Regency Brocade Turban


Since my new Regency brocade gown is very on-trend for England’s historically imperialist love of all things exotic, I figured I’d make a matching turban to really set off the outfit. After making a moderately full skirt for my gown I still had a bit of fabric left, which included a decent amount of gold embroidered border, so I gave it a shot.

I didn’t want my head to get too hot, so I opted out of the full-cap turban. Instead, I wanted to do a structured ring-shaped base with twisted fabric around the outside to vaguely resemble a turban. Ideally I would’ve gotten buckram for the base, but I didn’t have any and there was no time to order any. Instead I found myself a sheet of that plastic grid stuff you use for hooked-yarn projects– I cut out two 1.5″ wide strips and stitched them into a ring.

I covered the ring in a layer of gold sari border, whipstitching the edges on the inside.


Then I took a 7″ wide strip of my main sari fabric (actually two strips sewn together to make one strip about 48″ long) and machine-stitched a tiny rolled hem around all edges. About 10-11″ down from one end I hand-stitched a row of gathering stitches, pulled them tight to form random pleats, and stitched the line down to the ring base near the top edge. Once it was anchored, I wound the fabric loosely around the ring, gathering it at intervals and tacking it to the base where necessary to get it to puff a little in a pretty way.


When I got back around to the starting point I did another line of gathering stitches, anchored the line near the bottom edge, and then used the dangling ends to make a decorative knot, also tacked in place with a few stitches. I had some excess fabric at the loose end, so I trimmed it and re-hemmed it to a nice length.

I will note that once I tried it on I was very happy… until I realized that the puff of fabric in the center front was the one with the seam connecting my two strips of fabric. (sigh) Luckily it’s not too noticeable, but it’s going to bug me every time I wear it. On the other hand, I really like the decorative knot I managed to make and I’m not sure I could replicate it, so I’ll learn to live with the turban as-is!

I added some white ostrich plumes (just pinned them in my hair under the turban), and thought about adding a fancy brooch to the knot to set it off, but decided in the end that it would be too much on top of everything else.


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