Friday, March 18, 2016

Victorian Man's Thinking Cap

An appliqué pattern to make for a gentleman.

This item is a bit of a curiosity. We see illustrations and photos of gents wearing their smoking jackets and caps, almost as if such garb had a kind of uniform appeal. Oddly enough, such caps were sometimes also called, "Thinking caps." I think most Americans can relate to being asked to put on our imaginary "thinking caps" as children, can't we? I doubt that any one of us thought of a tassel or rich embroidery at the time, however!

Often, these items of apparel were decorated in great detail, using embroidery on velvet or wool, with appliqué or couched cording or braid. Sometimes, even bead embroidery was used, although this technique was generally reserved for ladies' apparel. The addition of a tassel was according to taste, of course, yet was often considered a must in fashion for gentlemen.

A man's smoking jacket was not the same robe as his dressing gown. These two totally separate species of apparel we tend to smile over nowadays. Nobody really tends to take them very seriously anymore. 

That is, except for a number of historic reenactment hobbyists and professionals. It is for these people I have posted this straightened and somewhat refreshed pattern. After all, I once was one of them!

The sizing for such things can be a bit tricky. As a former costumer and hat designer, I highly recommend making at least one good brown paper mockup or model. I used to use clear tape, pins and pencils with a measuring tape in order to tailor most hats to fit. Nowadays, of course, we have the additional luxury of advanced copy machine technology, image enhancement software such as Photoshop or Gimp, etc., as well as incredibly complex sewing and embroidery machines that can synch up with our computers. In other words, the rest is up to the tools and the imaginations of the ones willing to take on such a project.

Thank you for stopping by with your
Costuming Creativity!

PPS™ Victorian Gentleman's Embroidered Cap

Download HERE

Display version
(lower resolution than the download)

In the Public Domain.
Thank you
for helping me to 
keep free things free!

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