Category Archives: How to

How to Wear a Crocheted Snood

Hello friends! Today, I’d like to dive right in and explain how to wear a crocheted snood. Crocheted snoods are simple to put on and keep on, making them the perfect hair solution for quick trips around town. I guarantee your errands will feel glamorous if you don one of these! And an added benefit for those in the colder climates: crocheted snoods are incredibly warm. It’s like wearing a hat without the hair-smushing drawback.

You will need:

  • a crocheted snood (see below for where to buy one or how to make your own)
  • hair pins (I use bobby pins from Sally’s that match my hair color)

Step 1

Style the front of your hair. In the photo above, I have two huge pincurls rolled to towards each other to the middle. My hair was parted slightly off center before I made the curls, so they are not the same size and slightly askew.

Step 2

Brush out your back hair. I often curl the ends a little, too. I do this with a round bristle brush: Take a section of hair, position the brush at the ends and gently catch the ends in the brush, curling the hair under in a circular motion. This helps give the back hair more body once it’s inside the snood.

Step 3

Gather up your back hair and pin it in a large loose pincurl at the nape of your neck. Not too many pins, only about three or so. This pincurl bun doesn’t need to hold very long, it only needs to keep your hair out of the way while you pin on the snood.

Step 4

Take the snood, with the ribbon ends positioned at the top of your head (if it has a ribbon) and wrap it around your head, covering the pincurl bun. Now you pin it in place:

Pin the top, behind your front hairstyle

Pin the sides, behind your ears

Pin the bottom, under the pincurl bun

Step 5

Reach into the snood mesh and remove the pins holding together the pincurl bun. Fluff the hair into the snood so it fills out.

Step 6

Tie the ribbon at the top.

Here’s a little demonstration gif so you get the idea:

Where to find one

Premade snoods are available from a variety of online sellers. My green one in the photos above was a very thoughtful present from our lovely friend Patricia. She discovered The Snood Lady – a dear woman who meticulously reproduces snoods in modern yarns from a vintage pattern. The Snood Lady even sells fancy jeweled snoods for weddings and special occasions. (Edit 10/24/12 – The Snood Lady is closing up her website, so see the other links I’ve provided for premade snoods.)

Of course, there is Etsy – a wealth of premade snoods in a variety of colors: Aprils Bag and Stitch In Time Design in the US and Eden Valley Vintage and Gin Poodle in the UK (thanks Tanis for letting me know about your shop!).

And if you are a crocheter, you can make your own! The free pattern I used to make my red snood is here (Ravelry link). I added a couple more rows of crochet to this pattern so I could thread a ribbon around it (details on the exact stitches are on my Ravelry page for the project). Annalaia’s shop has 10 vintage crocheted snood patterns and a special pattern for containing layered hair can be found in Patterns ala Carte’s shop.

I hope these ramblings encourage you vintage ladies to give snoods a try! And as always, if you have questions or if I didn’t explain something good enough feel free to speak up.

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How to Tie a Snood with a Scarf

Let’s chat about snoods. I realize some of you may find the title of this post crazily repetitive, particularly if you hail from across the pond. But in the 40s sense of the word, a snood is a “a netlike hat or part of a hat or fabric that holds or covers the back of a woman’s hair.” It’s a casual alternative to pinning your hair up, as Ann Sheridan so beautifully demonstrates above. I’m fond of wearing snoods because they lend a 40s look in a quick, easy fashion and are great for days when your hair decides to strike. In my world, there are two types of snoods: special crocheted versions and scarves I tie myself. Today, I’d like to share the instructions for tying a regular 24″ square scarf into a snood.

