Sunday, April 2, 2017

Project Complete: A 14th Century Square Hood

A fitted "square" hood with underarm straps from the late 14th Century.

Examples of this style hood can be found in the Book of King Modus (BNF Richelieu Fr. 12399) on several of the hunters. There are a few variations in the manuscript, but the basic style is a solid-colored hood with buttons.

From The Book of King Modus (BnF Richelieu Fr. 12399) fol. 9v.
Isis has found several other examples, which you can see over at the Deventer Burgerscap post of Bertus's hood. Variations on the style can be found in France, Lombardy, Milan, and Switzerland. Some also appear to have had decorative elements, such as trim.

I was able to locate only one example on a woman. The hood on this mourner below from Switzerland looks to have the same distinct fit as those found in King Modus. There are other examples that may be square hoods, but, same as this one, it could have also just been a "regular" hood that just happened to have a squared-off cowl.

The year range of this style is roughly 1360-1380. That puts it a little ahead of my normal years, but my wardrobe is able to reasonable push back into the 1370's when I style it properly, so the hood fits right in. It was also an "always liked and wanted" item on my list, and the option to make it had finally come up.

I worked with my friend Arthur to create a pattern. Since my normal hoods don't go really go past the neck, I needed someone familiar with hoods to brainstorm the style with me. We looked at as many examples as we could, both period images and hoods others had made, and decided to start with the basic pattern we found here.

That didn't quite work out, but being able to see that on, we could more clearly see what needed to happen. Our goal was a fitted neck, and a nice smooth look everywhere else. We realized that we could use a wide gusset over the shoulder to accomplish this. After that addition, we had a working, nicely-fitted prototype.

Since this is only a first attempt, I want to make sure I stress that this pattern below is just what we arrived at, using the measurements that made sense to us. Make sure to read in my Evaluation section about the adjustments I would make. The gore sticking up there in the middle as a nearly 90 degree angle at the point.

I had selected a herringbone wool from Dorr Mill, and a tan linen from Joann's for the lining. I don't have very many patterned fabrics in my wardrobe, so I liked this fabric for the interest it would add to my regularly solid-colored outfits. I used black linen thread for the sewing.

After cutting it out, I sewed the wool together and finished the seams. Then I did the same thing with the lining.

Next, I married the two together by "stitching in the ditch"- stitching through the back seam to match the two layers together. From there, it was hemming.

I was concerned that the hood was too short when my bust was supported in my dresses, so rather than lose length by folding the bottom hem in, I sewed a binding on.

The binding extends out on the sides to create the ties that hold the hood under the arms. Last step was buttons and buttonholes. I finished those in the car on the way to the event, so no photos of that progress.

I am very happy with the hood, and in particular the functional pattern and the quality of my sewing. I made a few goofs, but they didn't greatly affect the hood. The biggest goof is that I ended up with more length under the chin on the front edge of the button side than there is on the buttonhole side. when the hood is down, however, that's not something that's particularly visible.

If I were to make another, the biggest change I would make is to start with a longer length in the front, then trim that down after a try-on. The other change, which I am considering making on this hood, is to make the underarm straps a set length. The ties are a bit long, and now that I know how much space I need, I feel like just making those a single strap that spans from front to back is a doable modification. The buttoned front allows the hood to be slipped on like a coat.

I'm glad I made this hood, and glad in particular that I leaned on a friend with knowledge to help me work out the pattern. Collaboration with others isn't something we get to do often, but it can be fun and rewarding. Everyone involved gets to walk away from it more knowledgeable, and invested in the products that result.

This hood is a great addition to my 14th Century kit, will work well with most of my current dress colors, and I'm sure it will get a lot of wear.

For more images, check out the album on Facebook or over at Flickr.

1 comment:

  1. Hi love the hood! it could function stylishly during the winter...and I think you're getting in better look very svelte in that blue dress! congrats keep it up