Tuesday 26 September 2017

Learning: Lace Millinery meets Halo Crowns

My year of learning continues! This latest headpiece uses a combination of skills I learned this year, through the Hat Academy online classes I got for Christmas. The lace millinery I spoke about before has been combined with the Halo Crowns class taught by Rebecca Share.

Again I didn't buy the full course, but this time for a valid, non-cheapskate reason. The full course is focused on leather flower crowns, and I don't do leather for ethical reasons. But I love the look of the halo crown style, so I bought that class and tried to think of different way to use it.

I'm also experimenting with a vegan, ethical leather alternative at the moment, but I'll have to wait and see how that goes before I share more with you. I think a lot of the leather techniques can be applied to other materials anyway to some extent, and it's all more knowledge in my head that is bound to help me at some point!

This isn't the only course taught by Rebecca Share that I've been taking, and she's a great teacher. I want all of her courses now! She's talented and funny, and the classes are clear and well-structured.

I feel like it's not cool to admit this, but I'm really proud of this piece and of myself for the improvement in my skills this year. I realised that it had been a long time since I had made a piece that became my "new favourite", and now I have again!

I remember my mum's cross-stitch and learning the lesson that the back should be as neat as the front. I never achieved that in cross-stitch, but I'm doing alright here! Not as pretty, but just as neat.

My original inspiration was 1940s bridal crowns but it ended up a bit bigger and more dramatic than that. I still love it, and if I wasn't already married I'd be tempted by this for myself. It's probably a bit too much for a vow renewal though, right?

Wednesday 20 September 2017

Reviewing the 1942 Bow Snood Pattern

Last year for Snoodtember, I shared a number of free vintage Australian snood patterns, and asked my sister Rhiannon (of Parlour Duck Crafts) to look over the instructions and tell us how they looked.

One of the most admired patterns was this snood with a bow from The Australian Women's Weekly in 1942 (and yes the jumper pattern is there too!). I loved it, and Rhiannon obviously knew it too because when Christmas rolled around, there was a beautiful bow snood of my very own! (And matching red crocheted gloves.)

So this year, I'm sharing what it's like to wear, and Rhiannon has kindly shared her thoughts and experiences of making it up. Here goes!

From Tanith: The Wearer's Perspective

I love this snood. It's fun and different and really cute. I guess the only downside is that it doesn't have the versatility of a plain snood, but since I have a few others that are plain that doesn't bother me.

The bow is a bit tricky. It certainly doesn't just sit up like that by itself. I found that by holding the bow the way you want it to sit and sticking a bobby pin or two into the middle, you can get a very good result pretty easily.

As a wearer, I'd recommend this snood pattern if you are looking to add something a little different and special to your collection. 

From Rhiannon: The Maker's Perspective

Last year as part of Snoodtember, Tanith asked me to review a number of vintage snood crochet patterns which featured in magazines and newspapers freely available through Trove.  After I did so, I decided to try several and blogged about them (http://parlourduck.blogspot.com.au/2016/11/vintage-snood-pattern-reviews-belated.html). I also made the fabulous-looking "Snood with Bow" but as that was a gift I didn't blog about it!  
The pattern didn’t give tension/gauge information, but did specify a No. 4 knitting cotton and a No 10 aluminium crochet hook. I chose Sullivans Mercerised Knitting and Crochet 4 ply cotton because it closely matched the description and as a bonus it came in a red which closely matched the lighter weight crochet cotton I was using to make the accompanying gloves. Because the final size of the snood didn’t have to be exact, I used my trusty Stratnoid 13, a lovely vintage hook which suits my hand comfortably and is about 2.5m, even though a no 10 should be closer to 3 or 3.25. I have learnt that I often work with a looser tension than vintage patterns expect, so a smaller hook isn’t a huge issue for me.

The instructions for the crochet mesh are straightforward and as most of the snood consists of repeating a pattern for many rows, it was easy to fall into a rhythm and the body of the snood worked up quickly. The instructions to finish the edge require a bit more care, as you need to pay attention to exactly which edge you are working on, but there is nothing complicated about them. The bow is once again easy to work, as after the initial set-up rows you are just repeating the same pattern for 50 rows. By far the hardest part for me was making the strip of mesh up into the bow shape, working out how to balance the length of worked mesh into the bow loops and the hanging ends. I haven’t had much experience with that tacked style of bow

The final step was starching it all so the bow sat nicely. I decided to make my own, heating water and corn-starch, and it was a bit strong.  I spent a few days gently handling the bow and snood, working them between my palms, to soften them up, rather than washing and starting again, simply because it was a miserable rainy week and I wasn’t sure it would dry

