Friday, November 4, 2011

Headdress on the fly - need an Italian option in a hurry!

A while back, I found a sweater in a resale shop.  I'd never wear it, but immediately I saw possibilities for re-purposing it with the foremost option being some sort of head-covering - cauls perhaps.

Now I'm making a fast decision on the first item to cut from it, something that will pass for Italian Renaissance, more or less.  And I need to slap it together this evening because I'm going to wear it tomorrow.  With my hair and lack of hair-handling skills, the simpler the better.

Ideas that I've found and like, include these:

The Elizabethan "Cloth of Gold" Escoffion pattern from Lynn McMasters, seen here:

Well, you'll have to click on Patterns, and scroll down to find the pattern, probably 2/3 of the way down.

Eleanora of Toledo, c. 1562 by Bronzino.

The snood-like garment worn by Eleanora of Toledo.

This is a reproduction based on images as discussed on the page linked above.

Katherine B's intriguing headdress, discussed on her Flickr pages.

La donna gravida by Raphael, 1505-1506

Another snood-like piece.

Embroidered caul.

These are pictures of the sweater, but it was not easy to photograph, so they're not very good.

 The fabric is a mix of a golden-yellow yarn - cotton or acrylic - I've no clue, together with a fine metallic (mylar probably) thread.  It reflects light somewhat and sometimes seems to sparkle.

Regrettably, I'm just no good at arranging images in blogspot/blogger, so this is about the best I ever manage.

Overall view of one side of sweater.
 Another closeup of the fabric.
 Trying to get even closer.

 Holding a single layer of the sweater fabric up, facing towards a window to try to show the little bit of open-work in the makeup of the fabric.

Another view with the window in the backgroune.  The light section on the left is the space between my thumb and fingers behind the fabric.

With as much fabric as the sweater has, I can probably do 2-3 pieces.  
1. A snood-like piece - smaller than the "Rosie the Riveter" pieces of the 20th C., maybe with a band as seen in the La donna gravida image, above.

2. A smaller piece, sized like the Eleanora of Toledo headdress, but less open-work than hers since I'd be starting with this knit fabric.

3. A piece like Katherine B's, above.

4.  A caul style, similar to the embroidered caul, above.  

There might be a bit too much similarity between some of these 4 options, but I've got the fabric with which to play, so why not try them all.

Pattern-wise, I think that I have Margo's Elizabethan Wardrobe Accessories, and there is a caul shown in that collection.  I'm considering buying Lynn McMaster's Gold Escoffian pattern.  I have some buckram Juliet caps that I could manipulate, not to mention plenty of buckram, crinoline and wire.

I've crocheted snoods before, but have not cut one from fabric, so I'll have to figure out what the best size and shape for the flat pattern would be.

Ok, I've talked myself through my options, right here on my blog again!  Sure helps to talk through my blog instead of talking to the walls!


  1. Oh, good - I've even got pearls to use on this!

  2. And this morning, except for a second row of pearls and a lining inside the band, my first sort-of-Italian headdress is ready to wear!