Monday, February 18, 2013

Drawn work baby cap

Hello all! Hope you all had a wonderful Valentine's Day. We're having particularly nice weather today and it's really doing wonders for my mood. Hopefully it holds out for a while. It's much easier lugging things back and forth from my office to my car without all the extra bundling up. Anyway, last night I finished another of my many UFOs, an 18th century baby cap of handkerchief linen. I actually started this about two years ago when we found out a friend was pregnant with their first child, and it was originally intended as a baby gift for her. However, the drawn work became a much more involved task than anticipated (especially in the middle of grad school and a lot of other upheaval) and needless to say it did not get finished in time to give to her. So, then we found out about a year or so ago that ANOTHER reenacting friend was having a baby and I thought "Well great! Now I can finish this and give it to HER!" But oh, the best laid plans.....

Well, when we found out that we were expecting our first I decided once and for all that I was going to get this silly thing finished. By this time I had already decided to SERIOUSLY scale down the amount and intricacy of my drawn work design. At first I thought since it was such a small garment it would be an easy one to use as a sort of sampler, incorporating many different patterns on both cap and ruffles. However, after I realized that if I kept up this goal I would never actually get the thing finished I decided to nix many of my ideas and just finish the two patterns on the sides of the cap. I got that finished and then it languished for a while again as I was busy with other things and finally sat down the other day to finish the rolled hems and whipped gathers on the ruffle. My original plan was to do a double ruffle, but I didn't have the length I needed for that, so I instead did a split, single ruffle. I don't think I will ever attempt drawn work again (I enjoyed it, but it's also a bit too labor and time intensive to be practical), but I will admit having another chance to do some tiny rolled hems is always something I enjoy. Whipped gathers are pretty fun, too, especially on something this delicate. So, without further ado, here are some (not very brightly lit, sorry) photos of the finished piece. 

I wasn't really as careful as I should have been with my drawn work designs, and since I didn't count my threads as precisely as required the two sides are a bit different from one another. Not much to do about that once I cut the thread though! Oh well. The entire cap (as is obvious when looking at the hems) was hand stitched. I've always had a bit of a soft spot for miniatures, and any other small, dainty, or OCD satisfying meticulous handwork, so doing all of the rolled hems for this cap was really something I enjoyed a great deal. While I generally use my rolled hem foot for this sort of thing on modern garments, anytime I have an excuse to make them on something for my 18th century wardrobe it makes me happy (ok I'll admit partly just because it's easier to sit in front of the television and do this than use the machine). Now the baby has some headwear for his/her (this is so much easier in spanish, why don't we have a neuter option??) 18th century debut in October. While I have many more projects to finish before then, up next will be some 18th century baby gowns and so forth. It's always chilly so I have to make sure I have plenty of clothes for bundling the little one up!

Have a lovely week!


  1. So beautiful! It makes me want to bump drawnwork up on my to-do list. The list of other stitches to try keeps growing...
    The whole cap is so sweet!

  2. It's so delicate and beautiful!


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