Saturday, January 27, 2024

A 1770's cap for Felicity

 Once my friend and I set our tea date for me to debut my Felicity birthday dress, I started contemplating my head gear for the occasion.

I had the dress. I had the apron. But what would I do with my hair? What would I wear on my head?

In the book Felicity didn't wear a cap with her dress, just a pretty ribbon tied around her head. 

I contemplated doing the same, but did I want to perfectly match Felicity, like a cosplay, or make a historical ensemble that resembled Felicity's closely?
I decided on the latter option. I'm making outfits that resemble 10 year-old Felicity's dresses, but I am a grown woman and I want my dresses to be close to something a grown woman would wear in 1775. 
That said, I'm fairly certain a woman in 1775 would wear a cap with her linen dress and apron, rather than going bareheaded. Thus, I would wear a cap with my outfit - and add a pretty pink ribbon as a nod to Felicity's head band.

So what cap would I wear? I've got a 1760's linen cap (made from the pattern in the American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking) and a 1780's silk, ribbon-trimmed, cap (made from another pattern in the same book). The 1780's cap is quite fancy and too floofy to work with Felicity's gowns, so the 1760's cap has seen a lot of wear over the past few years. That said, it's still not quite right for the 1770's, I've just used it because I've been too lazy to make another cap. 
Thus, with an occasion to wear my new birthday dress looming, I decided to make another cap - a proper 1770's linen cap. I went scouring Pinterest for 1770's portraits to get an idea of what I needed to make.

Something a bit bigger than a 1760's cap and less floofy than a 1780's cap. That was doable! I pulled out my 1760's cap pattern and 1780's cap pattern and sort of mashed them together to get something inbetween the two that looked about right.

I cut the cap out of the same cotton-linen blend as I used for my bodice lining - not perfectly historically accurate, but it looks perfectly fine for the era.

As with the previous two caps I roll hemmed all the pieces individually, then whipstitched them together. I pleated the ruffle to go on the brim, and trimmed the cap with some pretty pink vintage moire ribbon. (Given to me by Sewstine back when the Saint Louis Historical Sewing Society did a cap sewing workshop, before the world shut down in 2020)

The cap went together without issue - and was just the thing to throw on over my hastily done hair for the afternoon tea with my friend!

It was exactly what was needed to complete the ensemble - and it fulfils the requirements for Historical Sew Monthly's May challenge from last year: Hair Apparel - Make something in the hair or on the head.

What the item is: 1770's Cap

The Challenge: Hair Apparel, it goes on the hair.

Material: Linen/cotton blend

Pattern: A mash-up of the 1760's and 1780's cap patterns from The American Duchess Guide to 18th Century Dressmaking

Year: 1770's

Notions: Thread and ribbon

How historically accurate is it? The pattern is good as far as I can tell, the construction is accurate (all hand sewn with what I know of period methods) and the overall look is right. The fabric should really be all linen, rather than a blend, and the ribbon should be silk not rayon. Let's give it 75% overall.

Hours to complete: I don't know

First worn: 7/29/23 for afternoon tea with a friend

Total cost: All just fabric scraps or gifted materials so essentially free!

1 comment:

  1. A very cute cap! The idea of going to a tea to debut the outfit sounds just perfect, and a lot of fun.