Saturday, January 5, 2013

Just a little something from 1862

Sometimes my little-ish projects never manage to make it onto the blog, as was the case for a Civil War headdress which I made almost a year ago.  I used it as part of a 'ladies fashion accessories in the 1860s' display at an event at the Mariner's Museum, but, as that was the last Civil War event I've done, have never actually worn it with an outfit.

For inspiration and instruction, I used this print from the March 1862 edition of Godey's Lady's Book.  The accompanying text reads:
"This coiffure is very simple, and generally becoming.  The rosettes are formed of pieces of bias silk, about an inch and a half in width; the edges are cut out in points, and the silk box-pleated and formed into a rosette, then sewn on to stiff net; the band can be of velvet or silk, and a bow of ribbon to match the silk is often placed on one side of the band.  One or more colors can be used; rose sublime and black make a good contrast."

I used silk taffeta in rose and cream, and followed the directions as closely as possible.  Each rosette is made of a ten inch by 1.5 inch strip of silk, cut with pinking shears, and box-pleated before the threads were pulled up to create the rosette.  The rosettes were then sewn to light-weight buckrum, and then sewn onto a band of matching rose silk.  Naturally, all work was done by hand.

As I have no plans whatsover for any 1860s events in the coming year or so, I've put this headdress up for sale on etsy: here.  I figure that someone ought to put it to good use since I'm apparently not going to!


  1. That is a very pretty headdress. If I had an outfit that it would go with, I would sure take it off your hands.