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Lady Violette

The Romantic Lifestyle

Posts Tagged ‘How To Make a Scarf’

Fluffy Vintage Lynx Fur Collar Repurposed as a Long Fur Scarf

Friday, December 28th, 2012

Fluffy Vintage Lynx Collar Re-purposed as a Long Modern Scarf or Muffler

This beautiful fluffy blond colored fur piece is lynx. I found it in a thrift store attached to a ratty old sweater in size XXXL ! The sweater was awful acrylic and covered with natty balls. This gorgeous fur piece had been hastily basted onto it along the collar edge. I did a double take on the fur and after inspection determined it had probably been removed from a coat. It is professionally lined by a furrier with a tasteful gold/beige silk satin. I quickly purchased the ratty old sweater for $9.99 and removed the fur from it as soon as I got it out to my car! I always carry a sewing kit with me for emergencies and separating this lovely lynx collar from the old synthetic sweater to which it was attached called for immediate emergency surgery. I threw the disgusting old sweater away in the thrift store dumpster.

The Lynx Fur Can Be Wrapped Around the Neck as a Deliciously Soft and Cozy Muffler

I wrapped the cozy lynx around my neck in my car. As I drove home I debated whether I should try to sew this new fur prize to a coat or cape in my collection or make something new to use it on. It was incredibly soft, lightweight and warm. I was really comfortable and toasty by the time I got home. I immediately experimented with it in front of a full length mirror and tried it out on several coats, capes and sweaters in my collection. It looked good with everything. For this reason I decided not to sew it onto anything, but to re-purpose it as a modern style lynx fur scarf or muffler instead so I would have the greatest versatility. I carefully restitched the silk satin lining so that it was neatly attached all the way around. I actually like the way the gleaming silk satin side shows when the scarf is flipped around ~ I think the textural contrast of the shiny and soft silk lining with the lynx fur is pretty. The color of the fur and the golden beige silk satin look good with camel colored wools and gold jewelry. I have two vintage camel colored coats – one of camels hair and one of cashmere that both look great with this blond lynx worn casually draped around the neck as a scarf or muffler.

The Lynx Collar is Backed or Lined with an Attractive Beige/Gold Shiny Silk Satin Which Looks Nice & Also Feels Really Good Against My Neck

I am also experimenting with wearing it over a bare shouldered evening dress as a fur stole. It is amazingly warm and it is a nice cozy thing to wear at home instead of a cardigan sweater or a sweatshirt.  Perfect for cuddling up and reading at night in an upholstered armchair. I like to use my vintage furs at home during the winter to keep the chills off in my drafty old house. This allows me more opportunities to use and enjoy my vintage furs and makes me feel glamorous in the old Hollywood manner. I consciously seek out ways to feel elegant and luxurious in my daily life and wearing my furs at home is one really good way. I often wear one while writing or working at my computer because I live in a drafty house in a cold winter climate.

Another Way to Drape & Wear the Long Vintage Lynx Fur Collar as an Elegant Contemporary Scarf

There are many elegant modern ways one can drape, wrap and wear a long fur scarf or muffler. I think it will also work as a wrap over a bare shouldered evening gown or the right style and color evening dress as well as over more casual winter sports wear such as coats, jackets, and sweaters.

It Can Be Styled as a Casual & Versatile Lynx Fur Version of a Knitted Muffler or Scarf

It will also work tossed over a tailored skirt or pant suit in a modern version of the way women wore the fur stoles with ” heads,  tails and paws”  attached in the 1940’s. Here are just a few examples of ways one can drape this lovely and versatile vintage lynx fur piece. Personally I like to style my vintage furs in the ways they were originally intended to be worn and in new ways that look up to date with modern fashion sensibilities. I think vintage pieces worn in contemporary settings combined in unexpected new ways look wonderful. I am always searching for ideas and ways to style my vintage clothing to create a completely new and modern mix of old and new. I like the best of every era!

A Close Up Shot of My Incredibly Fluffy Vintage Lynx Fur Scarf

Close up my lynx fur looks like this. For the record this vintage lynx fur was inspected and identified as lynx by professional Swiss furrier Rene Vogel of Seattle, WA. Mr. Vogel was formerly the furrier for I. Magnin and Co. and for Nordstroms when they still had a fur salon. He now works independently caring for the furs of his remaining fur clients in the Seattle area. He is a second generation professional furrier trained in Switzerland with decades of experience in the fur business. I have him identify all my vintage furs so that I can be absolutely sure of what they are and where they come from. I will write another post soon explaining the characteristics of lynx fur and what to look for when identifying and buying it.

I have found that many vintage furs for sale online and in thrift shop environments are not identified correctly. One reason I am writing these posts in an effort to help readers correctly identify furs they have or may be considering buying. I am consulting Mr. Vogel for his professional opinions and correct identification of the fur types as well.

Scarf Styling for Long Oblong Scarves ~ Two Ways Lady Violette Likes to Wear an Oblong Scarf ~ Simply Looped and Draped & in a Dramatic Double Side Wrap Style for a Long Scarf

Monday, April 25th, 2011

Step #1) Begin with Oblong Scarf Simply Draped -

I have a 96″ long crinkly green silk scarf with beaded fringe on both ends. Here Tricia James, International Scarf  Stylist, shows us one way she wraps and ties such a scarf It is lovely as is and can be worn in a simple elegant drape looped around the neck with both ends hanging down as shown in the first photo and Step #1 ~ You can wear the scarf simply looped just like this or begin with this drape as the first step of the dramatic double side wrap style.

With all the fancy scarf tying and embellishing experiments of late I still think the simple drapes are sometimes the most modern and sophisticated ways of wearing and showing off  beautiful scarf shapes and textiles. I like both elegantly simple and ornate ways of styling scarves and shawls. I want to wear them in different ways at different times. I like having both options and the skills for styling both of them.

This scarf is particularly long ~ eight feet long to be exact! It was given to me by someone who thought it was too long and awkward for her to handle! I was delighted to receive  it! It is silk, permanently pleated, and embellished with seed beads on both ends.

