(aprons, caps, neckhandkerchiefs, &c)

Styles: The following items are available in linen or cotton,
see Stock Room for our current selection of colors and prints.

~~ Gowns & Jackets
~~ Shifts, Petticoats, Jumps
~~ Outerwear
~~ Other Garments (aprons, caps, neckhandkerchiefs, &c)

~~ Infant Clothing

~~ Jewelry


The Henry Walton 1776 painting "Plucking the Turkey", now at the Tate, is a rare image of an English serving woman's clothing, clearly depicting her stylish dormeuse cap worn with a blue checked work-apron and plain white neckhandkerchief.




When people are talking to you, they tend to focus their attention on your face. So a well-made and attractive cap is an essential assist to creating a good-looking wardrobe.

I am delighted to have procured the services of one of the best cap-makers I have ever encountered. At an event, I can always spot a reenactress who is wearing one of these caps-they are made of the finest 2.8 oz. custom imported linen and are exquisitely hand-sewn. (You'll have to look closely to admire the handstitching, so fine and even that you might casually mistake it for machine-sewing!)

The Mill Farm patterns for caps were developed by me after extensive study of 18th century portraiture, combined with my knowledge of the construction methods of other fine garments, such as baby clothing. These caps are correctly styled with a single thickness of fabric throughout, and elegant little pleats where the crown joins the band. Their tiny seams are finished by meticulously overcasting by hand, to produce a beautiful, durable cap. So far, no artifacts which are definitively pre-1790 American women's caps have come to light, so in the absence of good prototypes, any cap is going to be somewhat conjectural.

In order that you may choose a cap which suits your persona and flatters your face, we offer three styles for you to choose from. Two are Mill Farm patterns (used by permission of Burnley&Trowbridge www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com) while the third is an adaptation of yet another of the Mill Farm styles.

Dormeuse (c. 1770-90) ~~ The most stylish day cap of its period, this one is edged with a ruffle of delicate 3/8 inch cotton lace. Not too upscale for a camp-follower, nor too plain for dressier occasions, this is a truly all-purpose RevWar period cap! You can see it on a working class young woman in Henry Walton's 1776 painting, "Plucking the Turkey", now at the Tate.

dormeuse on Adah

dormeuse on Kathryn

The band is left open at the back, for us to adjust it to your head measurement.

dormeuse cap

construction detail

inside detail

Lappet cap (c. 1720-1770) ~~ Observe how this versatile cap gives you two different looks-the lappets can be worn down to frame your face, or pinned up for a smaller, cooler style for hot weather.

lappets down

lappets up

This cap is recommended for French & Indian War or earlier. This cap has a drawstring at the nape of the neck, to adjust for size. You can see it in "The Music Party, Frederick Prince of Wales and his Sisters" by Philippe Mercier, 1733 (In the Royal Collection), on the girl on the right: www.art.com And in the last plate of Hogarth's "Marriage a la Mode", 1745, on the servant holding the child: www.isu.edu

lappet cap

lappet cap detail

Tied cap (c. 1700-1800) ~~ This enduring style, while never fashionable, may have been the true "mob cap" of the 18th c. It was certainly worn far and wide, for a long span of time, by women in all ranks of society!

You can see it on Mrs. John Edwards, painted c. 1750-60 by Joseph Badger www.mfa.org
And on Mrs. Thomas Boylston, painted in 1766 by JS Copley: www.abcgallery.com
Also on Mrs. Ebenezer Storer, painted by Copley c. 1767-69, www.metmuseum.org
Its enduring popularity can be seen in genre scenes throughout the 18th century. One is in "The Five Senses: The Sense of Hearing" by Philippe Mercier c. 1740, on the cellist: www.art.com

Our version of this modest style will contain and protect a good quantity of pinned-up hair, or conversely, it can conceal a too-short modern hairstyle.


Mature women tended to tie this cap under their chins, but for a more youthful look, you can leave the untied ends dangling as "kissing strings", or tie them on top of your head in a bow.

This also makes a great night-cap! It adjusts for size with a drawstring at the nape of the neck.

tied cap

tied cap inside detail

One Cap, any style $100.00

Note~~ For a more formal dress-cap, the dormeuse may be special ordered in finest sheer imported white cotton organdy, with trimmings of vintage 7/8 inch cotton lace. Please inquire.



Eighteenth century aprons ranged from plain utilitarian linen work aprons, to lovely sheer linen or cotton semi-dress aprons with white on white embroidery, to utterly ornamental confections of ivory silk heavily embroidered in multicolored silk threads and silver or gold spangles.

