Friday, December 20, 2013

Making Butter in the 1820 Kitchen

Stephenson House's wooden butter churn
One of the most popular activities in the kitchen at Stephenson House is butter churning. There is something about making butter in an old-fashion wooden churn that pulls everyone into the kitchen (or maybe it's the lure of good smelling treats wafting through the air). Most of our volunteers have helped with this activity and enjoyed the products of their labor. I guarantee fresh churned butter and buttermilk taste 100% better than any store bought brand. It will not have all the preservatives either.

Butter making is defiantly a hands-on activity where everyone can help. We often let visitors get their bicep workout in for the day by lending a hand in the churning process.

Stephenson House purchased its wooden churn from Beaver Buckets several years ago (www.beaverbuckets.com) and it's been in regular use ever since. There are other types of churns available on the market if you want to buy one or you can simply use an old canning jar.



What we use at Stephenson House......

  • Wooden churn 
  • Heaving Whipping cream (1-2 quarts, depending on how much we  want to make)
  • several pitchers of water for washing the butter (or someone to run back and forth to the well)
  • butter paddle
  • cheese cloth (precut squares that will fit over the top of the bowl used to pour the contents of the churn in. Do this before starting to churn.)
  • two large bowls
  • bucket 

We purchase heavy whipping cream from a local grocery store to make our butter. It is practically impossible to get anything other than heavy whipping cream to make butter unless you live on a farm with milk cows. Leave the cream sitting on the counter at room temperature overnight so it clabbers. We usually sit it out about 4 p.m. if we plan to use it by late morning the next day.

Once it's clabbered pour it into the churn. Now the workout begins. Take the plunger (the one attached to the churn, not the one in the restroom!) and start churning the cream in a steady up and down motion. Try to keep a rhythm as you churn. The process of churning the cream take anywhere from 10 minutes to three hours. We have found that the weather plays a big part in the success of our butter.


A docent churns butter in the 1820 kitchen. Notice the chunks of cream (soon to be butter) around the plunger opening.
When the cream begins to turn to butter there is a distinct change in how the plunger feels and sounds. The cream begins to separate from the fat, making the plunger harder to push/pull up and down. The opening where the plunger is inserted into the lid will begin to have chunks of butter form around it (see above photo). Remove the plunger and lid to check the contents of the churn at this point. There should be buttermilk and butter in the churn if it's ready. The texture of the butter should feel firm like butter at room temperature. If is to runny then continue churning until it changes. Be Warned....if you over churn the mixture, the butter and buttermilk will turn back to cream.

Our redware bowls, butter paddle and large pitcher.

Now the contents of the churn need to be poured into a large bowl covered with three to four squares of cheese cloth (layered on top of each other and large enough to hang over the sides). We prepare the bowl with the cheese cloth before we start churning so it's ready when the butter is done.

Bowl with four layers of cheese cloth.


Pouring the contents of the churn into our cheesecloth covered bowl. It's always good to have extra hands...here we have several willing helpers. The chunks of butter are very noticeable in this photo.



Scrap out any leftover bits of butter from the churn. Again, extra hands are wonderful...and a really LONG handled spoon.


Everything is in the bowl and ready to be separated.



Now grab all of the side of the cheese cloth and squeeze out the buttermilk.

You can see the buttermilk pouring out of the cheesecloth into the bowl. The butter is wrapped up in the cheese cloth in this photo. It will be put into the large redware bowl next and washed.



Now the butter needs to be washed to remove all the remaining buttermilk or it will spoil. You'll need lots of water for this step. The green bowl contains the buttermilk that we will use for biscuits or whatever cooking need arises.
Use a butter paddle or large spoon to turn the butter over and over in the water.

The water will turn cloudy quickly. Keep pouring it off into a waste container then add fresh water until the water no longer clouds. This will take a while but you'll want to be sure it's clean or it will sour.
Once the butter is clean, you may choose to add salt to help preserve it. We don't add salt at Stephenson House...it never lasts long enough to go bad.

