Renaissance Festivals are fun to attend in garb, but purchased renaissance costumes are expensive. For those with sewing skills, it’s easy to make your own medieval or renaissance costumes. Here are directions and a pattern to make a Juliet Cap, in the style of the Italian Renaissance. The cap is trimmed with pearls and brocade for an upper-class Faire look.
Renaissance Cap Supplies
1/4 yard midweight solid colored fabric
Scraps of contrast fabric for trim
8 inches 1″ wide gold trimmed braid
12 inches ½” wide gold braid
¾ yard 2 mm pearl garland for trim
Thread, scissors, sewing machine
Cutting out the Renaissance Cap
Print out the pattern (Picture #2). Cut out two large ovals (the outside black line) of the solid fabric for the cap and lining. Mark the blue shaded triangles which are darts on both the cap and lining. Cut out two small ovals (the outside black line and the dashed line) of the contrast fabric.
Adding the Contrast Fabric
The contrast fabric is an appliqué to the main body of the cap. Turn under ¼ inch of one edge of the contrast fabric. Clip if needed to form a smoothly curved line. Place the wrong side of the contrast fabric to the right side of the cap, matching raw edges. Stitch in place. Repeat with the other piece of contrast fabric.
Shaping the Cap
Stitch all the darts as marked on both the lining and the cap, pressing them flat. As the darts are sewn in, the cap will begin to round.
Trimming and Stitching the Cap
Pin the wide braid trim to the center line of the cap and stitch in place. Next pin the narrow gold braid to the seam where the contrast fabric and main cap body meet, and stitch in place. Place the cap and lining together, right sides together and stitch all around ½ inch from the edge, leaving a 2-3 inch gap for turning. Clip and notch the seams, and turn the cap right side out.
Press the cap and close the gap in the seam with a whipstitch. Stitch the pearls to the edge of the cap all the way around. The cap is now ready to wear! Hold it in place with bobby pins or hatpins.
Add a length of lightweight veiling or tulle for a princess bride effect.
Omit the contrast panels and add a length of braid or embroidered ribbon around the edge of the cap.
Look at the works of Sandro Botticelli and other Italian Renaissance painters for more ideas!