St. Birgitta’s Coif

Photograph of a St. Birgitta's coif: a medieval hair covering that is a cap with an attached continuous cord that the wearer uses to cinch down the cap, and then wraps around the head to secure it. For women, the wimple is typically pinned to the coif, and the veil put on over top of all of it (and either pinned in place or secured with a circlet or a band).

Following the instructions in the video by Morgan Donner, I made myself a St. Birgitta’s coif. I am extremely new to sewing, so this is the most complicated thing I’ve made (outside of pincushions), and as such, I dispensed with the elaborate needle lace/netting that Morgan did to secure the two halves of the coif together — I just added a quarter inch (ish) to make up for the fact that I wasn’t using a ribbon or netting to attach the two sides.

It was helpful to watch the entire video before actually making the thing, as Morgan had to make a correction to the shape of the curve. Bottom line up front: the pattern should look like a quarter circle.

It turned out just fine on the first attempt. It’s a little baggy, but as I intend to grow out my hair, this should be fine in time. I made this in cotton, as that’s what I have; when I get around to ordering some linen, I will make another one in light linen with linen thread so as to have a somewhat more accurate piece (though as the linen and thread won’t be hand-spun and -woven, it will not be absolutely authentic).

It was fun, and I’m looking forward to doing something more ambitious, such as a dress!

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