Because it is so very very long it is perfect for wrapping. Here is how to do this dramatic double wrap style ~ done the same way Tricia demonstrated on one side in the earlier post titled ~ How to Tie the Orange Pashima ~ but done on both sides to create this lovely style.

Step #2) Wrap End on Left Side Under & Around

Step #2) Begin with the Left side. All you do is wrap the end on one side under and pull it through…

Step #3) Pull it Through

Step #3) Then wrap it around again, repeating under and around and through…

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #4) Wrap Fabric Around & Around Until You Reach the Bottom of the Front Draped Loop

Step #4) Continuing until you have wrapped the fabric around enough times to get to the bottom of your front drape loop.

Step #5) Repeat the Wrapping Process on the Right Side of the Scarf

Step #5) Repeat the exact same wrapping process on the Right side of the scarf.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #6) Voila! The beautiful finished Dramatic Double Side Wrap Style for an Oblong Scarf! Once again demonstrating that tying and wearing a scarf beautifully is definitely one of the foremost Feminine Arts! Thank you Tricia for demonstrating this beautiful style! You can visit Tricia James at ScarfGenie.com.

Step #6) The finished Dramatic Double Side Wrap Style for an Oblong Scarf!

Lady Violette’s Dji~Dji Hand Knitted Winter Scarf of Vintage Boucle Mohair & Fine Fingering Yarn ~ A Complimentary Lady Violette Knitting Pattern!

Monday, April 18th, 2011

The Dji-Dji Scarf Designed by Lady Violette

The Dji-Dji Scarf Designed by Lady Violette

The Dji~Dji Scarf is 42" Long, but You Can Make it as Long as You Like!

I had about 2 & 1/2 balls of old vintage mohair boucle yarn called Dji~Dji in a heathery purple and grey melange. They were not complete balls and the yardage was unknown. I also had a bit of skinny grey wool yarn, fingering weight, but not enough to make a pair of socks. I wondered if I had enough to make a scarf? It was a gamble, but I decided to try it. I knit a small swatch holding the two yarns together. I used size 8 needles and they worked fine. I wanted texture, so I made up a simple pattern and knit until I ran out of yarn! I am posting this as a complimentary knitting pattern that anyone may use! Enjoy making & wearing it!

Here’s the pattern for the Dji~Dji Scarf! I used size 8US straight knitting needles.

To Make: Cast on 32 stitches.

1st & 3rd rows:(K2,P2) to end

2nd & 4th rows: (P2,K2) to end

These 4 rows form the pattern.

Repeat until you nearly run out of yarn or the scarf is the length you like. I was able to knit to 42 inches. Then cast off. C’est fini!

You can use any yarn or combination of yarns held together that will give you an approximate gauge of 4 stitches and 4 rows to an inch. You can make the scarf any length you like from about 40 inches to 96 inches! The Blackberry scarf I posted earlier is 96 inches long including the fringe if you wish to use the way it looks as a guideline. The good think about scarves is that you can easily take them off the needles and try them on to decide what length you actually like and want to make!

A Close Up Showing the Texture of the Yarn & the Pattern Stitch & the Pair of Hair Sticks Used as Shawl Pins!

I didn’t block this piece because I wanted to retain it’s lofty nature. It is a little short for tying so I simply crossed it over at the front of my neck and stuck two hairsticks in it, one above the other, to hold it closed. You can use children’s chopsticks as well. They are shorter than adult ones and make great shawl pins. I have a shawl pin that would also work just like a hair stick! I like the look of two hair sticks slightly juxtaposed one above the other. Chopsticks make great scarf pins or shawl pins which is really scarf/shawl jewelry. You can wear them in your hair too to keep it pinned up when knitting! And I encourage you to try hair accessories such as these, lobster clips, and barrettes to hold your scarves and shawls in place. Hair jewelry can often double as scarf  and shawl jewelry!

This scarf is great over a high necked sweater or tucked inside the collar of a woolen coat. The double layer of crossed over knitted wool or mohair keeps your chest cozy and warm. It’s easy to make, looks good with black or any co-ordinating color. It’s a good solution to keeping warm and looking stylish at the same time!

Depending on the color and type of yarn you use this can be used as a man’s or a woman’s scarf. It is extremely easy to knit. And the results look very professional. This would make a great first scarf pattern!

Please feel free to use and enjoy it with my compliments! If you do so please credit me and refer people to my blog. And, if you make it, please send photos and I’ll try to post them for others to view. I recently sent photos of a finished project and the link to my blog to a designer  whose sweater pattern I knit and she wrote back thanking me. It was very encouraging getting that feedback!

The Delicious Blackberry Scarf by Lady Violette ~ Making and Styling a Fabulous Extra~Long Handknitted Winter Scarf with Fringe! Made with Noro’s Yarns Using a Jane Ellison Pattern

Sunday, April 17th, 2011

The Blackberry Hand Knitted Winter Scarf of Noro Yarns

Everything about this scarf is scrumptious! The yarn, the colors, the softness, the easy to execute pattern, the design, how warm and thick it is and how finally how elegant it looks! I love the name too! I think the stitch pattern is sometimes referred to as the blackberry stitch, but the Noro book doesn’t explain that. Anyway, it was easy to make. I am often working on really difficult knitting projects in which I have to concentrate closely on every stitch and row I make. This was a good break being a repetitive easy to do and remember pattern that I could work on while talking to people, watching a film, waiting for an appointment, etc.

Because I was only knitting with two types of yarn it was also an easy to carry around project! I need to take on more like this. It is hard to lug around a basket of 50 different colors and types of yarns when I want to knit away from home. All serious knitters usually have several different kinds of projects on needles and in the works at any given time. Of late I have been finishing a lot of things and don’t have something easy that I gan grab as I leave the house and work on when I get a chance while out. It is time to set up another one.

 

Close Up View of the Blackberry Stitch

The Blackberry is another pattern from the book Naturally Noro by Jane Ellison using Noro’s yarns. This is actually a booklet, rather than a book. It looks like a magazine. As far as I know these are not available from bookstores. I believe they are only sold by specialty yarn shops that also carry Noro’s yarns.

The yarns specified and the ones I actually used are Noro’s Iro in shade 9 and Noro’s Kochoran in shade 17. You work with one strand of each type, held together throughout the entire project. It is also done on giant size #13 US knitting needles so it knits up really quickly. That means instant gratification! I used Clover bamboo needles.