This was a nice pattern which worked up quickly, but the snood itself isn't particularly different from many patterns available. The impact comes from the bow, which could be added to any snood pattern which you already have and know works for your head.
For anyone making this up, folding a strip into a bow is easy once you have a bit of practise. I do this a lot with ribbon (and sometimes paper for wrapped presents). But it is a bit hard to explain, so I hope this photo might help. Fold the crocheted strip in this way, then sew it together in the centre. Once it is attached this way, you can gather it up the centre and attach to the snood.
I hope this is helpful to anyone who wants to try their hand at this snood pattern, or perhaps do as Rhiannon suggests, and add a bow to another snood pattern. 

Now I just need that Southern Cross jumper!

Saturday 9 September 2017

Snoods from other decades

Snoods really hit their stride in the 1940s, but that isn't the only decade in which they appeared. Since this week is "Era hopping" for Snoodtember, why don't we have a little look at some inspiration from other times?

1950s snoods
Left: The Sun, 26 Nov 1950, Right: The West Australian, 4 Sep 1950
A lot of references to snoods in the 1950s (in the Australian publications at least) turn to being about something that is more of a scarf or head wrap style. The one you see on the right above is interesting as it is in that scarf style, but appears to still be in a netted material. Plus it has pompoms.

For the women with short hair who miss out on snoods, the left image is a navy blue satin evening snood from Schiaparelli, with a jewelled clasp at the neck.

1960s snoods
The Australian Women's Weekly, 31 Mar 1965

I love these 1960s snoods. The hair went big, and so did the snoods. I do love the mushroom shapes, but my favourite sixties hats are the fluffy fur ones, so I love that middle one! (Plus, it's another style you can wear with short hair.) Although, as the article says, all of them are tops.

1960s snoods
The Australian Women's Weekly, 31 Mar 1965
A little more unusual, and so very 60s! That chenille version on the left is so perfectly suited to the era, while still really staying true to the 40s idea.

1960s snood patterns
The Australian Women's Weekly, 31 Mar 1965
That issue also included two snood patterns, one knitted and one crocheted, which are really still in the classic 1940s style, although the second one is rather larger.

1970s snoods
The Australian Women's Weekly, 17 May 1978

Hello 1970s! OK, apart from the make-up, not much has changed, right?

1990s snoods
Vogue, 1 Oct 1994

I can't call a haute couture photoshoot a real snood comeback, but I had to share this one anyway. Why not wear your snood with some GIANT FEATHERS. You know you want to.

I hope you've enjoyed this little trip through some less expected decades and looks from the snood world, and that maybe these images have provided some inspiration too!

Saturday 2 September 2017

Welcome to Snoodtember 2017

Somehow it's already that time of year again! Snoodtember: a time to celebrate all things snood, time to have fun with this vintage classic accessory and take a lot of heavily filtered snood-selfies.

As with last year, there are weekly themes, but I won't be doing individual posts on them here on the blog this time. As before, the themes are optional, feel free to share any snood looks at any time! They are just there if you are looking for some ideas.

Week 1 (Sept 3rd - 9th): Seasonal 

Since September marks a change of season, explore that in your snood style. For those in the Southern hemisphere with me, celebrate the start of spring, perhaps with flowers, butterflies and bees, or enjoy the last of the cold weather by adding some wintery touches. If you are on the other side of the planet, you might like a last summery hurrah or to welcome autumn with some changing leaves and orange hues. 

Week 2 (Sept 10th - 16th): Era hopping 

Snoods were big in the forties, but they enjoyed success in a range of eras. Take some inspiration from the way they were worn in the 60s, the 80s, or even way back in the Renaissance! Alternately, keep your snood the same but try it with an outfit from a different era than your usual or one that mixes a few. 

Week 3 (Sept 17th - 23rd): Colours of the rainbow 

Go bold and explore colour! You don't have to have a range of snood colours for this, but use your outfits and other accessories to give you more options. Try different colour combinations all at once or focus on one colour a day and make your week into a rainbow!

Week 4 (Sept 24-30): Inspired By

Imitation is the sincerest form of flattery. Find an image or idea that inspires you and make it your own. Maybe it's a vintage photo or fashion sketch, or a homage to one of your favourite movie stars. Or maybe one of your fellow Snoodtember participants created a really great look or had a great way of wearing their snood and you want to try it out. There's lots of great inspiration out there!

I hope you'll join me in celebrating snoods this month!
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