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Accessorising the Ball Gown - The Headdress

The Historical Sew Monthly challenge for July? Accessorizing. The perfect challenge for me this month since I just finished my ball gown and needed some accessories to go with it. I actually managed to finish three items this month for this challenge! First up, the headdress.

When I started considering what I ought to make to go with my gown my first thought was a cap or headdress of some sort. So I looked at paintings, daguerreotypes, fashion plates, and pictures of actual headdresses from the mid 19th century to get an idea of what to make. There were lots of possibilities and I was a little overwhelmed. Finally I decided to mostly base my headdress off this one from 1862.

Along with incorporating elements from these two.

Armed with these pictures I was ready to get started! First I made the base for the headdress out of floral wire.

I made sure the base fit my head then used smaller wire to attach a hair comb, so that when I'm wearing the headdress it will stay in place.

Next I covered the lowest wire with black ribbon to keep the twisted wire from getting caught in my hair, sewed black lace to the top wire, and started attaching flowers. 

I very rarely work with fake flowers so arranging the flowers was one of the most fun, yet most challenging aspects of the entire project for me. Once the flowers were all in place in was time to add the hair net and a few more adornments. I found some vintage organza ribbon with a scalloped edge in my stash. I used it to make 3 ribbon rosettes, which I would attach to the top of the hair net, similar to my third inspiration picture.

For the net itself I used a shirt. That's right, a shirt, well part of a shirt at least. I found a black net shirt/cardigan thing at Goodwill. The fabric from it was just perfect for this project, along with another of the accessories I made this month. 

So I sewed on the hairnet, between the middle and bottom wires. Then I decorated it with the ribbon rosettes, fancy buttons, and some lace. Finally I sewed on some lace streamers and it was done!

This was a very fun project! A bit of a challenge since I'd never made anything similar, but fun nevertheless. 

Now I want to make more headdresses!

With my historical wardrobe I've always gotten really into making the dresses and then just kind of made the accessories as an after thought because I *had* to. This month's challenge really showed me how much fun making the accessories can be! 

An Evening Headdress
The Challenge: #7 Accessorize
Fabric: Polyester netting of some sort. I recycled a net shirt I found at Goodwill to get it.
Pattern: None, I looked through lots and lots of pictures of 1860's headdresses and then made something similar.
Year: 1860 - 1865 approximately
Notions: Ribbon, Black Lace. Floral Wire, Faux Flowers, thread, Faux Crystal and Pearl Buttons, Hair Comb
How historically accurate is it? Well the look is right, and it's entirely hand sewn, but for the most part the materials aren't as everything is synthetic.   
Hours to complete: Not sure, probably about 5-6
First worn: Just for the pictures, July 31st
Total cost: About $5, most things I already had in my stash, I just had to buy the shirt that I got the netting from and the wire. 

Well that's the headdress, I also made pair of mitts and stockings for this month's challenge, and I love how the entire ensemble came out!


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