SO IS IT A HAT?
The first thing I thought when I saw the picture was "Is that a coif?" Apparently, I'm not the only one wondering. A. Bender, who has a website with lots of interesting and useful historical information and patterns, writes on the subject of 18th Century caps:
Every now and then there are discussions about whether caps can be other colours than white and whether they may be embroidered. My reply is: Yes and no. White is safe. Other colours and embroidery have, so far, only cropped up in the context of rural and middle-class townswomen's in some regions of Europe, e.g. Southern Germany . . . In the case of Liotard's Chocolate Girl, whose cap appears to be pink, theories run from a cap cover to an echo of the colourful regional caps.
Looking closely at The Chocolate Girl, I'm inclined to think it's a pink cap, since it is pink entire; if it were a "cap cover" (whatever that is), wouldn't we see the peek of the white cap underneath?
I like to think that there's a story behind this girl's cap... though her clothes are simple in their cut, there's a silk-like sheen to the skirt and bodice, not the matte look of wool. So though she's a maid, she has some access to nice things. Perhaps she's frugal and saves up for good stuff? Or she has hand-me-downs from a well-heeled relation or mistress? And somehow she comes into possession of a scrap of pink silk, too nice not to use, but too small to make much. So she makes herself a cap that displays a bit of expensive lace trim and a bit of ribbon.
Features of the Chocolate Girl's cap
I had made several coifs before, and found them easy. So, in March 2016, I gathered up some pretty silk and made my own version of the Chocolate Girl's cap! Much like the nightcap I made in January 2017, this cap didn't have a pattern. Nor do I have in-progress pics, but the method of construction is simple.
I wear the cap at home, when I'm puttering about the house and don't want to do my hair; I just twist my hair into a quick bun and put the cap over it!
Quilting, dressmaking, and history plied with the needle...
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