Do you remember reading Little House on the Prairie? Maybe you watched the multi-year series on Tv. In either case, Ma, Pa and the girls all wore hats, especially in the summer. Pa’s hats were made from straw that Ma braided into long strips and sewed together, making the crown and then the wide brim. The girls all wore sunbonnets (and long-sleeved dresses) to keep the sun from browning their faces and arms, making them look uncivilized. Times change and today many of us favor a tanned look, thinking we look healthier than with pale, white skin.
I recently visited DeSmet, S.D., the setting for Little Town on the Prairie and The Long Winter. The Laura Ingalls Wilder gift shop offered calico sunbonnets, aprons and dresses for little girls who want to pretend they are just like Laura on the wild prairie. I managed to resist the impulse to buy one of each adorable set for my 7-year-old grand daughter, knowing she would never wear a bonnet or an apron.
If you have a hankering to make a sunbonnet for yourself or a Laura wanna-be, you can find an easy-to-make replica from a 1978 MOTHER EARTH NEWS article. Maybe you already wear head protection summer and winter; if so, tell us about your favorite hat in the comments section below.
Photo by Istockphoto