Friday, 28 April 2017

Late 18th or Early 19th Century Women's Linen Cap ...with Dorset Button!

This linen Georgian cap is delightful. It is all the more delightful for having a Dorset button!! Wo ho!


Georgian Linen Cap



Extant Linen Cap with Dorset Buttons

Caps changed little in shape during the 18th and early 19th centuries for those down the lower end of the social scale. Here we can see the wide brim, ruffles around the face, and there are 2 strings at the top of the cap, and one to the neck at the back, so that it can be secured to the head for a better fit. 

Measurements:- From top of Cap to Hem of Ruffles ~ 9″ or 23cm.


The back is shaped, and it may have been brought in for a smaller head maybe. Also to the back are exquisitely sewn tiny initials in a dark blue thread. It has a strap which attaches to a Dorset button on the other side, as was often used in children’s caps.

Initials to the Back


A wonderful example of ‘plain sewing’. So let's see the button!:-

18th Cap with Dorset Button



Close up of Dorset Button


I have a beautiful Regency silk reticule to share with you next time. Have a great weekend!
Naomi x

Monday, 17 April 2017

Antique Regency 1800-1810s Muslin Fichu

A recent acquisition; a lovely early 19th century muslin fichu. Regency fichus are fairly rare, and this one more so as it is designed to tie together in the front.

It is in super condition, apart from a few areas which can be seen in the second mosaic below, bottom two photos. On one of the ties or ends, is a small hole (left hand side photo below), and to the back, there are maybe 4 or 5 small holes which can be seen on the right hand side photo. The whitework is beautifully sewn, with simple trailing flowers and leaves, and the ubiquitous button holed edging.



Measurements:- Centre Back Width – 12 1/2″ (32cm). Curved Side – 35 1/2″ (90cm).




I am very excited for this week. I have my first extant Regency Men's shirt on its way to me. I might just be able to contain myself until it arrives!

Naomi x

Thursday, 6 April 2017

18th Century Whitework Border c.1760-80


I very nearly jumped for joy when I saw this border of embroidered muslin in a bundle of mixed lace:-


18th Century Whitework 


My first piece of 18th century embroidered muslin/whitework.


c.1760-80 Embroidered Muslin


It is not a long piece, just 33" by 3 3/8" wide.


Details of Muslin Embroidery c.1760-80


As would be expected, the work is exquisite. Along the top is a microscopic rolled hem, with the tiniest of stitches. The fabric is an extremely fine muslin. The motif isn't as elaborate or as fancy as many others from this era, but I love the shape of the heart!

The 2 go-to books for me when looking as this piece were:-




Thank goodness for these two or I would be lost.

So here we have the tiny chain stitches (rather than tambour work, although I'm not 100% certain) which make up the bulk of the work above the the ladder-stitch. Using such sheer fabric made me see an applied braid at first, but of course this isn't so. Within the heart shape is drawn-thread work, very geometric with a square, grid like structure. Below the main muslin fabric is a ladder stitch, with chain stitch above and below it. The hem is constructed of fine button-hole stitches along a scalloped edge. And then the drawn-thread work just above the scallops is extremely fine; very dense and minute stitchery. The chain stitch is used once as a filling, in the leaves below the heart.

So my next question was "what was its use?". The piece has evident signs of use, with small holes and antique darns. It may have been cut away from something, then hemmed across the top and been put away for use at a later time? There are no pin or needle marks across the top. Ideas could be that it was taken from or was an edging for a fichu or apron? I can't see it having much impact as part of a gown. It doesn't look like part of a sleeve ruffle to me, but straight and narrow ones were worn around the 1770s, so it is plausible. All these thoughts and questions remind me (as if I needed reminding) of yet another aspect of why historical dress is so interesting. What is it? When was it made? When was it worn? Questions to answer and mysteries to be solved, and more learnt.

Naomi x