The butter is now ready to use, as well as, the buttermilk. We usually have a large amount of butter at the end of the day. It is a great addition to the table and tastes so much better than anything you can buy in the store. Enjoy!

Now comes the real work....cleaning the churn. Ugh!

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Where to Start: Building a Federal Period Wardrobe

Suggested Books on Clothing, Sewing Techniques, Interpretation, Fabrics, and First-hand accounts
The following are highly recommended to anyone just staring to build/construct a Federal Period wardrobe.
1. Fitting and Proper by Sharon Ann Burnston - construction details and patterns included…must be drafted up to scale.
2. Rural Pennsylvania Clothing by Ellen J. Gehret – construction details and patterns included…must be drafted up to scale.
3. The Lady’s Guide to Plain Sewing by a Lady – details period sewing techniques. Available through Kanniks Korner (http://www.kannikskorner.com/).
4. The Lady’s Guide to Plain Sewing II by a Lady - details period sewing techniques. Available through Kanniks Korner (http://www.kannikskorner.com/).
5. The Workman’s Guide to Tailoring: Stitches and Techniques - details period sewing techniques. Available through Kanniks Korner (http://www.kannikskorner.com/).
6. Who Was I? Creating a Living History Persona: A Modest Guide to the How’s and Whys by Cathy Johnson – discusses how to develop a believable and accurate interpretation.
7. Swatches: A Guide to Choosing 21st Century Fabrics for 18th Century Clothing by Hallie Larkin


The Best Pattern Companies & Patterns
The following are pattern companies who base or copy their patterns from original garments. These companies also provide lots of research and historical background.

Past Patterns, (www.pastpatterns.com) owner Saundra Altman. This company is highly recommended. Saundra does extensive research on all of her patterns. If she prints it, I guarantee it will be correct.
Kannik’s Korner (http://www.kannikskorner.com/) owners Fritz & Kathleen Kannik. Highly recommended pattern company. The company also researches the garments used to create their patterns.

The period appropriate patterns listed below are based or copied from original garments. There are a lot of poorly written patterns available for purchase but the following are patterns that are authentic and accurate.

Women’s Clothing Patterns
Past Patterns: #030: A "Transition Stay" Fashionable Circa 1796-1806 (www.pastpatterns.com)
Past Patterns: #038: A Partially Boned "Transition Stay" Fashionable Circa 1793-1820 (www.pastpatterns.com)
Past Patterns: #001  1820s-1840s Corded Stay (www.pastpatterns.com)
Past Patterns: #031 Circa 1796-1806 Lewis & Clark Era Front Closing Gown (www.pastpatterns.com)
Kannik’s Korner KK-6603 Woman's Caps and Bonnets c. 1790-1820 (http://www.kannikskorner.com/)
Kannik’s Korner KK-6103Woman's Shift 1790-1820 (http://www.kannikskorner.com/)
Kannik’s Korner  KK-6602Woman's and Girl's Caps 1740-1820  Everyday Headwear (http://www.kannikskorner.com/)
Kannik’s Korner Pattern KK-6901 Woman's Short Cloak Second half of the 18th Century (1750-1800) (http://www.kannikskorner.com/)
Kannik’s Korner KK-6001 Stockings, Pockets & Mitts (http://www.kannikskorner.com/)
Folkwear Patterns #215 Empire Dress (www.folkwear.com) – this is a fairly accurate pattern that is easily made up for working attire or nicer occasions. The ‘train’ would not be appropriate for a fort interpretation.
Period Impressions #460 1809 Day Wear (http://www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com)
Period Impressions Empire Bodiced Underpetticoat (http://www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com)

Period Impression 1809 Spencer Jacket Pattern (http://www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com)

Period Impression 18th Century Caps & Pockets Pattern  (http://www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com)
Period Impressions Empire Shortgown & Petticoat (http://www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com)
Period Impression #464 Bibb Front Muslin Dress 1800-1812 (http://www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com).

