March 11, 2023

A Beribboned Cap & Tasseled Slippers

Following on the heels (sorry, couldn't resist the shoe pun!) of my last blog post on the Making on an 1820s Morning Dress, I wanted to spotlight the two accessories that really made the ensemble complete: the beribboned cap and slippers with bow clips and hand-dyed tassels!  

More is more with ruffles, ribbons, and bows! 

Beribboned cap

If you've been following me for a while, you know I'm all about those big, ruffly, and beribboned caps of the Regency through Romantic eras!  I don't think I'll ever tire of making or wearing them...they're just so ridiculous and period.  Anyways, this post is to show what a little wired ribbon can do to instantly transform a cap! 

While mine was not intended to be a replica - this portrait of Mrs. Miller captures the look I was going for oh so well: down to the double ruffles and pink ribbons!

Portrait of Mrs. Miller of Newton, New Jersey, by John S. Blunt
Image source: Pinterest 

And here's my version of an 1820s beribboned cap, featuring double ruffles and wired ribbon loops: 

An 1820s beribboned cap decorated with wired ribbon loops.
Interior cotton twill tape "utility" ties,
and decorative ties of the same ombré ribbon with wires removed.

I really let the ribbon guide me as I decorated the cap.  First, I made a large double-loop bow with tails, which was tacked at the top center.  I used a long continuous length of ribbon for the side bows, and tacked them along the entire band of the cap.  After removing the wire, I also added ribbon streamers, which can be tied under the chin, or left loose like in the portrait above. 

In this side view, you can really see the double layer of ruffles -
the entire cap is handstitched with narrow rolled hems and whipped rolled gathers. 

Tasseled Slippers

If you're also not able or wanting to spend a small fortune on period footwear (and don't mind a modern cheat or two), try making shoe clips!  I transformed a pair of cheap red flats that had a similar, narrow rounded toe with a squared foot opening to Regency era examples, with clip-on bows and handmade tassels.  Perhaps they read more costume, but they make me happy! 

I used this very pretty embroidered pair of women's shoes from RISD museum for scale:  I wanted to line the edges of my slippers, and mimic the side seams with pink petersham ribbon to help with the illusion, but I didn't have anything similar on hand at the time.  And, this was just for pictures anyways. 

Women's shoes, c.1810.
RISD museum, (object number: 37.335)

To make my shoe clips, I used the same ombré ribbon with the wire removed for the bows.  Then, after observing other extant examples with all kinds of fringe and tassels - I set to making my own tassels from leftover cotton yarns that I've dyed in shades of red and pink.  Once I was happy with the bows, I added metal shoe clips to the back: 

Here's what the removable shoe clips look like on their own:
Ombré ribbon bows with hand-dyed tassels with metal backings.
By making them removable, I can mix-and-match with other shoes.

Here's what the shoe clips look like when installed: and from the comfort of my own parlor, they're passable for Regency slippers to me!

And that's a wrap for this Regency wrapper (terrible pun, I know) and the series - I can't wait to actually wear the morning dress for an event!  I still have a long ways to go on my 1820s wardrobe before August, as I still need to make a day dress, outerwear, bonnet, and maybe a linen shift and new set of long stays if there's time. 

Lounging around like it's the 1820s!

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1 comment:

  1. Found the puns to be great fun. A pun a day makes the smile to stay, you know ;)

    The shoes and cap make this outfit really pop in a period way. The color is delightful.

    Very best,
    Natalie in KY


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