Hi Everyone, I'm Shari Fuller from Thimbles and Acorns and I am going to take you on a new miniature millinery adventure – and adventure is a good description since the theme is graduation. Whether it is from kindergarten, high school, or college, graduation marks the starting point of new life adventures and it is good that we celebrate these milestones with a little pomp and circumstance.
This course will be broken down into 4 installments:
Before we get started, let's take a look at the history of the mortarboard cap.
Now, let's be honest, these caps aren't exactly high fashion. Worn anywhere outside of a graduation ceremony, they simply look odd. This begs the question, how did these unusual looking caps become the symbol for academic achievement?
The graduation cap as we know it today, has been evolving since the Middle Ages. It started out as a simple skull cap called a pileolus, that was worn by clergy under their more formal head coverings as protection against the cold.
Over the years, the shape of the pileolus evolved into a variety of caps with cornered crowns known as birettas and barret caps. These caps were adopted and worn not only by clergy, but also persons of dignity outside of the church, including women.
Because most higher learning took place in the church, it was only natural that professionals and scholars took to wearing styles of these caps that were most familiar with the clergy as a symbol of learning and scholarship. In 1583 Philip Stubbes wrote that shape of the biretta caps symbolized ‘the whole monarchy of the world, east, west, north and south, the government of which standeth upon them as the cap doth upon their heads’.
The shape of the biretta cap gradually evolved into a soft square cap with a flat top and the square section became wider and stiffer. The cap began to be called a mortarboard because it started to resemble the shape of the flat board used by bricklayers to lay mortar. Soon thereafter, the idea that the cap represented the hard work and knowledge it took to become a master workman was tied to the years of hard work a student put in to build up the knowledge leading to graduation.
For more than 100 years, the mortarboard cap has become a widely used symbol of academia and learning across the globe.
Are you ready to create a scaled down version of this classic cap? Follow along in the video as we construct the cap together!
You can find the Graduation Regalia PDF sewing pattern in the SWC Bonuses Section (or as part of the course on the SWC website), it's included as part of this course! If you'd like to complete the look with the coordinating Graduation Gown, that pattern is available separately.