Tuesday 23 January 2018

A Victorian Lace Day or Dinner Cap

Although I love this picture made bij Danielle Silleman/Groetjes uit IJmuiden, 
As it shows off my dress beautifully
I also remember feeling not completely dressed when she took it.
I have always really disliked the frilly lace caps worn by women in the 19th  century
 but now as I am getting older they seem to be growing on me. 

Normally I research everything before I start to work on it. This dinner cap was a last minute project because I needed something to keep my hands busy during the event. I had been working on several costumes up untill the last day and hadn't really prepared anything.
So I turned to my pattern stash and looked for a small accessory I could make.
I ended up chosing Butterick B5663 Historical Head Pieces, version C.

Butterick patterns, like most those of most large pattern companies, are not meant to be historically accurate. So I usually do a reasonably amount of research and incorporate my findings into my project by making approriate changes to the pattern.
With no time left untill the event, I skipped this part and just followed the pattern and the directions and used whatever scraps of fabric and lace I had lying around. Most of the lace that I have used is at least vintage or even antique.

The end result, at least in my eyes is, pleasing to the eye. I especially love the ribbon poinsettia I added. The headdress will be worn at Christmas events, so it seems only fitting. 

If I had done my research I would have know that most Victorian lace caps had a lace base or white fabric covered with. The closest thing I could find to a fabric base was a ribbon base, like this cap from 1850's in the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

Woman’s cap with piece of light purple ribbon at top trimmed with gathered piece of same ribbon; 
black net base across top front covered with two layers of white net embroidered with circles and floral motifs; purple ribbon bows at front sides; long ribbon ties; single layer of white embroidered net at back over ribbon bow

These two headdresses are from a slightly later date:

Silk and linen cap, ca. 1870's

And this very similar silk and linen cap also the 1870's

I find it hard to tell how they are constructed as the descriptions don't go in to great details. So I assume they are contructed very much in the same manner as the cap from the 1850's.

After looking at these historical examples, I have decided that although my cap isn't historically accurate, it is good enough to wear at least once. So I can find out if wearing a cap is indeed something I want to do.