Since so many of you have expressed interest in more tutorials and demos I thought I would start off this week with a very simple one that a friend requested on Facebook not too long ago.

The Question: How did I make a pattern for my embroidered forehead cloth?

Forehead cloths are basically triangles of linen that were often worn with coifs to keep hair and sweat out of your eyes.  While they could be plain they were also often decorated with embroidery and there a numerous examples of forehead cloths embroidered to mach coifs.

When I made mine I wanted it to match my scarletwork coif.  (As the embroidery pattern I used to create my coif was made by my dear friend Laura Mellin I would like to take a moment to plug her awesome embroidery patterns. All of her patterns are meticulously researched and based on historical embroidery designs. Her entire line of Extreme Patterns embroidery designs is available online through Reconstructing History.)

So I started with my coif pattern as the base for creating my forehead cloth pattern.

To the left is a sketch of a basic coif pattern.  (Be kind people.  I drew all of this up on MS Paint! :))  Since I was going to embroider the forehead cloth to match the coif it was important that I use the same embroidery pattern and I wanted to repeats to be the same as well.

The first thing I did was find the center of the pattern (indicated in the sketch to the right as the dashed line.  I then selected the point on that center line where I wanted the bottom of the point of my forehead cloth to fall and drew two equal lines from it to the top points of the coif.  This formed an upside down isosceles triangle.  At that point I basically had my pattern.

Cut out a mockup from a scrap of muslin to make sure it fits the way you want it to.  Once you have your forehead cloth pattern traced out onto your fabric you can begin transfering the embroidery design.  I just traced my pattern out on linen, laid it over my coif pattern making sure to line up the top line and center my pattern and simply transfered my embroidery pattern directly from the coif.

In the end mine turned out like this:

If you are interested in making a coif or forehead cloth for yourself please let me highly recommend Laura’s pattterns which, as I said earlier, are available online through Reconstructing History.

*I am always happy to accept requests for tutorials.  If you have a suggestion or a request please feel free to email me or leave a comment.  My contact information is readily available on my Bio page.

4 Comments

  1. I would love to see photos of how the cloth & coif look when worn together.

  2. awesome! you look adorable, and it turned out beautifully. if i’m ever crazy enough to want to wear elizabethan 😉 i’ll totally make one.

  3. Thanks! And I think you would look very cute in one. 🙂

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