Now that I’m wearing traditional cape dresses, there were a few details to work out. Some of it seems sort of medieval,in a way, but in a good way. I don’t have to wear linsey-woolsey or anything that requires a forge to repair.
Things have to be pinned together. Capes get pinned to aprons, aprons are closed by pins. The necklines on the dresses and capes close with a snap, which is not medieval and quite convenient. I have to buy some new pins, since the cheap dressmaker pins I have bend. Safety pins work well, though, and husband doesn’t complain about my prickliness.
The cape gets pinned in three places – left and right edges behind the apron waistband, and the point in back, to the apron waistband again. The apron pins left or right, depnding on who made the apron. Old Order type aprons do not tie in the back. It was probably considered a waste of fabric and a bit of frivolity to have a big bow hovering over the bum.
I’m used to longer hemlines, too. But most Old Order dresses come to mid-calf rather than ankle, which means I have to choose my socks and underskirt more carefully so as not to have gaps. Knee-length bloomers work well instead of a slip, especially if they are made of cotton. (I bought a pair in the oddest place – Loblaw’s Superstore! I think they were meant to be pajama bottoms, but they have a drawstring waist, a lace insert above the knee, and are just above the kneecap in length. And they look just like Victorian drawers.)
The new cap is not as close-fitting as the soft caps I used to wear. I can’t pin them to my head, because my hair and bun are not thick enough. I am holding the cap in place with two clippies on either side of the nape. Bobby pins just slid out. But the cap stays on better, and keeps my hair neater, since it doesn’t move around as much.
I am a natural fibre kind of girl, so I was a little dubious about the synthetic fabrics used in my dresses. Still, they launder well and hang on my small frame properly, so I am not complaining. The synthetics are silkier, and they fit closer, meaning I don’t have as much fabric bunched up around my waist when wearing an apron. Incredibly modest as a cape dress is, I look more petite and feminine in them.