Open Hood

Some days, I don't feel like wearing a veil. I just don't.

When looking at images of women from the late 14th and early 15th centuries,  I see many wearing open style hoods.  This style seemed a perfect option to wear during the summer instead of a veil. 

Detail of February (right) and July (left), Tres Riches Heures du Duc de Berry.

I saw Edyth Miller's wonderful interpretation of this style and decided to try one for myself.  Edyth used the tutorial from LiaThornegge for her patterning, but I decided to start with my existing hood pattern.

I used a trial and error process to find the ideal shape. I cut out my classic hood pattern and pinned the pieces together.  I stood  in front of a mirror and adjusted the side gores, edges around the face, and center back seam in order to achieve the look of the hood that is seen in illuminations.  What I ended up with is a hood that has a shorter and less voluminous cape and an opening around the face that is longer so it can be folded back. 

Left: Classic Hood pattern          Right: Open Hood pattern

I designed the hood with a long tail similar to the image below.

Detail of Bible Historiale de Jean de Berry, folio 290r. 

Bibliothèque nationale de France, Département des Manuscrits, Français 20090

I decided to make this hood a single layer of linen to keep it as light weight as possible since I would be wearing it during the summer and its main purpose is to keep the sun off my face instead of a straw hat or veil.  I finished all the seams in black silk to hide the raw edges on the inside. I used the selvage edge for around the face so there wouldn't be a hemmed edge.

I used running stitches for the seams (outlined in red for visibility).

This hood is very comfortable to wear. I pin it to my St. Brigitta cap and it stays put very nicely and keeps the sun off my face. The edges don't flare as much as in the illuminations, but it it was lined or made of a stiffer fabric it would hold a shape better.

After I finished, I found this image of an open hood with buttons! 

Boccaccio: Decameron c.1414-1419 Manuscript (Pal. lat. 1989), Biblioteca Apostolica, Vatican, Image courtesy of the Web Gallery of Art.