A Silk Lampas cap

I started looking at a lot of caps and my favorite was the combination of silk lampas and gold lace. I have found none of these in aristocratic portraits of adult women, so this cap is fabulously unsuited to go with, like, 95 percent of my 18th century wardrobe. But the heart wants what it wants, right?



This was a major inspiration. As were a few extent caps.

The pattern was an alteration of a Duran Textiles cap pattern that I further altered on the cap itself after the one corner looked way too harsh.



I traced this off my computer screen because my printer is out of commission.

I flatlined the three pieces individually with a firm cotton (I had ran out of linen):


Making sure some  of the brocaded flowers made it onto the cap.


And then I sewed everything together with small backstitches. For some reason this took me 3 hours. (Addmittedly, I watched tv while doing this which never helps.)




The was the moment I realized that the corner edge didn’t look so swell.

Then I applied the vintage gold lace by sewing both the inner and outer edge of the lace to the cap.


And that was it:



And to give you an idea of its dimensions; that’s what it looks like when it’s worn:


Making a plain silk 18th century cap

For some reason I really love 18th century regional caps. More than I actually love the white linen/cotton/silk caps. I blame childhood trauma caused by a truly ugly costume cap my sister owned but that’s a different story.

Those 18th regional caps are usually made of very nice material: silk lampas, silk damask, silk velvet, embroidered silk, silk with lace… you see where this goes. Apparently the laws on who was allowed to wear what material was really lax when it came to head coverings. And those caps didn’t really need a lot of fabric.

Since I have never done one of these, I didn’t wanted to start making one out of silk lampas, so I made one out of plain silk. This was obviously inspired by this particular painting:

Bildschirmfoto 2016-07-17 um 15.27.29

Liotard – The Chocolade Girl (detail)

My interpretation of that painting is that she is wearing a white cap under her silk cap instead of merely attaching the lace to silk cap. This would allow her to clean one and not the other.

I used the pattern from Duran Textiles. I lined the back of cap with heavy cotton. I interlined the cap brim with a heavy cotton and then lined it in linen. Then I attached the brim to the back:

I decided to distribute the pleats more even around the brim instead of pleating it solely at the back.


I did pleat some of it in the back though.

Then I carefully attached a piece of antique Valenciennes lace I had in my stash over the brim. The piece had exactly the length that was needed. I didn’t have to hide or stretch or cut anything. The thing about Valenciennes lace is that it’s only type of lace where 19th and 18th century styles are pretty hard to distinguish so it looks pretty accurate although my guess is that’s late 19th century Valenciennes.


Under that cap I put a white cotton/linen cap.

It was a fun project, so I already gathered the materials for my next cap project:


A flower hat for my chemise a la reine

I figured I needed a hat when I frolick in the sun for my chemise a la reine photoshoot. (Any weekend now…, really.)

But since the gown is so color-neutral and I didn’t want to stick white silk on a altered 5 dollar hat for an all cotton costume, I let myself be inspired by this particular hat:

Elisabeth of France, Vigee-Lebrun

Élisabeth Louise Vigée-Lebrun. Detail from Madame Elisabeth, 1782.

Continue reading


The hat – finished.


It reminds me of a cake, to be honest.

I left off the planned ruffle around the brim for a variety of reasons, mainly because I suspect that it would be a lot effort with minimal pay-off. I might end up making the hat look worse and after putting in a lot of work into making that ruffle, I would probably not be able to not add it anyway. Of course, this means that my embroidery placement is less than perfect but whatever. Continue reading


The embroidered hat, part who cares

So I finished embroidering, finished the white silk stuff to go under the pinked other stuff, then I pinned my crown covering to my crown and sewed it down:


You see all these pins? Sewing past them is like cuddling with a hedgehog.

Then I sewed  my embroidery layer onto the crown, along with all the other stuff:


The ribbon disguise the fact that the fabric was pieced.

Meanwhile the underside was this:


The fabric was a silk scarf I bought in error. It’s some sort of pongee and to pleat properly is to attached to a ribbon that you pleat. Everything else is just nonsense. The feel is nice though. Anyway I sewed it to a cotton twill tape, pleated it, attached it to the inner crown and then I folded it over the brim. There is a bias tape under it, protecting it from the edge of the hat.

IMG_3495 Then I sewed the outside of the embroidery layer to the resulting edge, without going back through the actual hat. No extra bias tape was necessary. IMG_3494 Now the whole thing is just missing some additional decoration and ribbon ties.


The hat – half-embroidered

The hat is going well, I padded the base with some cotton fabric on both sides, so the straw doesn’t show through and sewed some hat wire around the brim. These are clearly the most exciting parts, hence the lack of pictures.

Then I lightboxed up (Just get some transparent paper to print your pattern on, a glass plate and some light and you, too, can do this.) and traced my pattern onto my fabric. The vines I did in trick marker because I figured I would embroider fast enough to make this work and getting lines wrong with pencil can pretty much ruin the whole thing. The leaves are pencil, because I am not that fast (I think), and they are way more forgiving to embroider.


Please remember, the purple will disappear.

My way of doing embroidery is… texturized.


That’s how I got this far.


A Bergere

I’ve decided to make a fairly over-done Bergere hat.

Inspired by these particular hats:

A reproduction from Kyoto.

A reproduction by Reine des Centfeuilles

This original from the V&A

I’ve come up with a “Best (worst?)-of”, conceptually.


Before you knock my concept illustration: this also doubles as my embroidery pattern which is super-neat.

I decided keep it in a celadon/mint-green with white accents, otherwise I might end up blinding people with my millinery work.

It looks fairly busy already (and I have barely done anything in real life!) and I still want to add bows and feathers.