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 ( 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.
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!

Tuesday, 29 August 2017

My Vintage Cover: The Red Gloves Edition

Another vintage cover! I'm really pleased with myself for doing three this month. although there was still one more that I really wanted to attempt. Oh well, next time!

This was one I spotted in a book I borrowed this month from the library (you would have seen about it in the newsletter if you are a subscriber), called "Cover up: the art of magazine covers in Australia" by Robert Holden. It has lots of great Australian covers that I hadn't seen before, and this one really caught my eye.

The editing on this one was actually much easier than the others. Most of it was playing with the details of the black and white filter and removing the effect on the gloves and lips. I'm not much of a make-up person, but I wanted to get that drawn outline look on the lips so I actually used eyeliner. Which made me look crazy, and it didn't even show up in the end! Luckily only the baby saw me like that, and it was his fault for waking up, really.

If you missed my other covers, there was the yellow polka-dots and the red beret, and also make sure you keep checking the #myvintagecover hashtag on Instagram - there have been some amazing efforts!

Thank you everyone who has joined in or supported those who have with your encouraging comments.

Tuesday, 22 August 2017

Trove Pattern Project - A 1930 "Smart Little Turban"

The earliest vintage hat pattern I have so far used is this turban from 1930. I keep thinking of it as 1920s, and it almost is, but we can probably all agree it is at least in a very 20s style. I've seen other very similar patterns shared on Pinterest, but this one is from my great-great-grandfather's favourite newspaper to write letters to, the Brisbane Courier, from the 7th of August, 1930. You can access the original article here.

I think it is designed to be tied on and arranged each time you wear it, but I've chosen to sew the draping in place so it is ready to go. I'm not sure this is the best option but it works.


You can use either stretch or woven material, a piece at least 16 by 60 inches. If you are sewing it in place as I did, stretch is best. Your choice of fabric will naturally be determined by whether you intend to wear it for "theatre and restaurant wear in the evening" or for "motoring and sports wear during the daylight hours".


As always, they don't have all the measurements you might want, but it was certainly enough to work from. The first one I made (the green) was a little small for my 22-22.5 inch head. It does fit, but doesn't sit where I'd like and the fabric stretch is needed. On a friend with a 21 inch head, this size was perfect. For my second attempt (pink), I added an inch or two to the length and width of the rectangle, and an inch or two around the curved edge too. This is a much better fit, but still on the small side, especially as my hair has grown longer.


I sewed this turban by hand, as instructed. It was a good in-front-of-the-TV task and didn't take too long. After getting the arrangement how I wanted on the mannequin, I hand stitched it into place at a few points. The instructions were relatively straightforward, and the draping diagrams were actually quite helpful! I'm not completely clear on the different ways they suggest tucking the various bits, but since they assure me that this way, with the ends twisted across the top, is the most flattering to the older woman, that's all I need to know, right? I'm told it adds dignity, and will provide balance for "the somewhat heavier outline of the average matron." Hmmm. 


If you are good with tying head wraps and scarves, it might suit you better to make the turban and tie it each time. For me, sewing it up seemed like the better option. Still, it requires adjusting when you put it on, and if you were using a non-stretch fabric I imagine that you would want to tie it each time. It's a pretty easy-to-wear item either way, and great for bad hair days/weeks/years. I also like the smooth front section as a place to add a bit of bling, in the form of a hat pin or brooch.

What do you think of this one? And would you prefer to wear it motoring or to the theatre?

Tuesday, 15 August 2017

My Vintage Cover: The Red Beret Edition

The problem with researching places to find vintage magazine cover images was that I found so many that I want to recreate! Some require a lot of effort, clothes or accessories I don't have, or special locations, and they can wait for the future. (I'm not sure yet if we'll run the challenge again, but I know I'll be doing more covers either way!)

Some, however, were within my current reach, like this one. Despite what I said after my first vintage cover recreation, I'm back with another close up! 

Vintage Cover Recreation
Since I have a red beret (which I love and wear often), I couldn't resist this one.

Pictorial Review Vintage Cover

Some people have asked about my photo editing. I did this one entirely with Picmonkey. If you are interested, here are a few details, otherwise skip to the end! 

For this image I had to play around with editing out the rest of my body and whitening up the background: mostly using the "clone" and "curves" tools, but the fun stuff was getting the magazine-y feel.

Obviously the text adds to that, but so does the "film grain" filter. To get the paint effect in the background, I added a painted texture and then removed it from the face and hat (as well as fading it a lot to keep it more subtle). All the effects in picmonkey can be applied to just a part of the image if you like. And then I added the coloured bits in the background. I used the ombre filter but the draw tool would probably be just as good.

Plus there was a bit of *ahem* wrinkle removal, eye shadow, lip tint, and using "clone" to remove a cat hair from the hat!

Unfortunately a lot of these are tools you only get if you pay to use Picmonkey, but I'm sure similar features are available with other software. I also use Gimp, which is free, and has a lot of great features, but it isn't quite as simple to use. In most of my regular photo editing I only use the free tools like exposure, cropping, resizing and so on.

I had fun with this one, but more importantly, I think I could get used to wearing my berets low down like this! What do you think?

Tuesday, 8 August 2017

Learning: Lace Millinery

After making a start on ribbon embroidery, my next learning experience for the year was lace millinery. I finished my first piece using the technique before I had the baby, but I put off sharing the results, hoping to have a nice photo shoot first. That hasn't happened, and I'm already almost finished the second piece using this technique, so I decided to just share anyway! Edie (the mannequin) is a pretty good model, after all.

The class is an online one, offered through Hat Academy and taught by Melbourne milliner Brett Morley. The full Lace Millinery deluxe course is three lessons, and I have actually only bought the first of the lessons (you can buy individually or the whole lot together), Lace Millinery Fundamentals.

There are many different ways of working with lace in millinery, but Brett's work using these techniques is particularly stunning. He taught this method at the 2014 International Millinery Forum, and I was interested, but didn't end up doing the class. Then I had seriously regret!

Ever since I saw this course on Hat Academy, I've been coveting it, and finally decided to treat myself this year.

I'm really glad I did. As well as being generally excited to be learning something new, I love the results I achieved on my first try, and I'm enjoying experimenting more.

The downside to the method is that it is very slow. Every piece of lace that you see here as a petal or leaf is individually cut out and sewn on to a wire support. This is extremely time-consuming. On the plus side, it is all hand sewing and able to be made in small increments of time (great for the work-from-home-mum). I did a lot in front of the TV in the evenings and even some at the breakfast and dinner table.

I like that the look of the pieces can be very modern and very artistic, but also very vintage and classic. Another plus is that because each petal is wired, they can be shifted and shaped at any point, and altered after making to suit the wearer.

My second lace millinery project is a combination of skills from this class and another from Hat Academy, and I'm really excited to show you that one soon, plus yet another. All these new skills are very exciting!

What do you think? Are you a fan of online learning? (It sure is great for these baby-busy years for me!)
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