I have experimented with many types of needles and these are my favorites. I have found that stitches and the finished fabrics actually look very different knit on needles made of different materials. I recommend using the same type of needles made by the same company of the same material for your entire project.

I once made a pair of gloves on size 7 wooden needles. I had a pair of Clover and a pair of Brittany – both wood, both size 7. I wanted to make both gloves at the same time. I launched into the knitting. Unfortunately both gloves looked different! They were knit of the same yarn in the same technique, by the same person. The difference came from the two brands of needles made of the same type of wood. I showed them to many people at my local knit shop. They could all tell there was a pronounced difference. Caused by using two different brands of wooden needles in the same size! The one knit on Clover needles looked the smoothest. So I ripped out the other one and reknit the entire glove to match the better looking one done on the Clovers. A tough lesson learned the hard way! You don”t have to go through that because I am warning you ahead!

The Fabulous Dramatic Hand Made Yarn Fringe

This finished scarf is 96 inches long. It is mighty long and mighty thick and I love it that way! It’s very warm! Mighty warm! It also has fabulous fringe on both ends! I also love fringe! It is so dramatic! I love tossing it! This scarf is so long and big and thick that is is almost like wearing a coat! It does it’s job as a winter scarf! I also like having all the warm thickness of several layers of it cuddled up around my neck.

Noro’s yarn is hand dyed and hand spun in small batches in Japan! When they come out with a color it is usually not available very long. In fact I have had a lot of trouble actually getting enough of it in the same type and color to make entire sweaters – even size small women’s sweaters and children’s sweaters which is what I am usually making!

Noro, himself, is a painter who became a knitter and spinner. Working with his yarns is like painting. They are spectacular! To me at least. I actually like the immense amount of variation in each skein and the difficult to get enough of it aspect. I like the uneven spinning and unpredictable differences found in each small batch because It is like painting. I approach knitting with it like painting and I am willing to experiment and work with it’s unique qualities to achieve the effects I want. Incidentally these are unpredictable and they evolve as you work with the yarn. They cannot be planned in advance. There is an element of chance involved. I like that in my knitting. Even though I am a technical perfectionist! In the end, when I have finished knitting a garment out of Noro’s yarn I know I have a unique to me one of a kind piece!

The Fabulous Blackberry Scarf Designed by Jane Ellison & Knitted by Lady Violette with Yarns by Noro

Now I am all excited and I want to go buy yarn and start another one! I am worried about what may happen to Noro yarn given the Tsunami disaster in Japan. Of course I am more worried about other things in Japan, but the Noro yarns are definitely important elements in my work! They have always been hard to get and I am concerned that their availability may be seriously impacted. I am going to investigate this.

The oak leaf pin with an acorn looks like it is made of copper, then enameled. It is a vintage piece that I found at the Goodwill! It is a perfect accent on this scarf!

People often ask me how much it costs to make something like this. The kinds of yarns I use are luxury yarns of natural fibers. In the case of Noro all the steps of production are done organically. All of them! From raising the sheep to getting the ball of yarn onto a shop’s shelf! The fibers used are the best available and often rare. Consequently, Noro’s yarns are very expensive. These are $20.25 per skein and the sweater required 6 skeins total! So the yarn cost was $121.50 before tax, The pattern book is $24 and you will also need a pair of Clover bamboo or similar wooden knitting needles in size 13US which are about $10.  Allowing for a few other miscellaneous supplies and tax the project cost comes to about $170 just for the materials.

Blackberry Scarf Simply Wrapped

That is the cost to make this sweater if you knit it yourself! No allowance is figured in for the amount of time and expertise for an expert knitter to make if for you!  I am often asked why I do not sell the beautiful hand knits that I make on eBay or Etsy. It would not be worth it for me to do so. The honest truth is that people are not willing to pay what it costs to make them! Or to pay me anything for my time to make them! I have friends who knit and sell their work that way and I have watched the process. They make wonderful things but cannot charge enough to even cover the cost of using top quality yarns. I have had many discussions with fiber artists sharing their experiences selling in these venues. If they continue to do so they knit items in acrylic yarn and make only uncomplicated things that they can produce quickly. The online buying public is not willing to pay for hand knits in particular. Too few people who do not knit themselves understand what is involved and are, thus, unwilling to pay for it.

I have sold on eBay and Bonanza and I know how these systems work. It usually isn’t worth the effort involved. I have written an article about selling on eBay which I will intend post on my blog soon. I am quite willing to share what I have learned about that! I sold high end high quality vintage clothing on eBay for over a year. It was difficult and not worth the effort involved! More about that later!

The bottom line is that, if you want a really gorgeous hand knitted scarf like this one you will have to knit it yourself or find a friend who will do it for you. Or, better yet, teach you to knit! And that is a good thing as you will have the enjoyment of the knitting process for your time investment as well! Knitting is a wonderful fulfilling meditative calming, and grounding experience.

I honestly hope seeing this Blackberry scarf and the other projects I have posted inspires you to knit!

The Blackberry Scarf ~ A Wonderful Hand Knitted Winter Scarf

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

As far as I am concerned that is the big picture!  This is the softest, warmest winter scarf I own! The easy pattern is appropriate for a beginning knitter who knows how to knit, purl, cast on and off, and can read a basic pattern.

Scarves are worn in every culture and knitting is done all over the world. Every country has techniques and styles to contribute to the great knitting, scarf  design and styling repertoires available for us to draw from.   Interestingly the Blackberry is truly an International Scarf because the yarn is from Japan, the designer, Jane Ellison is British and it was knitted in the United States by Lady Violette! I find this crossover of influences fascinating and it adds interest to the scarf for me!

Short Ribbed Poncho/Capelet/Shawl/Scarf – Hand Knit of Noro’s Iro Self-Striping Yarn in the Brown Color Way by Lady Violette

Friday, April 15th, 2011

Hand Knitted Ribbed Poncho of Noro's Iro Yarn in the Browns Color Way

This is a short ribbed poncho or capelet that just covers the neck, chest and shoulders. Sort of like a scarf, actually, but in a circle so it stays on. Vogue has put out a knitting pattern book with scarves, shawls and ponchos so they, too, feel they are all in the same category. The keeping warm stylishly category!

