Posts Tagged ‘19th century house cap’

To break up the whiteness of the cap I used almost 3 metres of 1cm wide black satin ribbon to make shell edging.

The edging is simply made by using a long piece of thread and sewing a continuous running stitch in a zig zag from edge to edge of the ribbon along its length. Then you gently pull up the thread and it gathers the ribbon into a series of scalloped ‘shells’ as you can see in the photo.

You need about three times as much ribbon as the finished length.

It’s time consuming but very useful as the gathers mean it will ease round all sorts of shapes quite comfortably.

The finished length of shell edging was hand stitched around the line between the spotted voile and the lace and in order to make it easier to put on in a hurry (as I have a couple of quick changes from bonnet to house cap) I left two tails hanging down at the back.

Certainly a much better finishing touch for my costume than a mob cap.

 And here, semi-reluctantly modelled by my 13-yr old daughter.

She much prefers the waistcoat and black tails she wears as the head boy of Dr Strong’s Academy.

The show, “Young Copperfield“,  is going well in spite of the usual disappointing audiences but I will be pleased to see the back of Miss Murdstone on Saturday night – awful woman she is!!


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In the end the house cap took a lot less time than I’d anticipated. After searching the internet for images and ideas I settled on this one:

on the grounds that it looked like it was going to be quick to make and wouldn’t need any fitting.

I started with a rounded diamond pattern and cut two pieces of spotted voile from it.

These were machined together, seams clipped, turned right side out and the opening ladder stitched closed.

Next I took a very wide piece of lace and folded it along the middle in a one third: two thirds ratio so the top layer only partly covered the bottom layer.

The picture appears to have the lace gathered only at the points of the diamond so I used four pleats at each corner, rather than gathers, so it would lay flatter. It worked very well, easing the lace nicely around the shape.

Lappets next. These are the bits that hang down either side of the face. The picture shows what might be a pleat but I decided to cut mine simply from two pieces of the spotted voile.

These were sewn together, clipped, turned right side out and then ladder stitched closed before being sewn onto the cap on either side.

Beautifully modelled by my majolica jug!

I was delighted that it only took about 2 hours to get to this point, bearing in mind that it’s part of a stage costume and so isn’t as carefully finished or tightly researched as a reenactment item. However, at the moment it’s a bit white and lacy and needs something else.

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