For the last month I have been working on a hand sewn day cap. This millinery adventure came as a result of two events. The first was attending a Georgian breakfast, in which the only head attire I had was a scarf that I wrapped into a turban. The scarf was slippery, and the day involved constant trips to the powder room to re-wrap the blasted thing. I was envious of the ladies in attendance who had day caps and bonnets and made a mental note to acquire an easier and more comfortable type of head attire to wear to regency themed functions.
The second event was the happy accident of meeting two regency good time girls in dance class. Since that time we have taken to meeting on a weekly basis to sew a variety of regency clothing and accessories. Having recently finished a ball gown and a day dress I was looking for a new project, remembered the turban trauma, and day cap it was.
I did some internet research and found this tutorial page about Victorian day caps: http://www.darlinganddash.com/daycaps.html
The biggest issue I had was with lace. Initially I bought a straight-edged lace (shown on top of photo) which was extremely stiff and difficult to try to wrap around the curves of the cap. The second lace I tried was far superior (shown on bottom of photo). It was soft, and had a curved edge that not only wrapped easily around the curves, but also had the benefit of making the stitching used to attach it invisible. Being a beginner sewer this is a good thing. The entire cap only took one package of the second lace at a cost of $2.69 purchased in the craft section at Wal-Mart.
The cap took about 8 hours to make. While sitting in a small circle in regency costume, a cup of tea growing cold on the side table, the other ladies chatted away about family, books, and films, but I said very little. I was completely engrossed in the stitching and started to notice a quiet, calm head space that began to surface. Having spent a small fortune over the years on mindful meditation classes and instructional books, I was pleasantly surprised to trip over mindfulness while sewing a day cap. The head space was wonderful.