Medieval cap (coif) and veil
Every second year there is a medieval jousting event held in Upper Hutt (http://www.jousting.co.nz/) which we like to attend. Two years ago I had a 3 month old baby and funnily enough this time I also had a 3 month old baby. I like to dress up, but I only have one medieval gown that I can breast feed in – a sideless surcote that I made to wear last time. This year, stuck with wearing the same gown I decided to work on more authentic headwear.
Cynthia Virtue has a very good selection of articles and I used her hood pattern to make a hood for my spouse. It was very roughly and quickly done so I don’t intend to blog about it. Her page how to wear a veil shows how to use two bands to attach a veil. I made a veil and these bands to try them out, but decided that a band under the chin would irritate me too much, and sadly I don’t have enough of an occipital bump to run the band behind my neck (and expect it to stay on!).
Enter Neulakko and her fabulous tutorials on how to wear a veil & wimple, she recommends a St Bridget cap as the foundation to attach a veil. This cap is also known as St Birgitta’s cap, and I used the information provided by Maniacal Medievalist
to draft my pattern.
The pattern is basically a rectangle with one corner cut off/smoothed out into a curve for the centre seam. The base of the rectangle is fully gathered, in my case down to just 3 or 4 cm, and the side becomes the edge against the face. In the original (and other reproductions) the two pieces are not joined, but embroidered together to form a ribbon about a centimetre wide. I simply didn’t have time for this, but reasoning that the embroidered join might have a logical purpose like to stop the join from wrinkling or sitting funny, I finished each of the centre parts with a rolled hem and joined them by butting together and zig-zagging. There is probably a name for this kind of seam but I don’t know what it is.
The dimension that I measured, the distance around my head which is the edge of the cap, is perfect – the split at the back abuts neatly when I put it on. However, even though I have a small head, the cap is not really deep enough, and tries to slide off my head. Although I discovered when taking the photos of me wearing it that it sits much better when covering the ears.
On the day it was fine though as I also wore “Princess Lea” type buns so every thing was pinned in place and stayed there. My hair is loosely smooched into the back view of the cap, so looks a bit messy.
I’ve been meaning to make a silk sleep cap for a while now, I have waist length hair and need to get it out of the way while sleeping. The only styles I had seen were ones that looked like shower caps. However, this style is a huge improvement (in my mind, anyway) and so I shall be making one for this purpose soon.