The pattern is called Cat and is in the book Naturally Noro by Jane Ellison beginning on page 44.  It is hand knit of Noro’s Iro self-striping yarn in shades of brown.

It takes 300 Grams which is 3 skeins of Iro yarn in the color of your choice and is worked on size 10.5 US needles. It is an easy pattern and is very quick to knit. The poncho is a very cozy cover for the upper body. I like wearing it to grocery shop because I get really cold  in the super cold store grocery stores! The yarn is a little scratchy so I wear a tight cotton turtle neck sweater under it.

This Poncho is knitted in one piece on straight needles and seamed together down the back.

Handcrafted Scatter Pins Made From Vintage Buttons & Seed Beads

I felt the poncho needed a little embellishment so I made three accent scatter pins to decorate the left shoulder. These are very easy to make out of  vintage buttons stacked together, then glued and attached to a metal craft brooch pin. The flower pin is made of seed beads strung on thin wire, twisted into the shape of a flower and, attached to a craft brooch pin.

Pins like this are very lightweight so they won’t stretch out and damage hand knits. They also make excellent personalized embellishments for hand knitted or felt hats.

The book, Naturally Noro, by Jane Ellison is full of cute modern knitting patterns. I have finished two scarves out of it and am working my way through a vest and a sweater now. The designs are fairly easy to make, and are casual and wearable. Maybe I will be able to knit them all! I’m trying!

 

How to Make (or buy) the Gigantic Scarf I Used for My “Belted Half Dress Drape” Long Oblong Scarf Style.

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

I know how hard it is to find a giant scarf, or a great scarf! Especially one that is affordable or in the fabric, the color or the shape that I want. Therefore I have started making my own so that I can have whatever I need!

Gigantic Scarf 96" x 45"

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

This is the scarf I used to create the “Belted Half Dress Drape” scarf style demonstrated in my post yesterday. It is simply a 96″ long piece of 45″ wide fabric narrowly hemmed on each end. In this case with a rolled hem stitched by machine using a narrow hemmer foot. You can do it on a machine or by hand. The hand method is called a narrow rolled hem.

When selecting fabric something very light works best. This scarf is made of silk chiffon. It is border printed on each end because it was originally intended to be made into a scarf, but any all over print or a solid color will work just as well. Silk or polyester chiffon, china silk, lightweight silk crepe, rayon, or very lightweight cotton batiste would also be appropriate.

You will need to buy between 8 and 9 feet of fabric total. You want it to be sure the fabric is cut straight across the end before you hem it. Fabric stores do not always cut off the pieces they sell in exact straight lines with the grain of the fabric. Check for this before you sew the hem and, if necessary even it out.

Shops that sell Indian saris carry the kind of fabric I used. I have seen border prints, printed on each end like this one, or on just one end. My scarf is 96 inches long, That is 8 feet. I am 5″ 7″ tall and I found the length to be adequate. However, if I could I would get a little longer piece, such as 9″ that would give me a bit longer drape hanging down the back when I have finished the tie. If you are very tall I advise a 9 ‘ long scarf. That is all there is to it! It is quite easy and you can make your own “designer ” scarf in just the size, shape and fabric you need quite reasonably! Appropriate fabrics will cost from $3 per yard to about $40 per yard in fabric shops.

I have found chiffon on discount tables for $3 – $5 per yard. The sari silk scarf cut I used in the picture was a true bargain for $5 found in a thrift shop. They are also available in Indian shops and are not terribly expensive. I have also seen silk in fabric shops for $20 – $40 per yard. If you do not sew yourself, just purchase the fabric you like and take it to a tailor or dressmaker and ask them to hem it for you. Or ask the staff if anyone there would be willing to do it. I know that many women who work in fabric also sew for people.

Lady Violette’s “Belted Half Dress Drape” ~ A New Scarf Style ~ How to Wrap It & Wear It & Transform a Dress!

Wednesday, April 13th, 2011

Necessity is the mother of invention. I needed to figure out something impressive and dramatic to wear to a midday meeting with a producer/ presenter. I needed to look creative and talented and be memorable. I wanted to look ultra feminine as well because I feel that works to my advantage. I wanted to look both business-like and artistic. I felt that sensual and attractive would work, but I did not want to look not overtly sexy. Although it is spring it is also still cold out and I needed to be warm. I find that wearing tights and  layering scarves and shawls over dresses traps air and creates a cozy layer of practical extra warmth. I cannot think and relax if I am cold! It has been in the 30’s all week. It has been wet and windy, even snowing and hailing. And it has been drafty everywhere, both inside and out. All these thoughts were at work in the back of my mind. And this was only what I had to be thinking about what I was going to wear! The other things on the agenda were on my mind as well, but I felt I had them under control. I just wanted to figure out something to wear in which I would feel comfortable and confident, and have my outfit and accessories all worked out in advance.

Browsing through the Nieman Marcus online catalogue for ideas yesterday I found an immense Oscar de la Renta scarf and a wide belt that I loved. Alas, the scarf was $850 and the belt was $395. I couldn’t buy that right now, but I was determined to have the look! So I sorted through my things to find my biggest scarf and a belt of similar width. They don’t give the size or the shape of the Nieman Marcus scarf, only the price! It looked big and it looked like a square.

Front View of the "Belted Half Dress Drape" Achieved ~ Transforms a Dress with Just One Wrap & a Wide Belt!

I don’t currently have a gigantic square, but I do have a brown and olive green gigantic oblong silk scarf that measures 45″ x 96″. It is basically an 8′ x 45″ wide piece of fabric, but it is printed with a blue and white floral design at both vertical ends like a border print, so it was designed to be a scarf, shawl. or stole. I also found that I had a blue leather belt about 3 inches wide.

The idea I had was to make what I have named a “Belted Half Dress Drape” using the gigantic oblong silk scarf  and securing it with the wide color co-ordinated belt. I wanted to transform my basic sheath dress into a cinch waist draped silk dress by using one simple to do wrap and belting it! I wanted the finished style to look like one of the very expensive European or American designer silk draped sheath dresses I have been seeing in fashion magazines and stores lately.

