Regency Ball Ensemble Post #3: The Turban!

After the dress, this piece was my favourite one to make for the ensemble.  Hats and headwear are just so much fun to do!

I’m also entering this one for the Historical Sew Fortnightly Challenge #25: One Metre

Here are the specs:

The Challenge: #25: One Metre – use only 1 metre of fabric or less, and preferably not tons of trimming

Fabric: less than 1 metre of pale blue silk dupioni (or shantung – it’s very smooth)

Pattern: None, but I used information from The Oregon Regency Society

Year: c. 1813

Notions: approx. 1m of trim, 1 feather, 1 tassel, 1 button, 1 piece of found-object jewellery, fabric scraps

How historically accurate is it? the foundation of the hat is machine sewn, but the rest is draped and hand-sewn; this conforms not badly with styles and materials from the time, so I’m giving it 70%

Hours to complete: approx. 5hrs (give or take)

First worn: November 30th to the local Regency Ball

Total cost: All made from scraps and stash items, so $0

Being historical-hair-impaired I am grateful that turbans were such a big thing for Regency formalwear, and so many of them are such fun!  Since I was already playing rather fast and loose with the date of my Ballgown, I wasn’t particular about the specific date for my turban, choosing inspiration according to what took my fancy instead.

Here are some examples I felt particularly drawn to


from La Belle Assemblee, April 1818


Also from La Belle Assemblee, 1818


Lady Charlotte Campbell by Archibald Skirving, 1802

Miss Bingley and Mrs Hurst

Caronline Bingley and Mrs Hurst from BBC’s 1995 P&P

While I didn’t use a pattern for this I did consult a very simple and easy tutorial provided by the Oregon Regency Society which described 3 different regency turban possibilities.  I went with this style (and did pretty much exactly as is shown in the diagram)

combined with this idea

And this is what I got


IMG_0403 IMG_0405 IMG_0406


The fabrics are scraps directly from the making of my gown, the ivory and gold ribbon trim is some of the leftover from that which I used to trim the gown.

Apart from the ensemble as a whole, this part of it probably got the most attention.  It took far less time to make than the gown, but everyone just loves the headwear! lol  I do love it too, and it was lots of fun to make!

17 thoughts on “Regency Ball Ensemble Post #3: The Turban!

    • Thank you! I will try to post the dress soon. Part of me is hoping to get more photos of it before I need to post it. We did our best taking photos at the Ball, but between the lighting and using our phones they aren’t totally ideal.


  1. I just popped over from the Dreamstress. I love this post of the turban. So wearable. Of course I look awful in hats! I’ve only made turbans for The Three Wise Men for my churches Nativity. I made them on baseball hat bases, bills removed, for quick change on the actors.


  2. How did you shape the top of the turban? It looks like you have folds but it also looks seamed. I like it much more than just the basic gathered circle with a band.


    • Thank you! It actually is the basic gathered circle with a band, I just went one little step further and tacked four points of the crown together in the centre. I though the crown was a little too high and poufy, so this was a way to rein it in while making it a “design feature” (lol).


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