Men’s Clothing Patterns
Kannik’s Korner KK-4202 Man’s Waistcoats Single-Breasted Worn by Both Common Working Men and Fashionable Men c. 1790-1815  (http://www.kannikskorner.com/)
Kannik’s Korner KK-4303 Man’s Trousers High-Waisted c. 1790-1810  (http://www.kannikskorner.com/)
Kannik’s Korner KK-4102 Man's Shirt 1790-1830 (http://www.kannikskorner.com/)
Kannik’s Korner KK-4001 Men’s Accessories Common Items used by Men of all Classes
c. 1740-1830
(http://www.kannikskorner.com/)
Kannik’s Korner KK-4551 Man's Double-Breasted Short Jacket 1770-1800 (http://www.kannikskorner.com/)
Past Patterns #041: U.S. Army Roundabout Matching 1812 Specs (www.pastpatterns.com)

Fabric Suppliers
Burnley and Trowbridge Co., http://www.burnleyandtrowbridge.com
Wm. Booth, Draper,  www.wmboothdraper.com/
96th District Storehouse, http://www.96storehouse.com
Jackman’s Fabrics

JoAnn Fabrics

Things to Avoid Like the Plague!!!!! (Time for me to get on my soapbox)

  • French or English Bodices: these are not historical garments by any stretch of the imagination!
  • No mob caps…they are not historical!
  • Skirts with drawcords…one size should not fit all!
  • Polyester and Rayon
  • Painter pants, blue jeans or dockers
  • Zippers, Velcro, snaps
  • Undocumented patterns: if the pattern company does not provide reputable sources (i.e. museum collections, paintings, primary source from the period, collections with provenance, etc.) don’t use it!
  • The mind set of “If they would've had it, they would've used it.” They didn't have it and didn't use it!
  • Vests with chest pockets. Men’s vest had two pockets not three during this period.
  • Ladies, be sure that your bosom is in your bodice...not below it. Get the girls UP and in the correct position. Bodices were high during the Federal Period. Invest in a Federal period corset (preferably) or obtain a support garment that will serve the same purpose (i.e. bodiced petticoat or sports bra). Do Not use a corset from another period....KEEP IT FEDERAL!


Wednesday, September 4, 2013

A Basic Anatomy of Working Garments of the Federal Period: Women

Garments worn by working people were made for comfort and durability. A female doing physical labor such as working in the fields, laundry, cooking in the kitchen,  gardening, would have worn garments that allowed for ease of movement. One combination of clothing worn by working women was a  shift, corset, shortgown, petticoat and apron. 


Shift:
· Loose fitting garment worn next to the skin as underwear.
· Short sleeves.
· This item was washed more frequently than outer garments.
· Made of lightweight linen or muslin for summer and heavier linen, and  flannel (which is light weight wool, not our modern flannel) or linsey woolsey for winter wear.
· Drawcord at neckline.
· Length ranged from knee to mid-shin.
· WHAT NOT TO DO – Women, regardless of social status, would not have worn this garment without something over it such as a shortgown or dress. This was considered an undergarment and no respectable woman wore it exposed.
· No ruffles by this period. Avoid pre-made shifts that have large ruffles at the neck that ‘swallows’ the throat and ruffles at the sleeve ends. A shift with short sleeves will be more comfortable under a shortgown or dress and is more appropriate than the shifts sold by most historical clothing companies.
· The Woman’s Shift, 1790-1820 pattern from Kannik’s Korner is the historically recommended shift.


