Thursday, April 21, 2011

Lace Cap


This cap was one of my very favorite pieces in my antique textiles collection, and one day, I’d like to make a similar one myself!  The eBay seller very unhelpfully labeled it as “Victorian Edwardian Lace Cap”, so I am not sure of the date!

The cap is made from a fine netting mesh – it feels to me like cotton.  It is embroidered with fine thread – probably also cotton.


The back of the ‘cap’ portion is gathered by a thin cotton tape that is fed through a very thin cotton cord attached at intervals along the bottom, creating loops.


The construction of the cap uses the very teeniest flat felled seams I have ever seen in my life!  I can imagine how fiddly it would have been to make everything lie flat around the gentle curve of the gathered lappet.


The outer edge of the lappet and brim are bound by the same cotton tape used to gather the cap.  The stitches are relatively long – about 1/8”.


The embroidery was done in chain stitch with a tambour hook.  Here’s mine – I purchased it at Hedgehog Handiworks…..they are AMAZING.


Each design cleverly uses a continuous line to form the pattern, making each design have only one beginning and end….very smart!  These little flowers were started at the end of the stem, and end in the center of the flower – the entire design is worked counter-clockwise.


The flower designs that cover the back of the cap are 1.5” apart horizontally, and 1” apart vertically, creating a ‘diamond’ offset pattern.  (Each flower is 1/2” x 1/2”)

Cap mini flower

As with the tiny flowers speckling the back of the cap, the brim designs are worked so each individual element is made up of only one line of embroidery.


The wavy and squiggle lines are the edge of the brim, and the dots fill in the space between the large flower design.  (The large flowers are 1 3/4” x 1 1/2”)

Cap border

It has taken me a couple of days to get this post together enough to be able to post, and I was feeling guilty about the radio silence, so I posted what I had this morning – Some things I left out are 1) a scaled pattern of the cap; and 2) a video tutorial on tambour embroidery.  If either of these things are interesting to you, let me know and I will get them posted!


  1. That is quite the cap! What era do you think you'd wear it with?

  2. Honestly, I'd have to do some more research to find out!! ;)