The London hood

Working on my yellow 15th century dress for work (Kapitelhusgården i Wisby) I also wanted some type of headgear.

I've been wanting to make my own London hood for over 7 years now and drooling over everyone else's that struts by..

so.. I finally got around to it..

Started with my books
  • Dress accessories 1150-1450
  • Woven into the earth
  • Medieval tailor's assistant
and some other ones I can't recall at the moment..

then went on to my beloved Pinterest where I added plenty of images to
I mostly wanted to find a hood with one colour on the outer layer and another on the lining.. nada zip nothing.. so.. scratch my idea of lining my dark red hood with a softer wool in black..

  1. Detail from L'Annonce aux bergers. Danse champêtre. Heures de Charles d'Angoulême, Folio 20V. French, late 15th century. (In colour: http://www.dancewith.co.uk/history/ladansechampetre.html )

  2. Ca. 1470 Dancing Peasants

  3. Boccaccio's Decameron, detail of Fiammetta (Italian for little flame)— pseudonym of Giovanni Boccaccio's beloved and muse, her real name may have been Maria d’Aquino.

  4. Tres Riches Heures de Duc Berry, 1413-1416. (February)
  5. Flemish tapestry 1460-7+ (rabbit hunting with ferrets) she has twirled the lire pipe around her head..
While looking through the pictures and the findings most of the hoods have a seam on top but none on the brim. The conclusion is that they are lined with the same type of fabric as the outer layer (see pic 3).

You can easily make the hood in different pieces but since I had enough fabric I chose to not have a seam at the top or at the beginning of the lire pipe but instead have it all in one piece (plus the gussets..).

The fabric at hand is a dark red melton wool from Medeltidsmode.
I really liked the lighter (yellow?) edge you can see in the colour version of no 1 (se above for link) and I had some lovely red linen thread given to me by my friend Renika.. so I decided to finally get some woven edges on a garb like Åsa vävare taught me last year.

The pattern
I've noticed that quite a few people choose to make their pattern follow the shape of the head..
I chose to go by the findings (links will come when I find them again..) and the more plausible idea of straight lines in the pattern.. the curvature is created by the gussets instead.. Saves fabric = cheaper (and you mostly see the hoods on peasants)

So I started taking my measurements and writing them down.. how low should the brim in front go, how wide do I want the brim to be, how long do I want the collar.. should I make it practical (cover my neck from sun/cold) or have it just touch my shoulders..?

This is my easy peasy pattern :)
My first pattern had a lire pipe of 100cm but then when I started drawing it out on the fabric I chose to go all the way to the end so the total length of lire pipe and hood = 150cm.

I wanted the the main hood to cover my face (good for cold and warm days in different ways) and I wanted a 7cm brim (the longer of the dotted lines). And tada! 30 by 30 cm.. crazy :P but it works!

Now to the length.. I decided I did want the longer collar so it would cover more.. out with the tape measure again and after some fiddling 43cm worked just fine for me.

I like patterns that are straight and that I can draw directly on to the fabric. It also means I don't have to keep track of WHERE I put the pattern.. (I also have an easy peasy Birgitta cap pattern that works the same way.. I showed it to Whilja and she made a blog post about it).

Now.. drawing the pattern on to the fabric you need to make a few small fixes.. The angles needs to be smoother between the hood and the lire pipe and between the collar and the brim.

For saving fabric place the gusset in the free square of the hood, fits perfectly :)

Since I wanted woven edges I only had to add seam allowance to the gussets, neck of the hood and the bottom of the lire pipe.

So.. after I've cut out all my pieces I make a 12 cm cut in the collar 6cm from the front edge (se pattern). This is where the gussets go.
I place the gusset underneath with as little seam allowance as I can and then whip stitch it to the collar (same on both sides) I then turn it over and whip stitch down the seam allowance on the inside.

I'm hand sewing with Kapitelhusgården's brass sewing needle and red sew silk from Gütermanns. So nice and smooth (silk will be available at Kapitelhusgården in the future too!).
I could have also used the bleached or unbleached linen thread prepped with beeswax.
After the gusset I sew the back of the hood and the lire pipe. I turn it inside in again and make a somewhat point at the end of the lire pipe.

Woven edges

I take my linen roll (you could probably do this with the thicker linen thread at Kapitelhusgården..) and use it as a measure to go round the hood. I add an extra 30cm just to be sure.

My rigid heddle made by Martin 15 holes and slots.
  • Make 15 lengths of the linen and tie a knot in one end 
  • Cut off the other end and thread the heddle
  • I tie a string/ribbon around your waist and pin a sewing tape to it (a ribbon or scrap fabric will do just fine.. nifty little things!). 
  • Pin the linen threads 5cm (or so) from where you want to start weaving on the hood.
  • Attach the other end of the linen threads to a chair using another string to hold it. As to not entangle all the long threads I use an alligator clip to hold them together (also so I don't need 2m space..) 
  • Pin the sewing tape (the one attached to your waist) to the hood, making it stretched and tight.
  • You don't need to fasten the thread you're weaving with (weft), just leave 5cm or so to fasten later
  • Start weaving!
  • You're weaving with a needle so that you can go through the fabric, make a weft, go through the fabric.. and so on..
  • Remember to separate the threads to keep the weave tight.
  • Don't use a too long thread for the weft it will only tangle up or brake.. I go by the length of my left shoulder to my right fingertips. Works great!
When it's time to finish weave as close to the starting point as you can, "weave" the weft back in to the weave to make it fasten and disappear. Do the same to all the other loose ends throughout. Same thing at the start/finish but you'll have 30 strings to tuck away.. patience is virtue ;)

I took one of the very popular classes by Åsa vävare, and this is my first try after the practice run with her last year.

After I finished the edging and tucked all the stray threads away it looked like this (it needs pressing though..)

(it's really hard to photograph red..)
Normally I would have my Birgitta cap on underneath and then pin the hood to the cap using some of the beautiful dress pins in my shop Silverstielk Emporium. The one in the picture is the Fleur-de-lis or Fransk lilja in Swedish. (I have an Etsy shop as well but it's resting until early fall when I will take the time to fill it up again)

Knowing me I will probably also add some pilgrim's badge, brosch or a dirty little somethin' somethin'.. ;) (also available in by/through my shop).

(let me know if you want me to illustrate my teachings better.. it's all in my head but you aren't so.. also feel free to ask me questions!)
P.S. ALL photos in this entry are mine, the pattern is mine too. Feel free to use it for your own needs but please ask first if you want to use any of my materials on your blog, hand out for a class, publication or likewise. Thank you for respecting me. D.S.

P.P.S. Making a new pattern/version of this hood with a tighter fit. But as for likeness to pic no 1 I still feel that it's spot on :) D.D.S.

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