Full length corsets worn by two historical interpreters at the 1820 Col. Benjamin Stephenson House
Corset:
· Essential to the fit of the outer garments and maintaining a Federal Period silhouette.
· Fitted to individual wearer. This item cannot be purchased ready made.
· Lightly boned half-corset, fully boned half-corset, or full length corset with boning or cording for support.
· Full length corset has a wooden busk down the center front.
· Half-corsets usually laced up the front. Full length corsets laced up the back.
· Traditionally made of nankeen (a canvas-like fabric).
· White or off-white during the Federal Period.
· Provided back support while maintaining the high-waisted silhouette.
· Type of corset worn depends on body type and what is comfortable.
· WHAT NOT TO DO – If you are going to have a corset made, make sure the pattern is for 1800-1820. This is very important to remember! Victorian or Rev War corsets will not give the proper silhouette…they are completely different. Corsets were made for each individual body and garment being worn...they are not universal to all periods. It must be fitted to you!


Shortgown, petticoat, apron and turban.

 Shortgown:
· Made of linen, light weight wool or printed cotton.
· Loose fitting.
· Cut on the fold as one piece. Lower peplum and lower sleeve were often pieced.
· No inset sleeves.
· High waisted with or without a drawcord.
· Length  ranged from a few inches below bust line to mid thigh.
· Pinned closed at neckline.
· WHAT NOT TO DO – Shortgowns with inset sleeves are not appropriate for the Federal Period. This style tends to be more 1760s. Also, no French or English bodices! These garments are not historical but unfortunately remain popular among many reenactors.

Petticoat:
· Made of linen or light weight wool.
· Fitted waistband with ties at back to close garment.
· High waisted with sewn suspenders to keep it under the bust line.
· Length ranged from mid-shin to ankle bone.
· Petticoats, as a rule, did not have pockets built-in. Some petticoats had slits in the sides with a pocket worn on a cord around the waist underneath the garment.

Apron:
· Usually made of checked fabrics (small checks) or white.
· Full bodied, bib-front or simple waist tied.
· Made of linen, muslin or wool.
· Tied at back with small cording.
· Protected petticoat and shortgown from soiling.
· Useful in hauling wood, picking up hot pots, wiping a child’s face, cleaning off a table, etc.

Reproduction day caps in the Stephenson House wardrobe. 

Day Caps:
· Head covering worn by women of all social stations.
· Ranged from very simple construction to very ornate.
· Made of fine linen such as ‘lawn’ or handkerchief, batiste or fine muslin.
· An alternative for a working interpretation would be a simple kerchief or turban.
· Kept hair clean when working in dusty or dirty areas.
· Older ladies tended to wear day caps regularly.
· Covers modern hair styles and bad hair days
· Fashionable accessory as well as a practical garment.
· WHAT NOT TO DO – the stereotypical ‘mob’ cap. This is a cap cut in a large circle with a drawstring at the crown. WRONG, WRONG, WRONG! This is not a period cap under any circumstances.

Stephenson House interpreter wearing a large neckerchief on the outside of her dress and tucked into her apron waistband.

Neckerchief or Modesty Cloth:
· Large triangle shaped cloth used to fill in the neckline.
· Colors: white, checked or printed.
· Lightweight cotton, muslin, linen.
· Worn on inside of shortgown or outside over shoulders.

Saturday, August 17, 2013

Remaking a Problematic Garment

The donated dress.
Let me begin by saying that this post  is not intended to insult anyone’s sewing abilities, knowledge of garments or historical wardrobe. The intent is to demonstrate how garments, that may not be quite right historically, can be remade and given new life.
As historical interpreters/reenactors, we will spend quite a bit of money on a wardrobe trying to “get it right”. Mistakes will be made. The longer you are in the field, the more you learn and with learning come change.  I have a few pieces in my old wardrobe that I shudder at having worn as ‘historical’ clothing.  In fact, a few garments have absolutely no historical basis what-so-ever such as the polyester English bodice, and faux suede skirt but I wore them thinking they were appropriate ( Boy, was I wrong). Hard earned money went pouring down the drain that day!
In a perfect interpretive world, there would be a benevolent sewing god who would bestow unlimited knowledge of fabrics, sewing techniques and styles upon us eliminating the pain of unfortunate mistakes.

