Wow, it’s getting close to Christmas! I had better wrap up writing about Pilgrims, huh? First, though, I want to show you how I was able to eke two Pilgrim caps out of the same pillowcase that also produced two aprons.
Yes, this pillowcase!
First, I took Emma and Eliza’s head measurements. I measured over the top of Emma’s head, from earlobe to earlobe.
Just in case you think my children are perfect, patient angels when I ask to photograph them…
I added a bit to my measurements to make sure the finished cap would cover each ear lobe.
Next, I measured from in front of the ear to the center back of the head.
I didn’t add any extra to the front edge of my measurement, since I knew I would be using the finished edge of the pillowcase to frame the face. But, I did account for seam allowance at the back.
I wrote the measurements down in this elegant sketch, on this lovely piece of parchment.
I also took Eliza’s measurements, for both her cap and apron, on this same bit of scratch paper. I thought it would be really smart to write all of this vital information on a single piece of junk paper that already had writing on the other side and that I would probably mistake for garbage or lose. (Miraculously, I somehow kept track of it during the entire project!)
Next, I lay the pillowcase flat. I used pins to match the front edges and fronts and backs together, since I was going to cut two caps at once.
Then, I used my trusty, purple Dritz Disappearing Ink Marking Pen and my Draft N Cut ruler to mark out the larger of the two caps. (I would go back and trim Eliza’s a bit smaller, later.) *Disclaimer* I am an Amazon Services LLC Associates Program member. Any purchases made through my Amazon links will earn me a small commission. I am careful to only promote products that I personally use and love!
I cut two caps at once, in a double layer. Snip, snip!
Part of the pillowcase edge had a frayed spot. I planned to make Eliza’s cap out of this part. I marked where to cut her cap and made sure that the worn spot would be near the edge and eventually encased and hidden.
At this point, I noticed that some lint was trapped inside the front edge of the pillowcase. I held it up to the light of the window to show these lumps more clearly. I reached in and fished them out.
Here you can see that I trimmed Eliza’s cap a bit smaller along the back edge, too.
Next, I serged around the three raw edges of each cap. You can see how Eliza’s is a bit smaller than Emma’s.
Then, I folded each cap in half, wrong sides together.
I pinned them together, along what would become the back seam, leaving a bit open at the top. I planned to gather or pleat this open area together to give the back of the cap a rounded shape.
I then stitched up the back of the caps, but left that last bit open.
I hand-sewed gathering stitches at the bases and around the tops of each of the caps. I used red thread for visibility, knowing that I would remove the stitches, later.
I gathered the back of Emma’s cap down, a bit, and started her top back gathers four inches from the top. I gathered the back of Eliza’s cap three inches from the top.
Then, I experimented with pulling the threads tight.
These tight gathers looked good, at first. However, the back of the cap still looked too peaked and pointy when it was worn. I went back and decided to pleat the material instead. I based the idea loosely on a Swedish folk costume cap in my collection. This is a picture of it, below. Annika wore it as her Pilgrim cap.
I kept the red gathering stitches in place, although I didn’t really need them, anymore. I subdivided the excess material with hand stitches in white thread. I kept reducing the material by dividing it in half and then half again as I stitched.
It was almost like assembling flower petals by catching the material and drawing it closer and closer into smaller sections with my needle.
Smaller and smaller…
Once I was satisfied with the shape of the cap, I secured my white stitches with a knot and removed the red gather stitches.
Now, I’ll go back and show you how I used bias tape to bind the raw edges of the caps and to create their ties. I wanted the caps to have very skinny ties, so I used white, 1/4 inch Wrights Double Fold Bias Tape.
Working with bias tape is fun! I left a tail that would be long enough to tie under the chin, at the front. I lay the serged edge of the cap into the trough created by the fold in the bias tape.
I lay the cap into the bias tape with the right side of the cap facing me.
I stitched the cap into the bias tape, following the edge of the bias tape and the serging stitches along the bottom edge of the cap.
It was a tight squeeze, since the serging stitches are 1/4 inch deep and so is the bias tape! Then, I folded the bias tape over the serged stitching and sewed it down from the top. That way, I could see my top stitching and make sure it would look straight and pretty. Before I made this final, long stitch, I folded in the ends of the bias tape so that their raw edges would be encased inside the bias tape.
Here you can see what the pleated backs look like.
And there you have it! Two Pilgrim caps and aprons made from a single pillowcase and a bit of bias tape!
Here is a good view of Emma’s finished cap.
And here is Eliza’s!