A and S Class: A simple hood.

Please note: If you wish to reproduce this in any way please credit me. We all work very hard and share our knowledge freely in the SCA. It would be a shame to find my work in someone elses name. Thank you. 

 

notes were written for the shire of Epalheimer’s hat making workshop in 2014 and also for the students of Kinges Lake College in Epalheimer.

 

1314  Jacques de Molay14century greenland find1280warming feet by fire canterbury calendar

Jacques de Molay,                 Greenland Hood,        Canterbury calendar

sentenced to the stake,        14 c.                               1280

Chronicle of France

or of St Denis, 1300’s

 

Why make a hood?:

Hoods are great. They keep the wind, rain and sun off your head and chest and if made from good wool and linen they are the staple of any medieval wardrobe.

They can be worn by men and women with ‘generic’ medieval garb and are especially good as a head covering if you are unsure when first starting out about your persona and period.

 

NOTE: please also see the A and S class article on this site about basic men’s garb.

 

All these instructions may seem a little overwhelming. If you don’t understand what I have said, or if you get stuck, send me an email or ask someone at your next meeting to help you. There are heaps of people around in Ireland that are awesome, friendly and experienced sewers.

 

Materials:

Make sure your fabric is washed and ironed before you start (or it might shrink/colour run when you wash it once it is made/ you get caught in the rain)

Outside material recommendation for a generic hood: Heavy wool, Light wool, Linen.

Lining: linen, light wool.

materials once you are ready to sew:

  • pins
  • scissors
  • outer fabric
  • lining fabric
  • thread
  • needles
  • or sewing machine

 

NOTE: the materials you choose will depend totally on where you are wanting to use your hood. You do not need to line your hood as there is evidence of hoods being made and sold without lining (although this could indicate that this was being left for the owner to line etc) however I would recommend it if you have scratchy wool or if you want warmth/colour variety.

Spending just that little extra on wool and linen is a good idea as this will most likely be your hood for the next little while and having something that not only keeps the rain off (i.e. wool) and won’t catch on fire (i.e. natural materials) instead of melting into your skin (polyester) is a really good idea.

 

Examples:

A few examples of the hoods I have made over the years using the pattern below. Thank you to our stills photographer Tuuli for most of the photos below, they are taken from the short film ‘The Quickener’ directed by Joel Wilson that I came over to Birmingham to make in 2012.

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hood side6

 

Pattern:

The most simple,  economical in terms of fabric and well fitting pattern I have found is the one drawn below.

There are variations on the theme, but the simple gore at the front makes the garment sit right, and it also means you can cut it out of a a narrow piece of fabric.

You can also choose to have a lirpipe or not. I recommend lirpipes as they are incredibly handy to wrap around your neck in the wind – securing the hood to your head. The lirpipe is the long tube that hangs down the back of your hood and is cut separately to save on fabric.

 

To make the pattern:

measure your:

  • head circumference at the point of your forehead evenly all around. (measurement one)
  • from the top of your head to just under your chin. (measurement two)
  • your shoulders from the bony bit to the other bony bit (measurement three)
  • from the top of your head to your chest. (This will be for how low you want the dip/scoop to be on the bottom of the hood  – one that doesn’t go too low usually looks better and doesn’t use too much fabric)(measurement four)

Draw out the pattern below using your measurements:

you can do this on paper or on cotton/scrap fabric. I recommend onto scrap fabric as to get it to fit right you will need to sew up the basic pattern to make sure it sits right on your shoulders and goes over your head and has the right size scoop.

NOTE: Always iron whatever fabric you are about to use – big creases can change the proportion of a pattern.

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IMAGE ONE : basic pattern.

9

IMAGE TWO:  look at the instructions above on measurements – this image shows you where to put them.

