Having seen a vintage cloche featuring a grosgrain nautilus cockade I want to make one.  I can't find any instructions anywhere.  A friend is sure she has seen some in a millinery book but can't remember which one.

Can anyone recommend a book that might help me?  At the moment I am pleating up the grosgrain with a thread and then pinning it out onto a foam ball to get the right shape but I wondered if there are some tips out there to make it easier.  I know it's probably just a variation of a plain round cockade but help would be appreciated.

This is the vintage one which inspired me.

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Thanks Edith, I'll have a look.

I took class from Candace Kling and I have some info that can help you making a nautilus. Candace uses a pleating board and a porcupine quill. The pleating board she makes herself by cutting slats from card board and taping them to a flat board at maybe a quarter of an inch a part (you can play with this). Then, she lays the ribbon on top and pushes it into the slats using the porcupine quill. When she gets the ribbon into the pleater correctly, she uses a steam iron to set the ribbon with those pleats. Once removed, you just need to sew.

I hope that helps!

Thanks Austin,
That would make it a lot easier.
Are the slats all parallel to each other or do they spiral like the nautilus and fan out?

Good question. They're parallel -  just like a regular pleater. But you reminded me of something I left out. She placed the ribbon into the pleater at an angle - like the top would start on the left side and angle down to the right. Then, when she machine sewed one side the ends - they would show that angle. This picture is a good example. The bottom edge is sewn together. https://www.pinterest.com/pin/71635450295984938/

Aha! Yes, that would work! Thankyou so much.

If I lived in the US I'd have tried to get to one of her courses. And I hadn't seen that picture on Pinterest so that's great!

I am terribly impressed with the nautilus you made without a pleater. I could barely create one in her class with help!

If you give me a couple of days, I am going to dig up some books that will help you. I think Candace didn't demonstrate some of these skills in her books because you can find instructions in some older books that are in reprint. I'll reply when I get the titles.

If you ever do come to the states you can look for her classes on her website here:


Oh goodness me, no, no, no, I didn't make it.
It's one I saw on a vintage hat and fell in love with. I bought a couple of modern made ones on Etsy so I could decorate a hat I made for my sister who is into all things 'seashell' by nature.
No, I started to make one by pinning pleats to a foam ball (to get a curved back) but gave up in frustration. I don't know if I took a photo of my attempt or not. I shall have a look.
I'd appreciate any assistance with actually making one of these. I gave up looking at old millinery books because I could never find one.
I suspect I'll be all thumbs but if I can make something like it, I'll be ecstatic.
I wrote to Candace when I was first looking for instruction and suggested she could make a bomb by doing video lessons for non US based people like me.

One more thing that might help - I have an album on Flickr where you can see the pleater and process for making the nautilus cockade. Some of these photos will help a lot.


Thanks heaps Austin.

Would you have any idea how wide the Pleats are on that pleating board?

The photos are a wonderful reference. Thank you very much.




You can buy pleating boards at different sizes. Mine is around 1/4 inch deep. 

Try this whilst waiting to find the book.  https://youtu.be/a_duTQEydjI and also this blog on 18th century cockade http://blog.americanduchess.com/2010/04/how-to-make-18th-c-cockades...

Thanks Edith. I remember when Lauren at American Duchess made her cockades. No I'm afraid it didn't help me. I had been playing around with making a nautilus for a little while at that stage. I think the pleater idea Austin mentioned is most likely my best bet. I just have to find time to try it. And in good light. My eyes aren't what they used to be.


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