Sunday, March 1, 2015

Project Complete: Red Wool Open Hood

This project has been on my "want" list for a very long time. Like 7 years a long time. I came close with my linen hood, but that one definitely falls flat, both figuratively and literally. But this one? I have a hard time believing that I'll ever need to make another open hood again.


So let me backtrack just a bit by reminding you of this post a few months back. The cliff notes version, in case you haven't read it, is that open hoods are not a style of hat that remained a static constant. The open hood was present for the entire duration of the 15th century, but just like fitted supportive dresses, it evolved as styles and ideals evolved. The open hood of 1410 would have been quite different from the open hood of 1480, even if they were both made from identical pieces of wool.

Ever since that post, I knew that I needed to create a new hood that better matched my findings. While I love my other two hoods, and will continue to wear them, I realized that they were anachronistic when compared to the shapes of hoods worn in the 1400's. They almost didn't match any of the hoods worn at the time. I did find a few examples, but I couldn't take them seriously as "fashionable" in their context.

I started the new hood with a simple goal- get the wings shaped correctly. I was willing to overlook the size and shape of the collar and the width and length of the liripipe because what I'd already come up with was really good, and felt right to me. I didn't want to try changing too many things and end up with a new hood that I hated. So I focused on the brim.


I began by tracing my black hood out on a piece of paper then redrawing the brim. I brought it upward very slightly (and I probably could have gone further upward, but I was being cautious.) Then I jutted the point way out. Around 2" further out than my previous brim. The imagery doesn't indicate that the top would have been that wide, so I eased the line back to my original brim depth at the top.


From that new pattern, I cut out the hood body, the gores, and the liripipe. The hood and gores were cut out at a 4-layer thickness, with the fold at the top. So what you see in the picture is actually two hoods folded in half. I followed my original pattern for the gores and their corresponding slits.


After getting the 4 gores sewn in and the liripipe sewn on to the outside layer, I just tacked all the seam allowances down to keep them flat and to keep the seams looking nice on the right sides. All that sewing was done by hand.


I knew that I needed stability in the brim if I wanted the wings to hold their shape and go where they needed to, so I dug through my stash and found an old piece a felted wool. This particular wool was once part of my very first kirtle, the one that bit the dust when I tried to refit it a few years back.


I married the two layers together, added on the reinforced panel, and used the sewing machine to sew all the way around. I left just the opening of the liripipe unsewn.


Then I clipped the corners and curves. I wanted the cleanest edge I could get, so I was pretty liberal with the clipping.


I turned the body of the hood right-side-out, then stab stitched the entire perimeter. I also finished the edges of the liripipe, which was still a flat piece at this point. The entire thing was still in that manta ray shape, with the back seam unsewn.


To finish the back, I traded the red silk for my heavy duty cotton thread. Since I had four layers of wool to go through, I didn't want to risk breaking the thread simply in the act of sewing. The gray thread is invisible from the outside. I used an overcast stitch down the entire length of the back (right to the tip of the liripipe). And with that the hood was complete.


The brim is thick, which will take some getting used to, but it's incredibly sturdy. It wants to stick out to the side, which is exactly what I want it to do.


I get a great bonnet shape with no effort when I unfold the brim. Since it was snowing when I stepped outside to take these photos, I was really happy with that particular performance.


The liripipe could probably use a bit of ironing.


Let's ignore the slightly crocked cap, shall we?

Overall, I'm incredibly satisfied with the way this hood turned out. I know there's still some adjustments I could have made, but I'm very happy with how much better this new shape meets the shape of hoods from the period between 1415 and 1440. I might look like I'm about to take flight, but I'm okay with that. And I'm really happy to finally cross this one off the list.

1 comment:

  1. Thank you My Lady you do inspire me and my Summer projects list has just gotten more accurate and fun.

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