A few years ago the 1820 Col. Benjamin Stephenson House (the historic site I manage) received a donation of a child’s dress for the interpretive wardrobe. Unfortunately the style of the garment was not appropriate for use at the house. Our interpretive wardrobe is extremely limited, and clothing donations are always welcome; but if something is not period correct, we must decide if it can be modified to work or needs to find another home. In this case, I decided to take the dress apart, because the fabric was passable, and re-cut the pieces to correct shapes. The pattern I chose to use for the remake was drafted from an original 1800-1810 child's dress owned by the Denmark National Museum (the pattern can be downloaded at www. tidenstoej.natmus.dk)
1800-1810 Child's dress owned by the Denmark National Museum

I actually enjoy the process of taking a problematic garment and remodeling it. I see it as paying homage to our foremothers, who often reworked older garments to be more fashionable or to fit someone else. It’s recycling, 19th century style. If fabrics were useable, it would have been a waste to discard an entire garment over something fixable.

The deconstruction part of this process can be very stress releasing. If you are having a bad day, there is something very satisfying about ripping something apart with your bare hands. And no, I am not usually a destructive person; but I have been called a “button counter” on occasion, so there is great satisfaction knowing I have removed one more anachronistic garment from public view. (Ouch! I think I dislocated my shoulder patting my back. J)

Step #1: Evaluate the situation. This is probably the most important step in the process. If you want to rework a garment for use in a historic setting then take the time to do a little research. First check the fabric. Be sure it is in good shape and correct for the period you plan to portray. Next, make sure there is enough fabric. A good guideline is to make a garment smaller than the original (i.e., converting a woman’s dress into a girl’s or teen’s).


Dress pieces after stress-releasing deconstruction.

Step #2: Deconstruct pseudo-historical garment. Try not to get carried away with the rush of power you will receive from the first ripping sound. It is important to salvage as much fabric as possible, because piecing may be necessary during re-cutting. I recommend using a handy-dandy seam ripper or small needlework scissors to cut seam threads before the ripping begins.

Step #3: Press fabric pieces with an iron. Another important step, removing wrinkles and seam creases will ensure better fit in the next step. If seam creases are stubborn, give them a good blast of steam.


Pattern pieces drafted from an early 19th century child's dress are placed on the decontructed dress pieces.

Step #4: Find the best fit. If you enjoy puzzles, you’re gonna love this step. Lay out your pressed fabric pieces. Position the pattern pieces according to best fit on the available fabric. Depending on the size of your fabric and pattern pieces, it may be necessary to sew remnants together. (“Piecing” the pieces...capicĂ©?) One interesting thing to remember about historical garments when cutting out the pattern is that economy was often the driving force behind pattern placement in past centuries.
Close-up of front bodice piece where it was necessary to piece fabric remnants together

Step #5: Putting it back together. Once all pieces have been re-cut, it’s time to sew it together. Follow the instructions provide with the pattern, or if you are an experienced seamstress, commence as usual. Whenever possible use period-appropriate sewing techniques, at least in visible areas.



The finished dress.


This all sounds simple and easy, but there is a lot of work involved. Take the time to research the pattern, the fabric, and the sewing techniques you will use. Don’t use it if it’s not right! The first visible part of any historical interpretation is clothing. Unless you plan to be on a theater stage or several feet from the public, remember that clothing will either make or break your interpretation. If the fabric of an inappropriate garment is not correct for your time period, don’t waste time reworking it; give it to a local school drama department or thrift store. Evaluating the garment before you begin will save disappointment, embarrassment and frustration in the long run.



My daughter wearing the dress with a reproduction spencer jacket.


