Or maybe a mantle? Honestly I’m not sure what makes them different from what I’ve seen ¯\_(ツ)_/¯ So, this was the first challenge of the year and was made in preparation for a “cold” outing in Colonial Williamsburg- the day after our scheduled Historic Costumer’s Winter Mini-Market in February. As a stash busting project that I was glad to bust-it-out quickly.

Did I drop something? Idk- I never know how to pose with my face…

The Challenge: January: Dressed to the 9’s

Material: Palest lavender lilac silk taffeta scrap (about 1 yardx60″w) from The Purple Edwardian dress a year ago and nearly a yard of white silk taffeta. Silk purchased from Silk Baron.

Pattern: Modified from the Lace Cloak (or Mantle) in Costume Closeup, by Linda Baumgarten, page 50.

Year: 1778-1779

Notions: Silk Thread, Silk ribbon, Pinking Chisel, ribbons

How historically accurate is it? I would say 95%. The garment is entirely hand stitched and trimmed in a manner close to fashion plates from 1778/1779 and”in style.” I decided not to line the Mantelet because Virginia is warm- so is silk- and also, I didn’t want to use any more precious silk from my stash.

Hours to complete: 10. The body of the garment itself took about 4 hours to complete, whereas the trimming took at least 6 hours. Always allot double time for trimming. ALWAYS.


First worn: Colonial Williamsburg for a promenade down DoG street- More pics can be viewed through others’ instagram accounts. I was abysmal at taking photos that day- sorry, everyone.

Total cost: $30ish for a large scrap of lavender silk and the one yard of fabric for the trim

What would I do differently? This was a hasty project (I absolutely *thought* I needed something for Virginia- spoiler alert– I did not need it, but wore it anyway GOSH DARNIT) so… I didn’t completely think through the functionality of the hood and made it too shallow to be useful. It is a purely decorative hood- and that fact makes me sad.

Takeaway: This was a really fun project to try and also to make-do with the stash remnants. For wear, I was surprised at how warm it was with no lining. It did try to choke me a lot, but I’m not sure how to keep a cloak- like garment from doing that, aside from the cross cross tie technique. I did feel extra spiffy in this Mantelet, even though it completely covered the great fit of my new wool dress. I definitely felt “Dressed To The 9’s” with my extra silk!

I also finally got to debut the Giant Calash bonnet from 6? years ago! Super fun and weird way to spend the day.