Accessories: Hoods & Hats

By HL Lantani de Forez

I costume and dress in almost every major time period from the SCA. One of my goals in 2020 has been to fully outfit my wardrobe for different time periods. My dual goal, in focusing on accessories, is to improve my tailoring skills. I am entirely self-taught as a costumer, and while I can construct almost anything, I am trying to bring my tailoring and fit skills up to par. As a result, a lot of my focus has gone into making accessories, both to practice hand-sewing and tailoring, and to add polishing touches to my different wardrobes.

Most of these accessories have been cursorily researched, meaning I have used either historic photos and/or well-done research from other historians and/or SCAdian costumers. I do not intend to submit these in A&S competitions. They reflect some of my recent work, and I would appreciate any advice/geeking out with people interested in accessories!

YIS, HL Lantani de Forez

14th Century Underarm Hood: 1360-1380

For this project, I relied almost exclusively upon the excellent guidance of Master Edyth Miller’s research. I was particularly drawn to this style of hood because of the “underarm straps.” I marshal extensively on the heavy field, usually in 14th century men’s clothing. This hood retains ease of movement without flapping in the wind.

I made some modifications. One, for ease of dressing myself, I made the straps loops so I could “shrug” in and out of the hood like a coat. Two, the shape is more rounded in the front vs. “squared” (a not, admittedly, intentional choice on my part).

14th Century Open Hood: 1330

While researching the underarm hood, I fell in love with this early 14th century version of an open hood. Again, many thanks to Master Edyth Miller’s exemplary research on this type of hood. I was particularly captivated by the tippet at the top.

I like that this hood was often layered with veils/braids. I usually do not wearing veils on their own, so having a layering option with this hood appealed to me.

Elizabethan Flat Cap

I’ve slowly been working into later-period costuming (the latest I’d gone is 15th century). This means Elizabethan-era tailoring. I have a few trial doublets, but I wanted to make an Elizabethan flat cap. I don’t like the true flat caps so I wanted more of a gathered top.

I followed a tutorial to rather comical effect- see the mushroom hat of the first photo. The brim was about an inch too big, and the top was, well… a mushroom. Rather than scrapping the project, I rolled the outer brim in and under, and gathered the top into more structured pleats. All in all, I’m pretty happy with how I salvaged it.

I didn’t use much in the way of specific reference images, so this is a very generic “flat cap.”

“Quickie” Slavic Temple Rings

I’ve been fascinated and a bit intimidated to make temple rings to wear with some of my Rus/Slavic clothing. Every time I tried to research it, I quickly got overwhelmed by the options. I was delighted to take an incredibly informative class by Masteritsa Marya Kargashina at an An Tir Collegium. (I took copious notes/photos from that class, but most of my materials are in another state because… pandemic).

While I fully intend to try my hand at making some Novgorod style rings from scratch (my favorite style), I wanted to make a “quickie” pair to help motivate me. The rings here are repurposed earrings, with colored plastic beads replaced with metal rings. I decided to suspend the temple rings by sewing them on to loops, and added some woven trim to suede-feel trim to give the headband some substance. I wear this with a colorful silk veil.

Rus/Birka Style Hat

I’ve wanted to make a conical style Rus/Birka hat for several years. While I know the construction of this hat can be a bit contentious in Viking-age circles, I am convinced by period art and sculpture that some sort of conical hat was common. I leaned heavily on other’s re-creationist’s interpretations for adorning the hat, especially a costuming blog post from Bjorn Saemundarson.

This hat is made of thick, coat-weight wool, lined in heavy linen. When I first constructed it, it didn’t quite stand up-right on its own. I added seam finishes in a heavy wool embroidery thread, and the fur collar has a heavy silk backing. Those two added components strengthened the hat so that it can stand up-right.


11 Replies to “Accessories: Hoods & Hats”

  1. Your projects are inspiring! Completing an authentic look with hats and hoods is brilliant, as well as practical. Especially here in the Pacific Northwest.
    Your work using the research and touchpoints of others is a very good start, it shows you are looking around for reasonable inspiration. I would personally love to see what conclusions and construction techniques you would use with your own research.
    If you don’t have them already, I would recommend patterning and construction books from the Modern Maker, Janet Arnold, etc. but since you are interested in tailoring don’t overlook modern draping and pattern alteration books. There are several good ones out there that may be procured used or new. (I seem to prefer the older editions for the SCA, some techniques are shown that are not used in a lot of modern garments)
    Unfortunately I cannot participate in the conversations on Saturday due to other life commitments. If you would like a list of my recommendations, please feel free to email me or contact me via FB.
    You are inspiring and delightful. I look forward to seeing more from you.

    Aryana Silknfyre, Laurel, AnTir

    1. Thank you so much for your kind comments! I’ve taught a few classes (like on German hats) that were a bit more conclusion/construction oriented and I look forward to developing that more. I definitely need to dive into Modern Maker work (I think the tailoring approach will appeal to me), and Janet Arnold is such fabulous reference/info on specific approaches. I would -love- some recommendations on modern tailoring books, especially from someone who is familiar with and can recommend specific titles. I will definitely follow up via Facebook (it would show up as Katie Michelle). I appreciate you taking the time to write so many of us, even though life commitments kept you busy for the day-of conversations. 🙂

  2. This is a good spread of work! Can you explain more about how the underarm straps work for the hood?

    1. Sure! The way the shoulder gusset is designed makes it shorter than the rest of the hood (it stops at your shoulder point, where the body of the hood goes to your armpit to give it the “square” shape from the front), so there is a “bracket” effect (with the shoulder being the long part of the bracket, and the front/back of the hood extending down to your armpit. This bracket is where you arm goes through. Then I just sewed a strap (thin, rolled wool), to the points on each side of the armpit.

      I made the modification of making mine loops instead of ties for ease of wear for marshaling but you can see a visual explanation if you follow to Master Edyth Miller’s tutorial:

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