This is a photo diary of my costuming "travels"; where I've learned and struggled to make historical costumes for myself. They're not always pretty, but always fun. most of the time. And I want to share with others what I learn along the way. **You can find me on Facebook, or have my posts delivered to your email by signing up at the lower part of the right column.**

About Me

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HI, my name is Val. I'm a member of Costumer's Guild West in Los Angeles, Dean Emeritus of 2018 Costume College; member & Past President of the San Diego Costume Guild, member of Orange County Costume Guild, a representative of the San Diego History Center, & an honorary member of SITU (Someplace in Time, Unlimited) in Seattle. I make my own historical costumes but don't sell any unless I get tired of one.The eras I've made so far are 1770 up to 1918. My favorite is the 1880s bustle.


Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Regency turban

I'm close to being finished with my white cotton voile Regency gown and red pelisse for the March 27 luncheon, celebrating the engagement of the Dashwood sisters (of Sense & Sensibility). Mainly they just need hemming. Once those are done, I'll have a post typed up for my blog.
I also needed something for my head, and I was considering two bonnets I'd bought from Mela Hoyt-Hayden a few years ago.One was an off-white color, and the other an emerald green.

The problem with the green one was with wearing a red pelisse, I would look like a Christmas tree. So I was left with the white one.
Then I watched the online video by PBS of American Experience: Dolley Madison, and saw some beautiful turbans she wore. The best part was they had an extra video with it, showing the artist making the turbans. ( It starts playing automatically w/ sound. The how-to videos are on the right side of the black screen that you can see by moving your mouse over it. Scroll down to Behind the Scenes.)
His trick to making the turbans was having a straw hat base to wrap the fabrics around. He used just the crown from a Hawaiian beachcomber hat by trimming off the brim. The crown is a roundish shape. The one I found at a party store in the Hawaiian bbq section was the same but the brim was flipped up. It's a very soft straw, and costs $4.
I trimmed off the brim up to the crown, then did a machine zigzag stitch around the inside to stop it from unraveling. Then I sewed a bias tape around the rough edges.
My base fabric was a dull finish gold polyester. I had a long strip of it & laid it centered over the top and turned it under the edges a bit. I tacked it around the bottom. Then the two lengths on either side I twisted and wrapped it around, building it to the top. I used pins to tack it temporarily in place. There's no exact way of doing this. You just wrap and look at it, and fiddle with it until you like it.
I wanted to add color to it and the only fabric I had was a wide strip of a multi-plaid silk that had a chunk missing out of the center. It was mainly sage green and gold but had a reddish-orange bit that I wanted to dominate the turban and compliment the red pelisse. So I had to sew it in parts and weave it under the gold parts.
I handstitched most of the gold fabric to the base but the patchwork parts I just tacked or slipstitched it to the gold.
Since this is a daytime event, I didn't want it too dressy, but a girl's got to have bling, so I added a vintage bronze brooch with red stones to the front of the turban. I may add a small brownish feather I have, IF I can find it, just over the brooch.

I'll be wearing my little curly hair clippies hanging out on the sides.
In the mirror you can see the back, and then the two sides. It's not a real smooth wrap around of fabrics, and usually it looks more planned. But it worked for me.


I would love to hear if this was any help to you. Pretty please!