You will need:

  • a square scarf that is at least large enough to tie completely around your head – something in the 24″ square range. If you can wear it as a babushka, it will work for this. Triangular scarves work just fine, too. In fact, the two lace snoods seen in my photos are actually triangles. Any material will work, but scarves with a sheer quality are more authentically snood-ish.
  • hair pins (I use bobby pins from Sally’s that match my hair color)

Step 1

Prepare your hair. Style the front with large pincurls, a little rabbit ridge or just pin it back. If you have bangs, you are all set. The back of your hair need not be brushed or straightened. In fact, this is a great style to tame freshly pincurled hair for a few hours.

Step 2

Fold your scarf diagonally, from corner to corner, creating a large triangle. Flip your hair forward while bending at the waist, so your hair falls over the top of your head. Tie the scarf around your head with the square knot just touching your forehead (so it will be over your front styled hair for now). Leave the scarf ends loose.

Step 3

Adjust the point of the scarf to become a pocket for your hair, tucking in loose pieces. Roll up the scarf from the point, corralling your back hair in the pocket created. Secure the top of the pocket with hairpins.

Step 4

Move the top knot behind your front hair, carefully untying it and retying it if necessary. To finish, take one of the loose scarf ends and tuck it into the side it falls closest to, securing with pins. Repeat for the other loose end. Tuck any flyaways and secure with more pins as needed.

If you are confused, have a look at my little gif:

If you have any questions or if something is unclear, do be sure and speak up! I’m happy to help. And keep an eye out for my next snoody post – next week I’ll be writing about crocheted snoods – how to make and wear them!

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Kitty Clutch Tutorial

My dear friend Kate of Scathingly Brilliant is vacationing in Disneyland this week and in place of her regularly scheduled postings, she has a week full of DIYs. Today’s tutorial was created by yours truly. Hop over and take a peek! :D

4/1/14 Edit:

I’m adding the files for download here for you too:

Pattern

Tutorial

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Secrets to Vintage Hair Success

(photo from silent_screen_queen)

Vintage styled hair is an integral part of being a vintage girl – well in my opinion, anyhow. It’s just one more piece of the puzzle that helps lend a girl that classic film star feeling. My technique of choice is pincurling because I favor the 1940’s rolled, smooth styles. Ladies, if you’ve never tried pincurling, you honestly have no idea what you’re missing. If you are interested in learning, YouTube is chock full of valuable information from our leading vintage gals. I learned from Aya’s Tutorial (part 1, part 2) but Lisa (part 1, part 2) has great instructions, too.

My reason for bringing all this up today is that I have discovered a marvelous vintage hair secret that I’d like to share. Well, it’s not so much a secret but I think it’s relatively unknown. In the tutorials above the ladies recommend using hair products or water as a setting lotion when you pincurl. These do work to terrific effect and there are many superior products to buy (check out this Fedora Lounge discussion for tips on the best ones). However, I’ve always been overprotective of my hair and try to avoid hair products and heat when styling. It’s become something of an obsession with me, so when my storebought setting lotion ran out a month ago, I decided to see if I could make my own.

My search led me to the aforementioned Fedora Lounge thread where I was soon engrossed in the ins-and-outs of setting lotion. Some of the ladies mentioned the possibility of homemade setting lotion and as I read further I even found links. I printed out two of the most promising recipes and set about procuring ingredients.

So far, I’ve only tried the first one but it has proved to be such an immense success for me that I couldn’t keep it to myself another moment. It’s a blindingly simple recipe that uses only 2 ingredients and takes only 15 minutes to make.

Flax Seed Hair Setting Lotion

3/4 cup water

1 tablespoon whole flax seeds

Combine the water and flax seeds in a small pan, and bring to a boil. Simmer until the mixture is gelatinous (about 10-15 minutes). Strain out as many of the seeds as you can. Let cool. Keeps for about 2 weeks in the refrigerator.