Ours is a half apron, no bib, length 25", which can be made for you as a semi-dress apron in fine white linen with white cotton tape ties, or as a work apron in medium-weight white, unbleached or blue linen, ( also linen checks as available), with white cotton or unbleached linen tape ties, completely and exquisitely hand-sewn.


Online Documentation



A neckhandkerchief is generally square or triangular. It provides a period-correct cover-up if you feel too exposed by the low 18th c. necklines. It fills in the open throat of your gown or jacket, it keeps you warm in the cold, and if you wet down a linen one, it can cool you by evaporation in the heat. According to the pictorial sources, nearly all women wore one.

We offer several styles for you to choose from:  A triangular half of a 30" square, fine white linen, completely and meticulously hand-sewn. Also available in cotton checks, assorted appropriate colors, as available.

checked neckhandkerchief detail

$40.00 checked cotton
$45.00 fine white linen

Silk Neckhandkerchief

Silk neckhandkerchief, natural-dyed, 30" square habotai silk, hand-hemmed in China, dyed by us. We are likely to have available yellow (goldenrod or osage orange), pink (cochineal), olive-green (assorted wild local plants) and purple (logwood). Dye-lots vary, so contact us to see what's in stock. No swatches available on this item.


Silk neckhandkerchief, as above, a 30" square of habotai silk, hand-hemmed, but undyed. Have one of these on hand to wear under your regular neckhandkerchief for extra insulation, without bulk, on the coldest of days!




Between about 1750 and 1785, a finer day or evening ensemble was almost always embellished with sleeve flounces, or "engageantes", which enhanced the lovely charms of graceful arms and hands. Our flounces are made of your choice of fine imported white 2.8 oz. linen or extra fine sheer cotton organdy, sewn to a twill tape band for basting to your gown sleeves.
Not yet available. No price yet.


Hips, Rump

The 18th century silhouette was one of artifice--exaggeratedly feminine proportions created by the figure-shaping of the stays, by the fullness of the skirts, and by artificial enhancement of the hips. Styles varied with time; early in the century a hooped petticoat widened the skirt, but by mid-century, the enhanced shape was at the sides of the hips, achieved by padding, or by various forms of boned "panniers". By the mid-1770's, the fashion was shifting towards a greater emphasis on back fullness, achieved by the wearing of a "rump".

We offer several options for the enhancement of your stylish shape, each made from white linen stuffed with polyfill, sewn to cotton twill tape ties. Polyfill has been selected for your comfort, for its washability, for its lightness in weight and for its ability to retain loft. If you desire the most authentic underpinnings, your hips or rump can be custom-ordered with period correct stuffing materials, either rags or feathers. Please inquire.

hips ~ hips with petticoat


hips detail

For hips, please state your waist size in stays so hip pads may be properly positioned.

For the rump, we offer two sizes, a smaller size for undress or for those whom Nature has already generously endowed, and a larger size for a more extreme fashion statement or for those ladies with a deficiency in natural endowments.

small rump ~ small rump with petticoat


large rump ~ large rump with petticoat

small rump

large rump

rump detail

Hips: $35.00

Small Rump: $23.00

Large Rump: $28.00

Online Documentation


Small Hoop

after extant example at Colonial Williamsburg, unbleached or white linen, with one hoop of buckram-covered double-steel, with cotton twill tape tie at waist. Completely handsewn.
Not yet available, no price yet.


Note: Petticoats, bedgowns, jackets, wrappers, gowns and cloaks can also be made for you in 100% wool worsted or in 100% silk taffeta. Contact us for color availability and price estimates.

We can make any 18th century style you desire, as elaborate and elegant as you wish. Please visit the Portrait gallery on my website to see some examples of high-style garments I have made. Please be aware that, in order to have the proper look, high-fashion garments will require personal fittings here in my shop, or with one of my sempstresses.
[I have fitting-assistants in New York and Nova Scotia for your convenience.]

~~ Gowns & Jackets
~~ Shifts, Petticoats, Jumps
~~ Outerwear
~~ Other Garments (aprons, caps, neckhandkerchiefs, &c)

~~ Infant Clothing

~~ Jewelry

Online Documentation of Other Garments:

Jewelry Cabinet
jewelry cabinet
Fitting Room
Stock Room
Counting Room

Mail Room

portrait gallery


Copyright © 2007 - 2015 by Sharon Ann Burnston
Web site designed by Sandy Cheney