To all who mourn in Israel, He will give a crown of beauty for ashes, a joyous blessing instead of mourning, festive praise instead of despair. In their righteousness, they will be like great oaks that the LORD has planted for his own glory. Isaiah 61:3

Thursday, October 16, 2014

A Pocket, A Day Cap, and A Washed Chemisette

Because I am not ready to delve into making the "Autumn in Cranford" dress just yet, I have been playing around with making accessories for the ensemble...a pocket and a day cap.

A Pocket

One of the things I have made is a pocket.  It all started with this sweet image that came with my Past Patterns Romantic Era dress pattern.  It's a paper doll.  I LOVE her!  I adored paper dolls when I was a little girl and this one is so sweet and lovely!  She has her chemise, stays, sleeve supports, bum pad, corded and plain petticoats, wooden busk and a pocket.  This...this paper doll is the reason I needed to make a pocket.  So what did I do?  You got it...the research began in earnest.  I know that ladies used pockets in the late 1790s and even earlier (I haven't done a lot of research in these years), and I have seen many beautifully embroidered pockets.  I don't have time to properly embroider a pocket right now, so I was pleased as punch when I discovered many patchwork pockets!  Patchwork I can do.

Some lovely examples of patchwork pockets... hereherehere, and here.

The design of this pocket was a simple one and I liked how many different fabrics were used to create the pocket.

I had done some quilting years and years ago, but for some reason, I totally forgot how to make a simple square of triangles.  Honeybear Lane came to my rescue.  I used some of the fabric from the "Autumn in Cranford" dress and some different colored silks from past and future projects that matched the various colors in the cotton print.

Squares of squares have been turned into squares of triangles!!

Now they have been joined!!

I added more cotton as a border, then cut out the pocket shape.

Bordered in rust and teal silk....She's finito!!  All I need to do now is attach some cotton tape and it will be ready to wear!

For the back, I used some awesome fabric that my mom put in my Christmas stocking years ago!  It was the perfect color to compliment the front!

A Day Cap

After watching "Cranford", "Wives and Daughters", "Pride and Prejudice", and many of the other Jane Austen movies, not to mention the many fashion plates from the 1820s and 1830s, I had a feeling I would need to make a day cap to wear with my outfit.  I contacted Samantha McCarty of The Couture Courtesan and she assured me that it was the fashion to wear a day cap.  Happily, I already had Lynn McMaster's 1830s Romantic Era Bonnet which included a pattern for a day cap.  I did my usual research and discovered some wonderful examples.

"Portrait of the Archduchess Henriette of Austria in a White Dress with Blue Ribbons" (1829) by Johann Nepomuk Ender (1793-1854).

I LOVE the Archduchess's day cap!!!  I want it so much...along with the rest of her outfit!!!

Source:  Wikimedia

The polka dots on this lady's day cap makes me so happy!

You can see this lady's sweet day cap peaking out from under her bonnet.  Perfect example of wearing the cap under a hat.

An Etsy image.  Day cap examples and day caps being worn under bonnets

Source:  The MET

This cap is so lovely!  I love the frilly ruffles around the face.

Source:  McCord Museum

Crazy frills around the face.

My day cap...I apologize for the wretched picture quality.  But you can get the general idea.

I really liked the dots on the day cap of the above painting and I had some dotted swiss in my stash, so after cutting out the pattern in cotton organdy, I re-cut it in the dotted swiss... I am quite happy with how it turned out!

I put my Regency Era half mourning hat over the day cap just to see how it looked!  I love it!!

Too fun!

A Washed Chemisette

After much deliberation, I decided that I did need to wash the tea out of the chemisette.  So, a bath in laundry soap, some bleach, and an ironing later, and I am very happy with what outcome of the washing!  Thank you all for your input and suggestions!!

In natural light...

In light bulb light...aaaaaahhhh...much better!

Well, next step is the sleeve supports and maybe a new reticule.  We shall see what happens next!  I have a feeling that I will be making a Halloween costume for a certain 12 year old first though...

Be blessed my friends!



  1. Oh my heavens and earth! Everything is so perfect! Beautiful work!

    1. Oh thank you Jeanette! I can't wait until the whole ensemble is complete!

  2. Replies
    1. I too think the things from this era are so interesting! Can't wait to discover more of what they did!

  3. Pocket. Super cute. Cap. Adorable! You even make me want to have one, which is impressive since I think they're a bit foolish! Chemisette. I like it so much better now that you've washed it! I think it looks great. :) So great!


    1. Oh Yay!!! I hope you do make a cap Quinn! I think one would look very lovely on you! And yes, depending on the character (like from a movie...) and how it is made, they can be quite foolish!

  4. Huzzah for you, Gina!!!! My goodness!!!! All perfectly done, but I love, love, love the pocket!!! Thank you so much for you tutorial on it :)

    1. Thank you Diane. These are the little things that I feel "make" the outfit and are also fun to do!

  5. Dear Gina
    I just discovered your blog and am so pleased! It's absolutely delightful. I found it because I was searching for material on vintage women's pockets and love the one you've made here. Can you tell me what the finished dimensions are of yours? I'd love to have a go myself. Not sure my patchwork skills are as advanced as yours but may be a simpler version! The fabrics you've chosen are perfect. Wishing you a happy weekend, Gina. Elizabeth x

    1. Hello Elizabeth! Thank you so much for you lovely compliments! The finished dimensions of the pocket are:
      Length is 15 1/4"
      Width at the top 7"
      Width at the widest part of the bottom "
      the slit is 7 3/4"

      I hope that helps! It was super easy and simple to make! You can totally do it!!

      Blessings to you!!

    2. Thank you so much for your reply - I'm going to give it a go! Can I also ask what size your squares were in your original patchwork? Are they standard 5" charm pack size? And your measurement for the width of the bottom of the pocket at its widest point - can you just confirm that - it's got cut off somehow in your reply. Hope you have a lovely sewing week! Thank you for all your help - so kind of you. E x

    3. Yay for you!!! I can't wait to hear how it came out! Ok, the widest part on the bottom is 12" and the quilt squares are 4.5" x 4.5"... Weird I know, but I'm not a math person, so go with what ever looks right to my eye!! Hahaha!!
      Have fun with the pocket!

    4. But the squares could have started out as 5" blocks.... The finished quilted blocks are 4.5".....