The result is an odorless, colorless gel that can be used just like setting lotion or putty when setting pincurls. It has the consistency of egg whites. Don’t worry if you aren’t into cooking. It’s a forgiving recipe. The first time I tried it, I forgot about it and it boiled over a bit, but the mixture turned to jelly anyway. I tried straining the seeds out, but they get pretty set into the jelly and it’s a tough task. I just left the seeds in and was careful not to get them in my hair. [2/8/11 Update: After making this recipe once every two weeks since posting this, I’ve found that it’s quite easy to strain the seeds out. Just be sure to strain as soon as you take the mixture off the heat. If it has a chance to rest, it sets up.]

The marvelous part of this is the softness of my hair after pincurling. No yucky hard pieces where the product has built up, no greasy feeling. Just soft, dry, perfectly curled hair. I have found that my curls stay in longer and better with it, too. The product I used always gave up within 2 days of setting my hair. Last week, I was able to go for 4 days with my flax seed set and it was quite easy to fix my hair style each morning. I was testing to see how long it would last – I don’t normally go 4 days without washing my hair! :)

One more tip: if you want that amazingly shiny hair we often see on classic film starlets, massage some tea tree oil into your scalp and comb through your hair before pincurling. Works like a charm and smells divine, too!

**********************************************

4/14/10 Update: I have a convert! Be sure to check out the post Kate of Vintage in a Modern World wrote about her flax seed experience!

2/8/11 Update: Another convert! Atlanta of The Story of a Seamstress and her gorgeous pincurled, self-set hairstyle.

6/13/11 Update: Joanna of FriendSheep is a happy convert!

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How to Tie a Turban Like Hedy

Much excitement today! I have a tribute post to Hedy Lamarr up on Silents and Talkies, complete with an eye-popping portrait of Hedy drawn by Kate herself! In honor of this momentous occasion, I’ve prepared a tutorial for all my dear readers. But first, a little explanation about my Hedy ardor.

Quite awhile ago, Kate asked her readers which star had sparked their interest in classic film. At the time, I couldn’t remember, so I didn’t participate in the discussion. (sorry, Kate – I really wanted to!) But, as I’ve been pondering the question, I’ve come to the realization that my hook into classic film was Hedy Lamarr. My premier Hedy Lamarr film was Lady of the Tropics (1939) with Robert Taylor. Hedy plays an exotic woman of European and Asian descent residing in the Orient. In one important scene, she wears a modest white turban accented with long earrings and a matching necklace. (See photos above)

The image of this uncommonly exquisite woman in her striking head wear made an enduring impression on me as a 12 year old. I seized a kerchief at the time and tried to tie a turban like hers, to no avail. While I moved on to other films and other stars as my fascination for classic film intensified, Hedy and her turban were unforgettable.

And then I saw Come Live With Me (1941). Come Live With Me is a typical 40’s feel good flick – boy meets girl, boy loses girl, boy and girl live happily ever after in the end. Of course there are some other twists, but that’s the major plot. It’s an enjoyable film and I’ve seen it several times. But there is one scene which makes this film a must see for any Hedy Lamarr fan: when Hedy demonstrates how to tie her turban. For me, finding this scene was like Hedy personally visiting me and teaching me how to recreate her iconic look.

I had forgotten about Hedy and her lovely turban… until I started experimenting with pin curls about a year ago. When you set your hair in pin curls and try to sleep in it, the pins can be dreadfully painful. I needed a head covering that would stay put and – voila! Hedy’s Turban Training came to the rescue! I even wear my turban to the store now (Walmart, no less!) and get treated like a duchess because of it. The cashiers in my local Walmart are ridiculously truculent, so this is a major victory. And I owe it all to Hedy…

On to the instructions! The title of Duchess of Walmart awaits you, my friends!

Doesn’t George look dashing? I think it quite suits him. :) You can find these instructions in my flickr set, if you want a better look at them. If you have any trouble with the tutorial, please let me know. Even if you just see a typo, please tell me! I want everyone to be able to recreate the Hedy look successfully. Happy Turban Tying!

***March 25, 2010 Update: This post was featured in the Queens of Vintage Turban post today! I’m so honored to be included in it.***

 

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