Tuesday, August 23, 2005

One Way to Make a Snood (AKA a Hairnet or Caul)

For some reason I'm fascinated by Regina Doman's article on liturgical dressing--all of it, the concept and the particular articles of clothing mentioned. I have no interest in liturgical dressing itself; but I like drapey fabric, simple clothes, and clothing with a somewhat medieval look, and I am interested in pattern-free clothing. I haven't made the "Mary Dress" or the "Mary Jumper", because on this particular idea I need to see a photo before I make up my mind to commit my fabric; I'm intrigued by, but not sure of, the "wings". (Eh, maybe I'll just try it anyway one day I'm bored.)

Doman did inspire me to make a snood, though. I didn't think I could because I don't crochet or knit and Doman said she could no longer find the cotton mesh she used to sew hers. Then I happened to be in Wal-Mart when the clerk was bringing out some new $1.00/yd fabric. Most of the $1 fabric is ugly, but sometimes there's something nice. This day the clerk was bringing out a weird, stretchable black net material. It's not the cotton mesh Doman mentioned, as it must be synthetic to have so much stretch, but it looked like a snood to me. I bought 1/2 yard, carried it home, let it age for a couple of weeks :-), and then when it had matured I made a snood. I've worn it several times and found it surprisingly comfortable; I also found it can look cute with some clothes but didn't look right when I put it on with jeans and a tee-shirt (then again, that day I was just trying to hide my dirty hair.)

I also found you don't really need stretchy mesh. I have thick, bra-length hair, and my hair fits into my snood without any noticeable stretching. I'm sure a non-stretch mesh would work fine. I've seen some thrift store shirts made of a cotton mesh that I think could be cut up and used as a snood; next time I see one in a good color, I'm going to try it.

How I made my snood:

I cut an 18" square of mesh, folded it into quarters, then eighths, and cut a curve on it to get a rough circle. (This was after some tedious and wholly unnecessary thought about figuring circumferences and radiuses.) I cut a narrow strip of thin black fabric--about 1/4" wide--and sewed that around the edges of the net, using my widest stitch length. (Ribbon would probably work instead of the fabric.) Then I pulled the threads until it was gathered to about my head measurement (as measured from the top of the head to the bottom, where the head meets the neck). I covered the edges of the resulting "pouch" with a length of 1/2" wide doublefold bias tape (cut to my head measurement plus about an inch), using a lot of pins to secure it before sewing. Then I just sewed it down, taking care to tuck in the ends of the bias tape when I had completed the circle.

Actually, I had meant to add 1/4" wide elastic to the band, but by the time I got to the end, the thought of threading a piece of elastic through a bias tube filled with net sewn to fabric no longer appealed to me, and I said, "**** it, I'll just hold the thing up with hair pins." I've since found a photo of Regina Doman online, and I notice her snood is held on with hairpins too. I plan to try this again sometime with elastic.

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