Monday, November 18, 2013


I have had such inspiration from my Victorian lady bust that I purchased from Victoria Trading Company years ago.  I have used my maiden bust in numerous other posts.

 Studying the bust, I noticed the bit of gathering of a ruffle around her face.  My thoughts went to the Puritan ladies of the past.  They had such hard lives.  Compared to today, we are very pampered with our modern conveniences.

  I know that the Pilgrim dress was very plain and unadorned, but I was going to create my interpretation of a Victorian Pilgrim Maiden for Thanksgiving this year in my home.

I Googled Pilgrim maiden images and found this interesting picture.

Instead of the typical plain Pilgrim collar, I thought about the vintage lace collar that I had used  a few years ago on my Irish lassie.
 In the days of old, ladies did not have the variety of dresses that we have today.  Adding a lace collar around a neck could embellish a plain black dress to make it go from serene to elegant.

Once I put the collar around her neck, I realized that she had the potential to become a Pilgrim Maiden.  To complete the Maiden, I needed a head covering cap.

So, I went to my fabric tub and could not find a piece of black material to create my caplet.  Hours later with a remnant from Hancock Fabrics in my hand, I placed the fabric over her hair.  And there she sat for weeks.

A neighbor came in and said it looked like I had a nun over in the corner of the room.  That was all the motivation I needed to get down to some sewing business. At this stage, she reminded me of a Postulant.  A Postulant is the first step of training in becoming a nun.

Researching images of caplets in the Colonial days was fun.  Most caps had a wider band around the face and then a gathered cap  was attached to the band to hold in the hair.  I recall while visiting Plymouth Plantation many years ago hearing that the women kept their hair covered to keep it clean.
First, I cut a rectangle that would go around the statue's face for the wide band.  I turned it inside out and sewed the two ends.
Once turned right side out, it was ironed.
The next step was gathering the cap material and pinning it to the band.  Once sewn, it looked like this.
Elastic was then put through the bottom hem using a safety pin attached to the elastic.
The last step was sewing two pieces of grosgrain ribbon onto the ends of the band.  Once the caplet was on the bust, the back turned out much more differently than I expected.

What do you think?
Now, she takes her place in the fall foyer for the season.
Let Us Give Thanks

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