A friend helped me identify this mystery stitch (thank you Miss T.!) and told me that it's in The Lady's Guide to Plain Sewing. Though the mess that is my sewing room has swallowed my copy, I figured there must be a few tutorials from fellow bloggers.
After a little googling I found the following:
- Chloe at Slightly Obsessed, offers very detailed directions in this 2011 post, but being a visual person I found it a little tricky to interpret.
- Connor Praire has a YouTube video tutorial, which was helpful though a bit blurry.
- Kelly from Tea in a Teacup, shared her experience with making a Regency day cap that includes a bit about learning this stitch. (This was posted after I completed my cap.)
They look pretty good...nice and rolly and gathery.
A few from the top of the cap.
However I struggled to make the rolly/gathery part look as full as it should. The inside of the stitch, where the thread is most visible, looks better than the fashion fabric side. You can see this contrast in the photo above, and a detail of the nice rolled look from the inside in the image below.
Given the popularity of ruffles on extant caps, which are also seen in many 18th and 19th century portraits (for examples see my Cap Crazy Pinterest board), taking the time to perfect this stitch is important. The ruffle frames the face. As a historical interpreter who engages with the public in a museum setting, it's a detail that visitors will notice. If you've had any success with the rolled whipped gather, or want to commiserate with your struggles, I'd love to hear from you!