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Create a “Marianne” Style Bonnet

As many will attest, one of the delights of watching a Jane Austen film is the glory of the costuming. Jenny Beavan’s designs for the 1995 Emma Thompson version of Sense and Sensibility were no exception. Beavan, always noted for her impeccable historical designs, was rightfully nominated for both a BAFTA and an Oscar on this film.

Marianne wears a delightfully poufed bonnet.
Marianne wears a delightfully poufed bonnet.

Here you will find the instructions for my version of Marianne’s famous bonnet.

This bonnet was designed for www.austentation.com.
This bonnet was designed for www.austentation.com.

Materials:
Needle, Thread, Scissors, pins
1 Round Brimmed straw hat (preferably with a downturned brim)
14×14” or 18×18” square of fabric (your choice for size of pouf)
18×2” strip of fabric
4×4” square of fabric
1 yard ribbon of your choice (I use ½” sheer with satin stripes)
Instructions

  • Fold the fabric in quarters and round off the edges. You will now have a circle of fabric. Run a gathering stitch around the edge of the circle and pull it as tight around the top of the crown (just below the line of holes) Tack or pin in place.
  • Find the center of the piece of ribbon. Pin it in place over halfway over the raw edge of the gathered “pouf” in the center, front. Bring the ribbon around the bonnet on both sides, crossing it in the back. Now bring the ribbon to the front again. This time, cross them in the center, front, about an inch and a half away from the edge of the brim (as pictured). Pin in place.
    Ribbon lies under the band as well as being wrapped in front.
    Ribbon is wrapped around the brim as well as being overlapped in front.
  • Make a “pinwheel” rosette out of the 4” square by rounding off the corners as in Step 1. Now fold the edge under and run a gathering stitch along the edge and pull it tight. Flatten the circle so that the gathered edge is tight in the middle and the rest flares out around it. Tack this in place on top of the crossed ribbons. Trim ribbon edges to desired length.
    The ribbons are tacked down with a fabric "pinwheel".
    The ribbons are tacked down with a fabric “pinwheel”.
  • Fold your remaining fabric strip in thirds and place over the overlapped edge of the gathered fabric and ribbon. Make sure that the raw edges are tucked to the back and stitch this down, around the crown over the overlapped edge, using a hidden stitch. Start at the center back. When you get around to the back again, measure ½” past the first end and cut the fabric. Fold the raw edge under and tack this “finished” end over the raw edge.

 

Created by Laura Boyle for Austentation: Regency Accessories- www.austentation.com
Feel free to contact her with any questions or comments about this pattern.

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Emma(3): 1996

Emma: BBC/A&E 1996, written by Andrew Davies
The other version of Emma to be released in 1996 was written and produced by the same team that gave us Pride and Prejudice only a year before. This version, shown on the BBC and A&E television took a much different look at the story from it’s big screen counterpart.Female cast members, from left: Mrs. Elton, Miss Bates, Harriet Smith, Emma Woodhouse, Jane Fairfax, Mrs. Weston. Beginning with a veteran Austen cast including Bernard Hepton (Sir Thomas Bertram, MP1) as Mr. Woodhouse, Samantha Bond (Maria Bertram, MP1)as Mrs. Weston and Lucy Robinson (Louisa Hurst, P&P2)as Mrs. Elton, this version gave a muted but in the end faithful picture of Austen’s fourth novel. Other actors included Kate Beckinsdale (Hero, Much Ado About Nothing) as Emma Woodhouse, Raymond Coulthard (Young Scrooge, The Muppet’s Christmas Carol) as Frank Churchill,Male cast members, from left: Frank Churchill, Robert Martin, Mr. George Knightley, Dr. Perry, Mr. Elton, Mr. John Knightley. Samantha Morton (Jane Eyre, Jane Eyre 1997 as Harriet Smith and Prunella Scales (Sybil Fawlty, Fawlty Towers) as Miss Bates.)Scales already had another Austen connection: her son, Sam West, played Mr. William Walter Elliot in Sony’s 1994 Persuasion.

