Sunday, 22 April 2018

Linen indoor cap #2, and a bit more about my job

 Dear me, I am behind on posting again. I finished this cap at the end of March, and it's taken me 3 weeks to post it! I have another pair of breeches to post too.

This linen indoor cap is very similar to the other one I made, but with the addition of a ruffle.
Instead of hemming the bottom edge I attached another strip of fabric to it with a flat felled seam. I was hoping to get the look of the one in this 1792 William Cowper portrait, but my ruffle sits pretty flat against my head. I think I'd need a stiffer linen for that.
Although I cut the cap to the same width as my other one, it somehow turned out a bit too loose. I added a drawstring to the channel made by the flat felled seam to tighten it up just a smidge. This makes it a bit less comfortable than my other cap, but not too bad.
This same detail appears in the extant cap belonging to William Cowper.
While I am late posting this cap here, I did submit it to the Historical Sew Monthly on time!
The challenge: #3, Comfort at home
What the item is: A man's indoor cap
Material: Linen
Pattern: None
Year: Second half of 18th century
Notions: Silk thread, small piece of cotton cord, polyester satin ribbon
How historically accurate is it? Maybe 80 or 90%? I had very little reference material, but it's so simple I doubt it can be very far off. It's all hand sewn. The ribbon is definitely wrong, but I'll replace it when I get some better stuff.
Hours to complete: 5
First worn: March 31st, 2018
Total cost: No idea, I forget where this particular piece of linen came from. Very few dollars.

Since I have so few photos, and so little to say about the cap, I thought I'd use the rest of this post to talk a bit about my job.

It's at a local tailor's shop and I have worked there for 5 weeks so far. We make a lot of military messkits and police tunics. My tasks consist mostly of cutting linings (and interfacing and cuffs and facings and epaulettes), sticking on interfacing, sewing darts and back seams, and basting things for first fittings.
Here are some photos:
The table where I cut linings.

The shelf where the military buttons and whatnot are kept.
I've been getting along quite well with the cutter, who works across the table from me and cuts out most everything besides linings.
Here's a lovely fish we made to decorate this bulletin board with:
He's the scrap from in between 2 jacket side pieces.
And our other fish, which I brought in to spruce up this dusty vase that was on the shelf for no apparent reason:
She's in two halves, with magnets!
Here is the magical machine that sticks fusible interfacing on:
You press it on lightly with the iron, then feed it through the hot rollers!
Never have I seen interfacing so thoroughly and evenly stuck!
And here's the expectant mother pigeon who lives above the front door:
That's all for now, I hope to post my breeches soon!


  1. I might have to put one of those caps on my to-do list...not as if I don't have scraps of linen laying around, and I need a summer weight cap to make my hair behave.
    Glad to see you are enjoying your job and getting along with the other workers. And finding time for some whimsy.

  2. Thanks for sharing a bit about your work place. What a magnificent machine to fuse the interfacing on fabric.
    I'm glad you enjoy working with the cutter across the table from you. It makes working more enjoyable.

    When I was a kid ages ago, they used to stiffen fabric with starch and water. I saw a recipe to stiffen fabric with cornstarch and water on the web.
    Hugs, Mamoo