Friday, 31 July 2015

Regency fichu

Pattern: Single thickness neckerchief (included in Past Patterns #031, 1796-1806 front closing gown)
Fabric: about 60 cm of printed cotton
Haberdasheries: none!

For the bicentennial of the battle of Waterloo, I made a new camp follower’s fichu. That is, I cut a triangle of fabric at home and hand hemmed it at the event, as a nice campfire activity.

I used the ‘Single thickness neckerchief’ pattern included in Past Patterns #031, which says to cut a triangle and then fold the top edge several times and pin it.
This is the kind of pattern which you should just follow without wondering what exactly you’re doing. When I read through it I really didn’t understand why I should make so many folds in it, and what would be the use of cutting such a large triangle in the first place if the folds were going to make it so much smaller again. But somehow this method works! The pin keeps the pleats neat at the back neck, whereas at the front, the extra fabric from the pleats makes it easier to tuck the ends into the gown and keep everything covered in a modest fashion. With the simple triangles I used to use as fichus, I always had to pin the ends to my dress, and they’d still move. This one stayed nicely in place.

Hehe, this looks like it’s going to be an origami frog!


  1. How long is that top straight edge? It looks like it would be bulky just seeing the photo of the folded fabric, but it looks amazing under your green linen dress! I also love the mix of the colors and that you chose a patterned fabric for your fichu.

    1. Hi Renate, I'm sorry I forgot to reply to your message!
      The top straight edge is 107 cm, excl. seam allowance. Thank you, and well spotted - I did indeed wear this fichu in the photo with the green linen dress.
      As I said, this pattern seems strange, but somehow it works!