Thus I concocted my “Belted Half Dress Drape”  Scarf Style.

3/4 or Right Side/Front View of the "Belted Half Dress Drape"

I think it worked quite well and it was amazingly easy to do! I have taken photos from all angles so you can see that my new “Belted Half Dress Drape” scarf design actually looks nice and works as a dress from back, side and front views!

As you can see the “Belted Half Dress Drape” is beautiful from all angles.

I think wearing a scarf beautifully is one of the ultimate feminine arts!

Step #1) Drape Scarf Over Shoulders, Left side Longer Than Right as Shown.

 

To create this sensual style all you do is:

Step #1) Drape 96″ long or longer scarf around the back of your neck and over your shoulders, Left side longer than Right as shown. Right side reaching almost to the hemline of your dress. Spread the Right side out to fan over your body from the center to the Right side seam of your dress.

Step #2) Fasten the Belt Around Your Waist with Right Shorter Side of Scarf Underneath It & Left Longer Side Hanging Free.

Step #2) Fasten the wide belt around your waist with Right shorter side of scarf underneath it and Left longer side of scarf on the outside of belt hanging free over your Left shoulder. Arrange the folds of the scarf to your taste like a little half dress that covers the right side of your body.

Step #3) Check the Back View in a Hand Mirror After Putting on the Belt. It Should Look Like This!

Step #3) The back will look like this! I found it helpful to look at the way things were arranged in the back in a full length mirror using a hand mirror. Be sure that only the Right front shorter side is tucked under the belt. The Left longer side should be hanging freely off to the Left side in a casual manner like this.

I experimented with the arrangement of the front folds and found that I preferred them to be uneven and arranged like a gathered skirt in the front. This was softer, prettier and more feminine than a straight across the bottom hemline. I pictured a Grecian draped effect as my goal. It may be helpful to strive for that as you arrange your folds.

Step #4) Gather Up the Long Left Side of the Shawl and Drape it Over Your Right Shoulder!

Step #4) Finally gather up all the fabric in the long Left side of the shawl and drape it loosely and casually over your Left shoulder around your neck and over your Right shoulder letting the long drape of fabric hang down your back! You will need to arrange the drape in your own individual manner in a way that is pleasing to you.

I was able to do this on myself in about three minutes! I wore it around the house for a couple of hours and it actually stayed put and maintained the original look while I tested it out. I did not pin it in place, but you could use a brooch on the Right shoulder to hold the finished drape in place or just decorate it if you want to.

I encourage you to experiment until you find the way that is comfortable for you. I try things out the night or day before I plan to wear them if they are new looks for me. This way, if I need a supply to hold myself together, (or who knows what!) I have time to get it ready in advance.

I’ve written instructions on making your own gigantic scarf like this one on my next blog post. Check it out!

Step #5) To Finish the Beautiful "Belted Half Dress Drape" Scarf Style, Arrange the Way the Fabric Loops Around Your Neck and Adjust the Folds and Gathers in the Half Draped Skirt to Flatter Your Face and Figure and Please Yourself.

Finished Back Right Over the Shoulder Shoulder View of the "Belted Half Dress Drape" Scarf Style

Finished Back View of "Belted Half Dress Drape" Scarf Style

Finished Right Side View of the "Belted Half Dress Drape" Scarf Style

International Scarf Styling ~ a Simply Beautiful Cherry Blossom Pink Japanese Shibori Scarf Tied as a Wide Sash and Worn with Hand Made Bead Necklaces Designed by Lady Violette de Courcy

Sunday, April 10th, 2011

Japanese Cherry Blossom Pink Pleated Shibori Scarf Tied as a Sash

Shibori is an ancient Japanese method of dying and pleating. The beautiful pink pleated oblong Shibori scarf that I have simply tied around my mannequin’s waist as a sash reminds me of pink Japanese cherry blossoms.

It is cherry blossom time in Seattle where I live. The cherry trees are just beginning to bloom, but it has also been unseasonably cold and we have had several heavy periods of freezing hail and snow over the last few days! Temperatures have been in the low 30’s and accompanied by strong winds.

The University of Washington Campus has a well known large planting of Japanese cherry trees that burst into a flurry of extraordinarily beautiful lovely smelling pink blooms at the beginning of April every year. I make sure I go there every spring when they are in the height of bloom to walk under them and experience their color and enjoy their exquisite perfume. Nothing is more beautifully scented than the Japanese cherry blossom trees in full bloom. The exquisite perfume from these flowers lasts only one day, then the blossoms fall from the trees in swirls of pink snow petals and are blown away by the turbulent spring winds.

Getting caught in pelting rain and wind and a blizzard of the pink petals is all part of the memorable experience of walking under them and enjoying them. I am always a little upset by the fact that the weather is destroying them so quickly when they last such a short time anyway! I would like this transient experience to last as long as possible! So I do things to remind of it, to stretch it out a little and enjoy the memories of it longer. One thing I do is wear my pink Japanese Shibori scarf, either tied around my waist as a sash, as illustrated in the photo, or simply wrapped around my neck. It is an easy scarf to wear because it is a permanently pleated oblong. I wish I had a cherry blossom perfume to wear!

I love the scent. I’ve always  fantasized about creating a perfume from Japanese cherry blossoms. Even to the point of experimenting with making it and, about 15 years ago, talking to a professional perfumer, called a Nose, from Italy, who creates perfumes for major European couture houses. He told me it cannot be done because the flowers are only at the height of their scent for less than 24 hours each year! It is then, and only then, that hundreds of thousands of pounds of the flowers would have to be collected and their essence extracted to create a perfume. From these thousands of pounds you might get an ounce of the essence necessary to make real cherry blossom perfume. It would take impossibly vast orchards of the trees to grow enough flowers. And that is not the only problem!  The fact that the height of bloom and scent is such a short period that harvesting enough of them at exactly the right moment and processing them quickly enough to extract their pure essence is impossibly difficult.

