May 22, 2018

1830s Cap of Lace, Net & Ribbon

From ginormous gigot sleeves to towering Apollo knots, if there was one thing to be said about the fashions of the 1830s, having "too much" was not a concern.  Pile on the lace, the ribbons, frills and bows!  The more the merrier!  And that's just what I did for this newly completed cap:

1830s cap of net, lace and wide ribbon trim.
Tomorrow I'll be returning for my first day of the 2018 museum season, substituting for another interpreter at the Foster House.  While I enjoy the responsibilities of working in the interpretation office, there's nothing like getting to play "dress up" for a day and sharing stories of the past.  While I would have loved to have a new dress for the occasion, I decided to alter a previous creation instead and finish this confection of a cap.  In fact, this has probably become my most favorite cap to date! 

Historical Inspiration

As always, I like to look to extant examples, portraits and other period appropriate sources for inspiration.  This painting really spoke to me: 

Portrait of Alexandra Nicolai Sicily
by Christian Albrecht Jensen, 1824
(Source: Hermitage Museum, via Wikimedia Commons)

My reproduction cap.

I modeled my design after this cap from the MET:

Morning Cap, 1835
(Source: Metropolitan Museum of Art)

And got the idea to pleat the net from this:

Woman's cap of net and satin ribbon, c.1825
(Source: Los Angeles County Museum of Art)

But it was finding this extant example that really helped my design come together:

Net cap with green and yellow striped silk ribbon, c.1800-1830
(Source: Lot 66 of the Helen Larson Private Collection)

For more extant examples and other inspiration images, feel free to visit my Early 19th Century Caps Pinterest Board.  

Construction Details

If you've been following my blog for a while, you may have noticed that I make a lot of caps.  Rather than repeat more of the same, I'll just say that rolled hems and whipped rolled gathers on net are nothing like fine cottons or linens.  Net is far more finicky, and not for the faint of heart!  

In progress: the cap itself is a single layer of net finished with rolled hems. 
Both the lace and net frill (double layer made by folding a long strip in half)
were pleated, then attached with rolled whipped gathers.

Outer layers of frills attached.

The gathers ended up being a little more bulky than I would prefer due to the pleating and all of the layers.  In a few of the extant examples I've seen, the frills appear to be attached with a running stitch and then covered with a narrow band of net to enclose the raw edges.  I would explore this technique as a better alternative in the future...

Interior view of the cap.

The ties, much like the net frills, were just long strips folded in half and rolled up the sides:

Interior view of the ties and rolled whipped gathers or hems.

Exterior view.
Please note that both sides of the cap are visible.

Untrimmed Cap 

Once the ties were on, I took a break to capture some pictures of the untrimmed, but finished cap.  

So sheer!  No hiding unstyled hair under this cap!

Completed Project Shots 

To complete the look, I trimmed the cap with two yards of a beautiful, wide moire ribbon from The Dressmaker's Shop

I think the ribbons really change the look.  What do you think? 

Thanks for reading!

1 comment:

We ❤︎ Our Patrons

Like what you see here, and want to support future blogging and educational programming? Consider becoming a Patron - click on the button below to unlock exclusive content, bonus blog posts, and more! Every contribution makes a big difference, thank you!