The village of Lacock, used by permission from William Kemp Filmed primarily in Lacock, a village made famous in Pride and Prejudice, and other National Trust houses around England, this Emma includes many scenes lacking in the year’s other offering. We are treated to chicken thieves, a game of anagrams, and strawberry picking at Donwell (“Donkeys, Janet!”). Other scenes were invented for plot development- the arrival of Jane’s piano, the unexpected but in the end quite satisfying dinner at Donwell, and (Who could forget!?) Emma’s imaginations! These scenes, though not present in the book give an amusing twist to an already delightful film.

Kate Beckinsdale as Emma Woodhouse Where Miramax’s Emma was light, bright and sparkling, this version tends to show more of the dirt and even, at times, the poverty experienced at the time, lending it a feeling of reality lost in other more “cinematic” films. Whether at dinner or in the hot and dusty outdoors, the director sought to give a period touch with authentic meals (using period recipes!), smokey interiors and terribly dirty, muddy roads. The costumes, created by Jenny Beavan also reflect that same attention to detail, giving full credit to her extensive research and love of history.

Jenny Beavan's gown, designed for Lucy Robinson, used by permission from William Kemp Beavan, who has been Oscar-nominated for her work in such films as Anna and the King, A Room with a View, and Sense and Sensibility – talks of her work in “The Making of Jane Austen’s Emma“. The setting, nearer 1815 than S&S2’s 1800, provided a welcome challenge to her, for, though the styles were similar, they do provide a stark contrast to the discerning eye. Add to that the provinciality of Highbury in comparison to the cosmopolitan world of London and the Dashwood’s former wealth, and you have a completely new wardrobe to assemble. Very few garments from other adaptations were availble for use in this production, so most of the outfits were tailor made for this production (Sharp observers will notice Mrs. Weston wearing a few of Jane Bennet’s gowns.). Ms. Beavan won an Emmy for her costumes in this film.

Mark Strong as Mr. Knightley Along with costuming, hairstyles are a major concern when filming a period piece. Stylist Mary Hillman put quite a lot of thought into showing each character’s disposition through their personal style. Emma has elaborately coiffed, somewhat perky curls, Harriet’s hair, presumably arranged by herself, is done very simply. Mr. Woodhouse clings to outdated fashions and tradition with his periwig. Frank’s, and we all know how fastidious he was about his hair, is always perfectly styled into place. Many of the actors and actresses involved in this film were able to use their own hair for all scenes. Two exceptions were Kate Beckinsdale, who wore extensions, and Mark Strong (Mr. Knightley)- who is actually bald!!

Samantha Morton as Harriet Smith Mark Strong and Jeremy Northam have, inevitably, endured much criticism for their quite different portrayals of Mr. Knightley. Strong’s comes across as angry- more intense perhaps, while Northam’s is much more easy-going. Again, as in the Miramax production, this film benefits from having actors who are actually close in age to the characters they play. Perhaps the most interesting link between the two films is the portrayal of Harriet Smith by Samantha Morton (A&E) and Toni Collette (Miramax). Both these actresses have since had fine careers which once again crossed paths when they contended with each other for the Best Supporting Actress Oscar in 2000. Neither actress won.

Happily Ever After Despite it’s dark overtones, Emma remains an entertaining and delightful adaptation. The carriage proposal scene with Mr. Elton (Dominic Rowan) is not to be missed! Emma is available in both DVD and VHS formats and runs for approximately 107 mins. The DVD features a bonus biography of Jane Austen and closed captioning. There is no language selection available. The book, The Making of Jane Austen’s Emma is out of print but can occasionally be found on Ebay or in used book stores.

Photos of Lacock and Jenny Beavan’s gown, courtesy of William Kemp. Visit his site for more fabulous Jane Austen related photography!

Laura Sauer is a collector of Jane Austen Films and film memorabilia. She also runs Austentation, a company that specializes in custom made Regency Accessories

 

 

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