The Canezou Fashion Plate to Finished Look

This French fashion plate from 1811 shows a woman in a lapis necklace wearing a check silk bonnet and a "Canezou a Manche[r]".

What is a canezou? From the French and English costume history books, a canezou is a short, Spencer-like garment, often made of white, lightweight cotton, worn over another garment.

I modified a Spencer pattern for the base lining of white cotton, and then draped, stroke gathered, and stitched the curtain fabric to form the floofy bodice. The lace on the cap sleeves is reclaimed from a late 19th century negligee lurking in Drunk Tailor’s collection of usable old fabrics, while the lace at the bottom was reclaimed from an antique petticoat before I picked it up in Sturbridge, MA a few years ago.

Over the white cotton lining, I used a repurposed IKEA curtain-- a sheer white dotted fabric that I've used before to make a gown and a petticoat.

Ruffles and lace are new for me. To edge the bodiced petticoat or white underdress, I used a Swiss cotton edging left over from making a federal-era cap. The canezou closes with a laundry hook: although not perfectly historically accurate, the unobtrusive hook lies flat.

The bib-front bodice attaches with a white thread button.

You can't forget the bonnet! The wired buckram form is covered with blue and white check silk taffeta ordered from India.

To match the fashion plate, the bonnet is trimmed in starched white cotton lace, and a large self-fabric bow.

As an ensemble, the effect is convincingly reminiscent of the fashion plate. I wore it at the 2017 Salem Maritime Festival, where I portrayed a milliner-- the little girl is my dear friends' daughter.

A candid tableau with Drunk Tailor in the side yard of the Darby House.

Costumes and accessories: two of my favorite things. I make them for museums and individuals.

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