IMPORTANT notes for drawing up the pattern:

  • because this image is HALF A HOOD, i.e. one side, MEASUREMENT ONE should only be HALF of what you measured, if not you will end up with a very big neck hole.
  • You MUST add at least two inches to MEASUREMENT ONE and TWO and THREE. Remember, the measurements are your actual measurements, which means if you make it to those, you will have NO room to get it on and off your head and your face won’t go through the face hole.
  • You MUST add additional seam allowance on to the entire hood  – about 1.5 -2 cm will do.

 

CUTTING:

Make sure your fabric is washed and ironed.

If at any point you can’t fit all your pattern on the fabric, you can piece your hood. This means taking scraps and sewing them together to fill in the gaps.

Materials:

  • pins
  • scissors
  • outer fabric
  • lining fabric
  • thread
  • needles
  • or sewing machine

 

13

IMAGE THREE : how to lay out the pattern economically.

Note: the edge of the fabric is on the left.

You can cut the two sides out separately,  or if you think you are able to cut them the same size – cut two at once.

If you decided to cut your fabric two together with the one piece of material folded over, always iron the material and iron the crease down – this will make the fabric sit flat together and will cause less issues when cutting. Use pins to hold the two pieces together and cut around the outside.

 

128

 

 

IMAGE FOUR                                      IMAGE FIVE

(The gore can be cut out of the space in the material as indicted by the arrow)

IMPORTANT NOTES FOR CUTTING:

The gore is the triangular piece in the front with the dotted line around it. In Image three you will see the way to lay out the pattern on the fabric to be economical with fabric. If you do it this way, you will see that you need to cut the gore out in the space shown in the picture above – where the arrow points to in image five.

YOU MUST cut your gore on the material grain line – i.e. not on the bias, as this will make it stretch at the front.

CUT the gore slightly bigger than the pattern – this will make it overlap where the seam is, and fit onto the rest of the hood pattern when you sew it onto it. If you don’t do this, you will end up with a smaller triangle when you attach the gore to the hood.

IF you are cutting a lirpipe: cut a tube now as long as you want that is the same size as the tip. the tip is indicated in Image six below where it says lirpipe attaches here (with an arrow).

The lirpipe doesn’t have to be one long piece – it can be several pieces put together to save fabric.

 

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IMAGE SIX

15

IMAGE SEVEN:

To cut the lirpipe, fold a piece of fabric in half and make sure the end that attaches to the tip is the same size as the tip when folded. To make folding it and cutting it easier – iron the crease flat and pin.

 

 

Construction:

Before you start your actual hood, take the time to sew up the basic pattern on a scrap piece of cotton (an old bed sheet will do). This will help you see if your head and face will fit, and if it is long enough. If it doesn’t / isn’t – take note of what you want it to look like and re-draw it.

To start:

First decide if you are going to to hand sew the whole thing or if you are going to machine sew and then hand finish. If you are going to machine sew it, I recommend taking the time to hand finish the hood as it will look ‘period’ with no visible machine sewing…. and if you do it the cheat way as shown below all you will have to hand finish is the face hole…..

 

Hand sewn hood:

There are several hand sewing stitches that you can use: 

Back stitch to sew the seams together:

Below is a video showing two pieces of material being sewn together with back stitch. back stitch is a very strong stitch, make sure your stitches aren’t too long….you will start to get a feeling for it after a while. Turn your fabric over to the good side and pull the two pieces away from each other to see if you pulling the thread tight enough each stitch, the material shouldn’t bunch with each stitch, but you shouldn’t be able to poke your finger in between it either.

If you are doing it this way it is recommended to flat fell the seams after you have finished sewing the seams together. To fell, press the seam down flat with an iron on the inside, and if it is wool that won’t fray then whip stitch the edge of the seam so it stays flat. If it is wool that will fray or linen, fold the raw edge under before you whip stitch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QYrreTAuMeQ

Whip stitch:

some people like to turn all the edges over of their hood, whip stitch/fell the edges, and then whip stitch the gores onto the hood, and then whip stitch the two finished sides of the hood pattern together. This essentially fells the seams as you go. If it is wool that won’t fray then whip stitch the edge so it stays flat. If it is wool that will fray or linen, fold the raw edge under before you whip stitch.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=v9kGyZDWZcA

Blind hemming stitch/ invisible stitch:

This is done to finish off your hood. It is used to sew hems or to sew two pieces of cloth together at an edge so you can’t see the stitches on either side of the material.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=mp-HcRTZQZ0

 

To hand-sew the Hood:

choose your hand-sewing method, whip stitch or back stitch.