Monday, August 12, 2013

A Neat School Girl's Day Cap

One of my favorite historical reference books is The Workwoman's Guide: A Guide to 19th Century Decorative Arts, Fashion and Practical Crafts by a Lady, originally published in 1838. Personally, I think anyone who does period sewing for the early 19th century should have a copy in their reference library. This book is Wonderful! It has instructions for everything from undergarments to bed hangings. The instructions can be challenging at times because the author assumes that the reader has basic knowledge of hand sewing techniques in general use at the time. Unfortunately, today's seamstress may find herself at a loss when deciphering the measurements and instructions if she has no experience with traditional hand sewing techniques..
My reprinted copy purchased from Amazon.com

Recently, I decided to draft and make the pattern on page 64 entitled, A Neat School Girl's Cap (illustrations on page 63, plate 9, figures 13 & 14). Of course, I would pick the pattern with the vaguest instructions (as a professor in college once said to me, "You can't start with the easiest project can you? You have to go straight for the most challenging.") Anyway, after some serious head-scratching over the non-existent details of construction I decided to reference what I already knew about cap construction techniques. The day cap was of simple design and what the instructions didn't elaborate on was easy to figure out.
Illustration of cap on page 63. Some of the measurement are visible.

Actual instructions from the book:

    " This pattern needs little further explanation, the shape and size are so clearly given in the Plate. The head-piece is sloped off at the ears, beginning to cut at 1 nail above the corner, to 1 nail beyond the corner, at the bottom of the cap.
     This cap is for school-girls, and is particularly neat if of checked muslin with corded muslin frills."

Seems clear as mud!

First, I drafted the pattern based on the measurements and the illustration. One thing about drafting patterns from this book is the type of measurement used. The author uses the measurement of 'nails' not inches. Luckily on page 14 there is a section on how big a 'nail' is in comparison to an inch; 2 1/4 inches equals 1 nail. You will want to create some type of measuring apparatus to make drafting easier. I created my 'nail' ruler several years ago while making another project from the book.
I used the backside of an old ruler to draw out the 'nail' measurements. 


Measurements for this cap are as follows (I have left out the additional measurements for fabric yardage which the author includes for economical cutting of more then one cap):

Length of crown down the selvage...6 nails
Width of the crown, or three in the breadth.....8 nails
Length of the head-piece down the selvage.....8 nails
Width of the head-piece, or twelve in the breadth....2 nails

As I was drawing the draft I studied the illustration and made changes where necessary. Each piece started out as a rectangle. The crown was 8 nails by 8 nails. The curve for the crown began 6 nails up from the bottom and sloped gently to the center back. The headpiece measured 2 nails wide by 4 nails long (the illustration provided the 4 nails measurement) with the curve beginning 1 nail from the corner on the long edge to 1 nail from the corner of the short edge. Here is how my final draft looked.
Final draft of the cap pattern.

Once I was happy with the draft it was time to start cutting. I cut one of each pattern piece. The crown was cut with the center back on the fold. The headpiece was cut with the short straight side on fold. The fabric used for this project was 100% cotton batiste from my stockpile. I would have preferred to use a nice light weight linen but made due with what I had on hand.

One thing I noticed studying the draft was the crown is extremely wide at the neck edge. The illustration shows no evidence of a drawcord along the neck edge to help fit the cap to the head. Since the instructions were vague and the author obviously expects her readers to know what to do, I decided to add a casing for a drawcord. The casing is folded 1/4" plus another 1/4". I also stitched an eyelet on the outside center of the casing to allow for the drawcord to be tightened or loosened according to the wearers preferences.
Eyelet sewn on the outside of crown casing at center back of neck edge.  I stitched the eyelet before sewing the casing.

The crown cut out with the neck edge casing folded and pinned. Ready to start sewing.

The casing was sewn with a plain hem stitch.
Once the casing and eyelet were complete, I inserted the drawcord. The cording (also called tape) I used was purchased from Wm. Booth Draper (http://www.wmboothdraper.com/). It is roughly 1/8" wide. I buy a lot of this cording because it is very versatile in period garments (they have other widths too). It is wider then period cording but I have not found anyone producing anything close to period cording; which was very thin and durable.
Cording inserted into casing on crown. 

