesome that some young people are really into knitting and other handicrafts these days.

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