Friday, November 20, 2015

Completed Project - New Cap and Chemisette

I neglected to take any pictures of my new cap while I was making it back in April,  but I did have the foresight to cut out two caps simultaneously from the same pattern (which I made up myself).  So I can still show how I made it, as well as discuss the changes I plan to make to the second version.

Here is my cap: 

I made it from a scrap piece of very fine cotton with a nice, crisp feel to it.  This same scrap also gave me my new chemisette, which I'll talk about in a minute.

I was inspired by my friends' caps at various RSV events:

Stacy's lovely embroidered cap
Heather's dainty cap with inset lace
I studied both of these, and also found this pattern, which had the basic shape I was looking for in View B:

Spencer's Mercantile
I probably should have just bought the pattern, but I didn't want to wait for it to arrive.  It seemed easy enough, just four main pieces - a circular crown set far back on the head, a wide brim covering the top and sides, a smaller gathered back piece to fill in the space under the brim in back, and a ruffle.

Here are the pieces of the second cap, which I intend to embroider before I sew it together:

I didn't make a pattern piece for the front ruffle, since long rectangular pattern pieces always seem a bit unnecessary to me.  Instead I pull threads and cut on the grain to make a ruffle 1.5" wide and at least 1.5 times the length of the main cap piece.

This is what my paper pattern looks like:

I sewed the cap entirely by hand with flat-felled seams and a hand-rolled hem for the ruffle:

I pleated the ruffle instead of gathering it, which I may change on the next cap.

Here are the cut pieces for the second cap:

The changes I plan to make are: 1. To make the brim wider, hence the second strip added to the largest rectangle above, 2. To cut the crown (circle piece) smaller so that the brim gets more gathered into it at the back (see below), and 3. To add self-fabric ties to secure the cap under the chin.

I traced a spool of ribbon to obtain the smaller circle from the original pattern piece.
My chemisette is from the La Mode Bagatelle pattern, and the only modifications I made to it were rounding the corners of the ruffle (which added a bit of extra challenge to hemming it) and leaving off the snaps at the shoulders to attach it to the dress - which I slightly regretted later. 

I have no in-progress photos, but here are some pictures of me wearing it:

Like the cap, I sewed it entirely by hand.  The fine woven cotton was lovely to work with and nice to wear - sheer enough to be dainty, but crisp enough to give the ruffle some body.

I love how it fills in the necklines of all of my dresses:

Blue Day Dress + Sheer Overdress
Blue Day Dress
Apron-Front Gown
Yellow Sprigged Dress
It just adds a little bit of something to jazz up a daywear ensemble.

The one downside (and this could have been avoided if I'd added the snaps, as previously mentioned) was that it sometimes likes to pop out from under the shoulder of my white Apron-Front Gown:

The ruffle also has a life of its own, and likes to blow around in the breeze:

But that's actually kind of fun.  :p  

In conclusion - I would re-do the cap the fix some of the design flaws, except that it's all hand-sewn with flat-felled seams and therefore too much work to take apart.  I will content myself with fixing said flaws in the second iteration, along with embroidery for added visual interest.  My chemisette is dainty, fun to wear, and does an excellent job of protecting my fair skin from the sun and disguising the top of my chemise when it refuses to hide.

Which is always.

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