1/8" cording from Wm. Booth Draper. 
Around the outside edge of the crown I worked a rolled hem. This created a very nice finished edge that will be attached to the headpiece. It's important to work the rolled hem from the bottom of the crown edge (including the casing and cording) all the way around to the other side. 

Rolled hem edge including the casing and cording. 
Detail of rolled hem edge around crown.


The crown with the rolled hem complete.

Once the crown was finished, it was time to move to the headpiece. I started by pressing the front of the headpiece (the side with the curves) with a 1/8" fold + 1/8" fold. This required some finagling around the curves. I used a plain hem stitch to finish the hem.

Headpiece with the front edge hemmed. The straight side (back of headpiece) is pinned for hemming.
The straight edge of the headpiece was stitched last. I used the same hem measurements as the curved edge; 1/8' + 1/8". This is the side that the crown is attached too.

Now comes the tricky bit. I'll do my best to explain this next step.......

I marked the center point on the crown and the headpiece. I also marked a point on each side of the crown where the gathering will begin and stop, leaving the crown straight; approximately 3" up from the casing on each side. The curved side of the crown ( rolled hem edge) needs to be gathered to fit the headpiece. Over the rolled hem I worked a whipped gather stitch that was pulled tight to create very tight gathers along the edge. "The Lady's Guide to Plain Sewing" by a Lady, (available at www.kannikskorner.com) has an excellent description of how to work this stitch.  

Detail of the whipped gather stitch. It's hard to see in the photo but the stitches are roughly 1/8" apart. This is pulled tight to create the gathers in the next photo.


It worked easier for me to gather half of the crown at a time and attach it to the headpiece. I started on the right-side of the crown at the mark 3" up from the casing and whip gathered to the center point of the crown. It took some gentle persuasion and work to pull the gathers tight enough to fit the right half of the headpiece (Take your time and ease the gathers to form! Don't yank the thread or pull to hard because it could break from the tension. Use a STRONG hand-quilting thread or double your plain cotton thread for this step.) Matching the center points and the edges, I pinned the the crown and headpieces together.

Right half of the crown and headpiece pinned together. The pin at the top left of the photo is the center point of the the crown and headpiece.
Sewing the crown and headpiece together. The needle goes through the top edge of the headpiece fold and the loop of the whipped gather. The thread will lay naturally in the space between the gathers.
Stitching the headpiece and crown together was very simple. I did a overcast stitch (catching just the fold edges) from where the pieces were pinned together at the crown casing edge and back corner of headpiece to the 3' mark. When I reached the gathers I began catching each gather at the loop side closest to the headpiece and run the needle through the top edge of the headpiece (see photo above for a visual). The thread will naturally lay within the space between the gathers if the stitch is done correctly. 

Continue attaching the left side together in the same manner as the right side. When both sides are completely sewn, open the seam by gently working the headpiece away from the crown. This makes a very flat and tight seam without the bulk modern seams create.

The headpiece (left) and crown (right) after seam has been opened up.  You can see the overcast stitches that attach the pieces together.
Below is the finished day cap. The drawcord at the back really helped in making it fit a child's head. I decided not to do a ruffle (as in the illustration) around the cap. A period ruffle would be attached in the same manner as the crown to the headpiece; with whipped gathers. A nice piece of period lace would be another alternative to finishing the edge and dressing-up the cap. A chin strap could also be added similar to the one in the illustration.

The finished day cap. It reminds me of the day caps worn by the school girls in the latest Jane Eyre movie (2011).
*I realize the final cap is not an exact copy of the one illustrated in the book. The differences are minor but it bothered me enough that I went back and double checked (and triple checked) my measurements. All the measurements were correct. The casing at the neck edge makes the biggest difference in shape; without it the cap would be entirely to big for a girls head or even a woman's. The illustration is not clear if there is a working casing on the neck edge but adding it definitely helped.