Monday, September 25, 2017

An 1860's Day Cap

The end of summer swept by last week and autumn fell immediately in a swirl of gold and crimson leaves. The boys are back in school and this year my little Anne joined them, trotting off to get on the bus as a wide eyed kindergartener. Thus, the number of babes at home has dwindled down to two. Another year gone. And as Rosie likes to tell me "I am NOT a baby, mommy. I'm a tod'lr." Benjamin also puts in his two cents. "I'm a t-rex."
Unpacking the trunk
It has been a really full, busy summer. I didn't get a lot of sewing accomplished but I'm glad I didn't try to. The fall will see a big pick up in projects since I always feel more productive then and it's good to get back in the sewing room! I wasn't totally idle, though - I did make some small projects using up some bits and bobs I had left from other things. Most of these projects were either little ones I had planned for a rainy day or redoing older garments. I'll try to post about them all, eventually, but for today I have some pictures of a new 1860's cap. I really like this one!

The cap pictured with our newest 1860's material culture addition - an 1862 Bible!
Earlier this spring when I made my organdy fichu from a thrifted organdy dress, I had some scraps left that I thought I could turn into a cap whenever I had a little spare time. Late this summer when I had packed up my sewing things for a much-anticipated move I was going a little crazy not having something to work on. I had kept out a little box of thread, needles and pins and I still had my scrap box unpacked! So I finally made this cap and every bit of organdy has been put to good use.

Organdy scraps laid out and cut to shape. The bit of lace isfrom the sleeve of the
organdy bodice.

I also used this silk lace-trimmed hankie for the lace. I bought this hankie years ago from the
big antique mall in Peoria, IL before it closed its doors.
The cap with the band attached, and the lower edge gathered and whipped to the lace.
The cap is based on several illustrations of morning or breakfast caps from the early 1860's. It's not an exact copy of any of them, but has the general silhouette and frivolity. It's based on a U shape and trimmed with lace and a ruffle and the last bit of satin ribbon I had left from a big roll I bought years ago. I soaked the ribbon in a diluted bleach solution for about a half hour to make it more green than blue.
Attaching lace to the band.

Construction before the ruffle!

Attaching the ruffle was a pain and the pins kept slipping out. 

I haven't had a chance to wear it at an event yet but did try it on at home to see how it would look. I think it looks kind of silly but it will be a nice accessory for a more modest middle-class look. I feel like a Cranford lady. ;)
Finished except for ribbons!

Isaiah 41:10 will always be my favorite verse; the first one I ever recited at my
mothers knee. It reads just as beautifully in this 1862 version.


  1. I absolutely love it! How do you keep it on? Is it pinned?

    1. Thank you! Yes, I do pin it to keep it on. Two little straight pins behind the ribbon on the sides keeps it in place pretty well.

  2. Replies
    1. Thank you Sarah! You are one of my main inspirations for hand sewing!

  3. Oh my gosh!!!! You are BRILLIANT!!!! Now I have to find a tucked blouse and go through my hankderchiefs to find a perfect lace one!!! You are my super hero!!!


Thank you for your lovely thoughts!