My First 18th Century Cap

My first 18th century cap. It turned out a little smaller than I would have liked, so I might make another down the line. Sorry for the low quality iPhone photo.

Progress on the 18th century sewing projects has been slow-going lately for a variety of reasons.  I actually had two projects sitting around for a while, waiting for me to finish them.  One of them was my 18th century cap.

I didn’t use a purchased pattern for my first cap, but I did use instructions I found on the internet.  There were a lot of great options to choose from, so I thought I would give it a try.  My first version ended up not working.  I didn’t make the back part long or wide enough, so I stopped and started another one.  Version 2 still has some issues as well.  The back part of the cap still doesn’t seem to have enough room length-wise to cover my hair (I wear it in a bun).  This makes the band part of the cap sit back on my head a little more than I like.  I thought I had added enough without making the back too poofy, but I guess it wasn’t quite enough.  The cap stays on, but it feels as if it could shift too much if I move around a lot, or bump the cap with my hand.  I might try pinning the cap on to see if that will help it stay on more securely, otherwise my only other option is to make another cap.

Next time, I think I will make the top part of the back more rounded, lengthen it a bit more, and also use a better fabric like linen (I did not have any linen handy for any of these projects).  I used a combination of machine and hand sewing for this cap.  Unless I feel the need to use all hand sewing for the next version, I think this will work for now.

My next project is to finish my stays.  I’m hoping the pattern I made will work.  I’m still nervous to see how it turns out.  Although I have made a corset before, I have no idea if this will work out as nicely as I hope.  They’re such an important part of the look for this era, I don’t want to get too frustrated trying to get it right.  I’ll be so glad when they’re finally finished!

About Cynthia Griffith

I have way too many interests and hobbies, and continually cycle through them -- paying attention to some, while others wait for when I can get around to them again. My main interests are sewing and costuming (I enjoy historical clothing, such as 18th and 19th century, as well as fantasy costumes like elves and hopefully someday even dwarves), as well as getting back to art by drawing fan art of Thorin Oakenshield and Company. My husband Christopher and I spend a lot of time together, enjoying the outdoors and shared hobbies such as juggling. This blog and website is my way to share what I'm up to with friends and family.
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2 Responses to My First 18th Century Cap

  1. Mary says:

    This is great! I clicked on the instructions and I though “no way”. So much to see, read and do, and you just come up with something that cute! I know you didn’t simply turn it out as though there was nothing to it; I know better. But you just dig in and do it and end up with such lovely pieces. The talent!

  2. Thanks so much for the very kind reply, Mary!

    There was a lot of information at that link, it covered options, materials and techniques, shapes/patterns, and construction. The hardest part was working out the patterns. Every time I thought I was close enough (I wanted to be careful not to over do it and get a huge “poof” on my head), it turned out I still didn’t quite add enough to it. There are caps that sit back on the head (or even on top, and definitely are pinned on because there would be no other way to keep them on due to their tiny size), but for some reason my hair can be slick and things still slide around. I’ll definitely have to figure something out. Regardless of how this cap turned out, if I ever want to do one of those “sit on the head, delicate and small cap” designs, I’ll have to figure out how to keep it pinned on securely.

    Patterns like the cap and shift and shirt were fairly easy to figure out. The stays on the other hand… wowza! I have a little less information to go by and it’s not only fitted, it’s got to be strong and create a shape. The gown itself will make me nervous because it will be showing and I want it to look the best of all, even though I have a good feeling it won’t be as hard (I’m doing a shorter jacket instead of a long, watteau-backed gown… less fabric to fight with all at once for one whole garment).

    Thanks again for the reply! 😀

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