A Very Serious Lappet Cap

Tabubilgirl facing the camera wearing a white kerchief and a lappet cap, tied under her chin. Her expression is serious.

It is absolutely no secret that I love the cap patterns from Good Wives Linens. They are well drafted, meticulously researched, easy to put together, and her pattern releases always seem to synchronize with the cap that I’m yearning for at that precise moment! For example – for my mid-18th Century impressions, I wanted a very serious lappet cap, and Good Wives Linens went and released the Mrs Sandby cap.  It was a perfect synchronicity of purchase and purpose.

As per the pattern instructions, I measured around my head to the bottom of my chin, adjusted the lappet pattern to my personal measurements for a perfect nestle of lappet against the bottom of my chin, and cut the cap out of some fine Burnley and Trowbridge linen.

Caps (especially very serious ones) are very good late-evening sewing projects.  You don’t have to fit anything against the body as you go – you measure, you cut, and then hem all the bits individually, and do the whipping of gathers and assembly afterwards – a procedure proof against all fools but the ones who don’t only sew too late at night, but take their initial measurements late at night as well. 

Tabubilgirl looks ruefully at the camera. She is wearing a white linen band around her face.  She holds it closed shut, several inches below her chin.

(That fool would be me, in case I’m being too subtle for you here.)

The lappets on this very serious lappet cap are too long by half. At least piecing is period, and “chop it in half with scissors and sew it back together again” solves everything.! Like so:

Two strips of linen are butted end to end and whip-stitched together.

Once I’d shortened my band so that it fit PROPERLY (aka: eventually, and with pit stops for repairs) I whipped the ruffle to the band – 

A hand spreads out a tightly gathered ruffle that wraps around a point of fabric.

– and the band to the caul.

A note on whipping the ruffle to the band: To gather the ruffle around that tight point at the bottom of the lappet with enough fabric that it lays flat instead of cupping, you will need rather more fabric than you expect. Depending on how tight you are able to whip your cap ruffle (heavier linen will make a bulkier gather than fine gauze or cotton voile) you may have to piece an extra section on to your ruffle. There’s nothing wrong with this – as I said above, piecing is period!

A close-up view of the band of a lappet cap - the ruffle and the caul have been gathered to fit the band.

And then I had a cap.

A white linen lappet cap lies on a wooden table,

And what a cap!

I look like I’ve been tossed, dressed and served up on a starched linen platter for the ecclesiastically discerning, but i am very VERY serious about it indeed.

Tabubilgirl wears a white linen lappet cap. She faces the camera, her expression serious. Her finger rests on her chin.

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