Feature Friday: Goodwives Linens
Caps are the quintessential 18th century accessory, and no one does them better than this month’s featured business—Goodwives Linens!
The shop specializes specifically in 18th century cap and accessory patterns. Owner Blair founded Goodwives Linens in 2021 after being frustrated with the existing market. When talking about her process and inspiration, she said:
“I'm inspired by the gorgeous extant garments and images that portray real people from the past. For me, it has always been the details that make the difference when creating costumes, and especially when trying to pull off that ‘straight out of a portrait’ look. When I was looking for detailed, well-documented accessories (especially caps), the patterns that were available were typically difficult to work with, gave non-specific information regarding appropriate dates, and didn't provide good examples of what to expect once the pattern was made. I wanted to offer a range of accessories patterns that provide clear instructions, documentation, professional full-size patterns, and plenty of pictures of the finished products (so everyone could see exactly what they could make).”
Everything in her line is meticulously researched, and her most recent release, the Mrs. Pitcher cap, is the perfect example of this attention to detail. Accurate for the 1770s and 1780s, the design draws inspiration from a variety of period images and sources to create a practical and stylish cap for all levels of society. It has a full crown and ruffle to create a fashionable hairstyle with minimal effort.
Her other two cap designs also showcase that meticulous level of period detail. Dated to the earlier part of the century (1750–1770), both are equally adorable and would be a great addition to any 18th century wardrobe.
The Mrs. Sandby pattern was inspired by the works of artist Paul Sandby and features long lappets that tie under the wearer’s chin.
The Mrs. Custis pattern, on the other hand, is a jaunty little cap that perches on the back of the head for a fun and stylish look.
All three patterns are available in both paper and PDF formats and come with detailed instructions for hand stitching the cap in a historical accurate method. She also offers kits, with all the materials needed to create your own cap. The kits are currently sold out, but a restock of all the designs is planned soon.
Blair has also branched out into modern designs, offering her first shirt pattern, the Jess Blouse. With cut-in-one sleeves and a soft collar, this shirt would make a great everyday wardrobe staple. The pattern is for a single size only, but the loose fit can accommodate a range of bust sizes.
While the shop currently has only 4 patterns, Blair has big plans for future Goodwives Linens releases, despite some recent personal setbacks.
“My goal was to have many more patterns available by now, including regency, mid-19th century, and Edwardian caps and accessories. However, I was diagnosed with breast cancer in December of 2021 and had to put a pause on most of my regular life and work to navigate treatment. Fortunately, that part of the journey is nearly finished, and I am finally able to focus on my business again… I am so excited about the new ideas and patterns I have in the works.”
You can find all the Goodwives Linens patterns in her shop, www.etsy.com/shop/GoodwivesLinens and you can read more about the inspiration and research behind each design on her website and blog, www.goodwiveslinens.com.