This I had been putting off for a little while as I was a bit scared of making it! I did think about purchasing a plain one already made, but I was looking at about £40 by the time I had decorated it. So I went onto ebay and picked up a plain straw hat for £11. I got some remnant silk from a local silk shop for £3 and some binding from the haberdashers. The silk organza I already had. I think that comes to around £20 when I add the ribbon I bought online last night!
I looked at the various instructions of making a Regency bonnet on the internet, the best one being here. Before cutting the hat, I made the lining with the organza first so that it could be sewn in straight away when I had cut the hat (that was the scariest part!) I would recommend folding the hat in half and drawing a rough cutting line before actually cutting the hat. Note that the brim is curved at the bottom. I also cut a little out of the crown of the hat. I then stitched along the new edge, as the hat frays. Then I was able to sew on the binding to the edges, catching in the lining as I went.
Once I had bound all the edges, I stitched down the second row of gathers on the lining to the edge of the crown, this holds it into place. With the leftover lining I folded neatly into the hat and stitched it down so it wouldn't come loose. After this I made the silk cover for the crown. I measure from the centre to the edge (6.75"), doubled it and added an extra inch to get the diameter of the circle needed. I them found a very big bowl with the same diameter and used that as a template! I then gathered the silk, folded the edge in about an inch as I went along. I placed it over the crown and pulled the thread so it gathered to the right size and then stitched it to the hat.
All I have to do now is attach the ribbon when it arrives!