The Italian Nose told me that many kings and emperors and professional perfumers have shared my dream. And that, over the centuries much experimenting has been done to extract the elusive essence of the pink Japanese cherry blossoms. No one has been able to succeed because it is logistically impossible and impossibly expensive. “What about a synthetic recreation of the scent?” I asked. Some of the world’s greatest perfumes, notably Channel #5 are synthetic creations. He said their have been many many attempts to do this but so far no one has succeeded. He gave me samples of several expensive perfumes that claim to have recreated the scent. They were pleasant but did not succeed.

Over the years I have tried out every perfume on the international market that claims to be the scent of Japanese cherry blossoms. I believe he is right. None of them manage to recreate the beauty of the original! Not even for a fleeting moment of delightful memorable scent. One of the great allures of perfume is its ability to recreate memories ~ memories of the person who wore it, or the place and time you wore it or an experience you had when wearing it. These supposed cherry blossom perfumes did none of that for me. I am quite a good Nose myself and know that many other perfumes are successful in that respect.

Cherry Blossom Inspired Bead Necklaces by Lady Violette de Courcy

I have had to be satisfied with creating and collecting other things that remind me of the cherry blossoms when they are not blooming. To this end I have made the necklaces of pink beads in the picture. I call them my Cherry Blossom Collection. They consist of lamp work beads I have made myself and vintage and antique beads made of all kinds of different materials that happen to be the right color of pink or, when combined together suggest Japanese cherry blossoms to me. These beads come from all over the world and have taken me many years to collect. The necklaces are one of a kind art pieces ~ no two alike and unrepeatable. In that way, too, they are like the scent of the  Japanese cherry blossoms ~ impossible to capture and reproduce ~ rare, elusive and special ~ totally unique.

I have also discovered, one night in a Japanese restaurant, that the taste of plum wine actually reminded me of the Japanese cherry blossom. Quite unexpectedly I tasted it and had a memory flash of walking under the pink trees in full bloom. I concentrated on the plum wine. I realized it has no scent, only a taste. But the taste reminds me of how the cherry blossoms smell! In that way it is very pleasurable. However, because it doesn’t have any scent at all there is no possibility of my using it as a perfume to trigger an association of the Japanese cherry blossoms scent in other people!

So far I have resigned myself to having to use the visual sense to trigger memories of cherry blossoms. Sometimes, when appropriate, I can also serve plum wine! I will continue to search for a rendition of cherry blossom perfume that satisfies me. In the meantime I will wear the Japanese cherry blossom pink accessories that I associate pleasurably with this experience ~ my pink Shibori scarf and the pretty pink necklaces and earrings I have designed.

I have some clothing designs inspired by Japanese cherry blossom forming in the back of my mind as well! And I feel that the two concert performance dresses I have made for Princess Wow! in myriad pinks are associated with this imagery. I have just finished these dresses and will be putting up final photos of them soon.

Isn’t it amazing to think about what image and association triggers an artist or designer’s imagination and leads to the creation of art in other forms? I know flowers have always stimulated fashion designers. A few posts back I quoted Christian Dior saying, “I have made flower women.” when interviewed about his New Look Collection after WW II. He also loved lilies of the valley and talked about their scent reminding him of his childhood and his mother because they were her favorite flowers. A perfect example of a perfume triggering memories! Of course he created a perfume featuring lily of the valley!

I am lucky, being Lady Violette de Courcy, that my personal flower is the violet and that both it’s flower and it’s leaf have distinct and lovely scents that are extractable for use in the making perfumes. I have several perfumes containing one, the other, or both that are very attractive and easily obtainable. I will write more about perfumes later!

Be Your own International Scarf Stylist ~ How to Tie The Glamorous Version of The Cowgirl Scarf or Cowgirl Bandana with a Large Square Shawl with Fringe

Monday, April 4th, 2011

Glamorous Cowgirl Scarf Tie ~ Front View

To create a glamorous version of The Cowgirl I began with a Large  Square Shawl with Fringe measuring 43″ square with 6″ long fringe.

To tie and style the Glamorous Cowgirl Scarf or the Cowgirl Bandana: Simply position the triangular folded shawl evenly in front of your chest like a bib and tie the ends around your neck. Adjust the drape and fringe attractively.

This works well with smaller fringed or beaded shawls as well and you often see cowgirls in old western movies wearing fringed shawls and scarves this way – which is, of course, the way it got its name!

Below are the side and back views of this style: It is very elegant with a sheath dress and a lovely little clutch bag for evening wear.

 

 

 

 

Glamorous Cowgirl Scarf~ Side View

Cowgirls were very glamorous! And they had a true love of fringe! I noted it on their shawls, their boots, their bags, their leggings, their skirts, the reins of their horses, their saddles. everywhere! And I was falling in love with it too!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Glamorous Cowgirl Scarf - Back View

I say, watch a few Westerns for Fringe Fashion inspiration!

 

 

 

In a more casual vein this scarf/shawl tying method works well over a western shirt or a blue chambray work shirt. You can use it on large, medium and small shawls, with and without fringes and in all fabrics.

I will photograph and post some more variations soon!

Be Your Own International Scarf Stylist with Two Pretty Side Tied Shawl Styles From France and Italy ~ Gorgeous International Shawl and Scarf Tying Techniques That Are Easy to Do By Yourself to Wear and Add to Your Spring Wardrobe Right Now! Perfect for Fashionable and Lightweight Traveling!

Monday, April 4th, 2011

As a professional ballet dancer living in New York, San Francisco, and Washington DC; and traveling extensively, I picked up many ways to wear scarves and shawls along the way that I would like to share. I also collected quite a few scarves and shawls because they were nice momentos of the places I’ve been and easy pieces to pack and use to transform the looks of the two dresses I traveled with. I love to travel light and I call them transformers! Two dresses and and a mixed selection of five scarves and shawls can create many different looks. I haven’t counted them and I know I haven’t discovered them all! It seems there is always a new way to wear a scarf just around the corner or in the next country you visit! Scarves are an international staple of style. They are worn by women everywhere and how they are wrapped, tied, and worn is a wonderfully interesting feminine art that is practiced all over the world.