  • pin the triangular gore onto the hood – good sides together (the side everyone will see)
  • sew together
  • iron the seam down on the wrong side (the side no one will see – the inside)
  • repeat this for the other side of the hood
  • place the two sides of the hood right sides together and pin along the top of the hood.
  • sew the top of the hood along the dotted line only
  • if you are putting on a lirpipe, do this now by pinning it with right sides together to the tip
  • sew the lirpipe on
  • pin the rest of the hood along the dotted lines in IMAGE eight below
  • go back to sewing the two sides together along the dotted line as indicated in IMAGE eight below.

17

  • clip the curves, and the neck https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLmu3phrxqg (the instructions on how to clip curves are at the end of the tutorial on how to sew curves on a machine)
  • press the seams
  • repeat all the steps above with the lining.

TO SEW THE OUTSIDE AND LINING TOGETHER.

  • with right sides out, place the lining over the outside like a slip cover
  • with wrong sides together, lay the hood flat so it looks like the image above
  • turn the edges of the lining and the outer under and into each other so you can’t see the raw edges – so that they are trapped between the two layers.
  • invisible stitch / ladder stitch / blind hemming stitch the bottom of the hood and the face of the hood together.
  • press with an iron.

 

The down and dirty quick cheat way to sew your hood by machine: (so you only have to hand finish the face hole….)

  • pin the triangular gore onto the hood – good sides together (the side everyone will see)
  • sew together
  • iron the seam down on the wrong side (the side no one will see – the inside)
  • repeat this for the other side of the hood
  • place the two sides of the hood right sides together and pin along the top of the hood.
  • sew the top of the hood along the dotted line only
  • if you are putting on a lirpipe, do this now by pinning it with right sides together to the tip
  • sew the lirpipe on
  • pin the rest of the hood along the dotted lines in IMAGE eight below
  • go back to sewing the two sides together along the dotted line as indicated in IMAGE eight below.

17

  • clip the curves, and the neck https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zLmu3phrxqg (the instructions on how to clip curves are at the end of the tutorial on how to sew curves on a machine)
  • repeat all the steps above with the lining.

TO SEW THE OUTSIDE AND LINING TOGETHER.

  • with right sides together, placing the lining over the outside like a slip cover
  • lay the hood flat so it looks like the image above to make sure that the two pieces match up perfectly – one cannot be bigger than the other as it will bag out and look odd/warp out of shape.
  • pin the edges of the bottom of the hood all around together on the dotted line shown in IMAGE nine so the edges meet perfectly.
  • make sure you have pinned it so you can get your head through it still…don’t pin it closed!

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IMAGE NINE

  • clip the edges
  • press the seams
  • turn the whole hood the right way round. The lining should sit perfectly inside the hood and the only opening should now be the face hole.
  • at the face hole, turn the edges of the lining and the outer under and into each other so you can’t see the raw edges  –  so that they are trapped between the two layers.
  • pin
  • invisible stitch / ladder stitch / blind hemming stitch the bottom of the hood and the face of the hood together.
  • press with an iron.

 

I really hope these instructions have helped – if you need any clarification send me an email, the next time I make a hood I will take step by step photos and post them up.

Good luck!

 

Please note: If you wish to reproduce this in any way please credit me. We all work very hard and share our knowledge freely in the SCA. It would be a shame to find my work in someone elses name. Thank you.

One Response “A and S Class: A simple hood.” →
  1. Very clear and helpful instructions, thanks Chantelle. I can’t wait to have a go.

    Reply

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