Vintage Sewing

Sew 40s – The Retro Sewer with the Pearl Earring?

September 9, 2011
Move over Scarlett Johansson, I say, there’s more than one of us can look enigmatic with a scarf thingy wrapped around our head and a pair of pearl earrings. OK, OK, I know, I don’t really have quite the same photogenic qualities as the divine SJ, but I sew wanted to show you my little vintage 40s snood-esque hat creation.

Yup, the 40s Hollywood Pattern (#1505) had barely arrived from the US before I was selecting a vintage scarf to use to make the hat (that’s what they call it)/snood confection. I had forgotten how slippery silk can be to sew, and given that I am a needleworker of the pin-and-pray persuasion, there were a few scarey moments. Basically, the construction is a bit like a half apron with most of the curved bit gathered up into 6″ of elastic and the tie ends wrapped round your head and tucked into themselves.

Once I had – literally – tied my head in knots, I realised my short bobbed hair is not sufficiently luscious to fill up the snood bit at the back – I contemplated putting some rolled up socks in there to pad it out a bit. 
What did I learn? Even if the pattern says “Sew Simple”, it can be a bit of a faff constructing even a relatively basic garment when following instructions which make the word “brevity” seem like OTT gobbledygook. Although there is only one main pattern piece with tie ends attached (which are wrapped round your head), I think it would be better to have a long front edge and ties combined then stitched onto the snood section. Maybe the snood section doesn’t need to be so long, definitely could be shorter. I am going to attempt to draft a pattern which could be easily made from a square headscarf (I used a shawl type scarf for this) as I think there are lots of 40s fans who would like a snood but cannot knit or crochet. Will be giving my redrafted pattern a try in lace/net/chiffon type textiles, probably decorating them with embroidery and/or flowers. The pattern has a cute blouse, dickie & jerkin which I will attempt in the future.
Thanks for reading! Happy retro sewing everyone. Karen (aka brocobelle )
  1. I just made it as an experiment as I am keen to draft patterns for vintage style accessories which can be made from scarves – I surprised myself at how much I enjoyed wearing it!!

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