I have already shown you Style #1) the Sash, Style #2) the Dorothy Lamour Sarong and Style #3) the Cowgirl Bandana with this square blue shawl in the previous blog. Here are two more wonderful ways I like to wear a large 43″ square silk shawl with 6 ” hand tied fringe. I am using the same blue shawl to demonstrate and will number the styles accordingly. I ended with Style# 3) The Cowgirl, and continue here with Style #4) The French Bateaux and Style #5) the Italian Side Tied Sling.

Begin with Style #3) The Cowgirl Bandana Tied at the Back of Your Neck

Style #4) The French Bateaux: Begin by folding the shawl in half in a triangle and hold it up like a bib in front of you, just as you do to create the Cowgirl Bandana. Tie the ends of the shawl around the back of your neck.

Then rotate the shawl so that the knot is nestled on your Left shoulder and the long pointed centers of the triangle are hanging down your Right side. Arrange the drape of the silky shawl so that it appeals to you and make sure the fringes hang down neatly. I like to arrange a Bateau ~ a more or less square shaped neckline ~ for this style.

 

 

Style #4) The French Bateaux

This is an easy to execute way of tying a shawl and makes an elegant look for both day and evening. It creates warmth around the shoulders on slightly chilly occasions. You can both decorate it by pinning a brooch at the shoulder.

Style #5) The Italian Side Tied Sling

 

 

 

 

Style #5) The Gorgeous Italian Side Tied Sling: Simply begin with the shawl folded in half in a triangle. Place it, centered, on your right shoulder, with half the shawl coming across the front of your body and the other half going around and across your back. Gather the ends together on your Left side near the waist and tie in one overhand knot! Arrange the shawl to your liking and make sure the fringe is hanging nicely.

I often saw shawls worn like this when I was in Italy. It is lovely, graceful and very sexy!

Vintage Eisenberg Ice Brooch on the Hip

 

 

 

 

 

This is also incredibly easy to execute! I have added a vintage blue Eisenberg Ice and sterling silver brooch at the side on the hip to create a bit of jazzy evening dazzle!

Eisenberg Ice is Very Nice!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A jewel at the hip is gorgeous bit of glitzy vintage Hollywood Glamour inspired sparkle so rarely seen these days and so lovely to emulate. You can see many examples and get many ideas of how to wear it in old films.

Enjoy trying, tying and wearing these large fringed square shawl styles and I promise there will be more to coming soon!

These large square shawl styles I have demonstrated are truly international with origins and inspirations coming from The South Seas, Hollywood, The Cowgirl from the SouthWestern United States, France and Italy so far!

I think we could cover the world with ways of wearing shawls there are so many! The more I discover, the more I want to know! They are such an easy way to add elegance, grace, and a touch of the feminine arts to any outfit. There is no reason, with access to the internet, that you cannot be your very own international scarf stylist! Isn’t it wonderful?

Beautiful Ways From Old Hollywood Movies to Wear a Large Fringed Square Shawl – the Exotic Waist /Hip Sash, the Dorothy Lamour Sarong and the Glamorous Cowgirl Bandana

Sunday, April 3rd, 2011

I’ve been watching old movies and studying the styles of the actresses wardrobes of course. I note many lovely shawls as part of their costumes imparting real glamor to their looks. (Good old fashioned time tested still holds true glamour! ) I’m inspired to try them out of course! The movies, especially the old ones, are a great source for beautiful vintage styling ideas. You can find almost everything there!

I have a large blue silk 43″ square shawl with especially lovely 6″ long hand knotted fringe. There are many ways to use this shawl shape.  To begin fold the shawl in half in a triangle across the center. I promised instructions on tying sarongs in my postings on Dorothy Lamour a while back and here they are!

The Exotic Waist/Hip Sash and Sarong

 

Style #1) The Exotic Waist Tied Sash com Skirt or Sarong: Simply wrap the shawl around your hips with the point of the triangle hanging down over your bottom in the back and tie the two ends in an overhand knot in the front. Be sure to adjust the fringes so they are all hanging down neatly.

 

 

Close-up of Knot & Fringe

 

 

 

 

 

The Dorothy Lamour Sarong: as a Lovely Side Tied Skirt

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Style #2) Sarong Skirt: Tie the shawl in the same way and rotate it so that the knot is on one side, usually the left, and position it at a jaunty slanting angle below the waist. The point of the triangle should be hanging down one side, the tie ends down the other. Voila! You have made one version of the lovely Dorothy Lamour Sarongs – the side tied skirt!

This is pretty over a dress or skirt as shown. It also works beautifully over slim pants and leggings. and makes a darling little skirt and coverup over a swimsuit!

Watch some of Dorothy Lamour’s movies for inspiration on how to wear these!

And I promise more versions of the sarong and the sarong tied as a dress to come soon.

 

 

The Glamorous Cowgirl Bandana: Front View

Style #3) The Glamorous Cowgirl Bandana: To create this style simply position the triangular folded shawl evenly in front of your chest like a bib and tie the ends around your neck, Adjust the drape and fringe attractively.

This works well with small fringed or beaded shawls as well and you often see cowgirls in old western movies wearing fringed shawls and scarves this way – which is, of course, the way it got its name!

Below are the side and back views of this style: It is very elegant with a sheath dress and a lovely little clutch bag for evening wear.

Cowgirls were very glamorous! And they had a true love of fringe! I noted it on their shawls, their boots, their bags, their leggings, their skirts, the reins of their horses, their saddles. everywhere! And I was falling in love with it too!

I say, watch a few Westerns for Fringe Fashion inspiration!

In a more casual vein this scarf/shawl tying method works well over a western shirt or a blue chambray work shirt. You can use it on large, medium and small shawls, with and without fringes and in all fabrics.

The Cowgirl: Bandana Side View

The Cowgirl: Bandana: Back View

Four Ways to Tie and Wear a Fabulous Designer Silk 36 Inch Square Scarf

Friday, April 1st, 2011

Step #1 ~ A Square Leonard de Paris Designer Vintage Silk Scarf

I have asked Tricia James, International Scarf Stylist, to show me some ways to wear my designer silk 36″ square scarves. Here is a lovely and unusual vintage Leonard de Paris silk scarf from Lady Violette’s private collection. This scarf is unique because the designer’s name and signature are in the center of the scarf. They are usually placed in  one corner so that it is easier to drape and tie them while showing the designer’s name.

I love this scarf because it features many beautiful flowers in the design and they are positioned inside a central heart. The violet has cordate heart shaped leaves. As my name, Violette de Courcy literally means violet of the heart and I am a lover of flowers this design really appeals to me! It is very personal!

Tricia told me she could show me how to easily make one fold into four wearable styles!

Step #1) Begin by opening the scarf out in a big square.

Step #2 ~ Fold Scarf in Half

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #2) Fold the scarf in Half as shown, In this case we decided to fold this scarf down through the vertical center of the big heart making a rectangular shape.

 

 

Step #3 ~ The Proper Way to Hold the Scarf to Make the W Fold.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #3) Next, in order to make a W fold, hold the Left Upper corner of the scarf up in your Left hand, while taking the Right lower corner in your Right hand. Next, hold the scarf away from your body so that the Right upper side of the scarf falls behind thus creating the  W fold…

 

 

Step #4 ~ Voila! You Have Now Created The W Fold

 

 

 

 

 

Step #4) Thus folding the rectangular shape half folded scarf into a W shaped fold as Tricia shows.

 

 

Step #5 ~ Position W Scarf Around Your Neck.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #5) Place the W folded scarf around your neck as shown on the mannequin bringing the two corner ends to  the center front.

 

 

Step #6 ~ Tie a Simple Double Knot

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #6) Tie the two pointed ends by tying them once, then again, thus forming a simple secure double knot.

Tricia says, “No fancy hard to tie knots here!”

 

 

Step #7 ~ Style 1 of 4: The Sailor Collar ~ C'est Fini!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step # 7) You have created a lovely Sailor Collar out of the scarf, like the collars on midi blouses. This is a classic French looking style!

This is Style # 1 of the four styles from one fold ~ the W fold.

Step #8 ~ What the Sailor Collar Looks Like From the Back

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #8) Just so you’ll know, this is what the Sailor Collar scarf tie looks like from the back.

 

 

Step #9 ~ Style 2 of 4: The French Bandana

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #9) Simply rotate your already tied scarf around on your neck so that the knot is resting stylishly on one shoulder and the point is hanging down the front. This is another stylish and classic look I call the French Bandana.

This is beauty is Style #2 of the four from one fold ~ the W fold.

 

Step #10 ~ Style 3 of 4: The Draped Cowl

 

 

 

 

 

Step # 10) To create a flattering draped cowl rotate the already tied scarf so that the knot is in the center back and adjust the scarf so that a point is spreading out over each shoulder and a pretty cowl effect is formed in the front.  This is called The Draped Cowl. It looks lovely over a dress or blouse as shown and is a fabulous neck filler for a jacket or coat.

The Draped  Cowl is Style #3 of the four from one fold ~ the W fold.

 

 

Step #11 ~ Style 4 of 4: The Scarf Necklace

 

 

 

 

 

Step # 11)  To create what we call The Scarf Necklace which is really like a jeweled necklace but made of beautiful colorful silk , simply roll the cloth sections from each shoulder toward the center by turning them under and smoothing them with your hands until you have achieved an attractive draped ring of soft fabric around your neck.

The Scarf Necklace is Style #4 of the four from one fold ~ the W fold

 

I am delighted to have learned how to use my favorite scarf now! Perhaps you have a huge square designer silk scarf languishing in a drawer that you would like to use too! I know many people receive them as special gifts and are often at a loss as to how to wear them. Hopefully this will give you some ideas to try on.

Visit Ticia James at Scarfgenie .com

Gallery of Variations on the Basic Style and Tie of the White Silk Shawl

Friday, March 25th, 2011

My last posting was the instructions for tying and styling the basic version of the white silk shawl. I am following it today with a gallery of ways you can personalize or embellish the basic white shawl tie to make it really unique and special. I have showed these before over the last few weeks but I thought it would be helpful to post them all together in a gallery of variations on the basic look immediately following the basic tying instructions. For all these styles variations begin with the simple basic tie.

Silk Flower

1) Garnish with a silk flower corsage pinned to the shawl where ever you like.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Lobster Hair Clip as Shawl Clip

2) A lobster clip hair accessory makes a great shawl clip as well! Here is a black and red Asian style lobster hair clip attached to the front folds of the shawl.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pin or Brooch

3) A Vintage or modern brooch or pin is a lovely touch! Here a gold vintage 1950’s brooch in by Sara Coventry is attached to one side.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A Ficarre Updo Hair Clip as Shawl Clip

4) A Ficarre hair clip which is normally used to create buns or French rolls can be used as a shawl clip for a modern abstract looking styling variation.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Scrunchy Used to Create Freeform Flower

5) A scrunchy hair accessory, usually used to create a ponytail or bun can be ingeniously appropriated to create  a freestyle  abstract flower positioned off to one side. This scrunchy is made of dupioni silk trimmed with seed beads and other larger glass beads around the outside border.

I will post instructions on creating the freestyle scrunchy flowers soon.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

These are suggestions! There are many more possibilities! Once you start experimenting you will be able to come up with more on your own. It is a wonderful way to use hair accessories and jewelry that you don’t use often! I especially like finding a new way to use the basket of hair accessories I have accumulated but don’t use often in my hair.

I have found that I cannot use hair accessories in my hair very often because of having headrests in cars. You cannot have  lot of doodads in your hair if they get in the way of using the headrest properly. These have been instigated to protect heads and necks when driving but hats, barrettes, buns or  ponytails  gets in the way ~ really making it impossible to use the them and the headrest together properly. You must use the headrest for safety – so you cannot wear the hair accessories in your hair when driving or even riding in a car. You must put them in your hair after you arrive at your destination or use them in these new ways on your scarf or shawl!

I have always loved collecting and using hair accessories. I am delighted to have found out theses ways to use them!

The scarf styles are created by Tricia James of scarfgenie.com. Visit here there!

How to Tie & Style the Basic Beautiful White Silk Shawl Demonstrated by International Scarf & Accessories Stylist Tricia James

Thursday, March 24th, 2011

One Version of the Exquisite Finished Shawl Style Garnished With a White Silk Flower

One Version of the Finished Shawl Style Decorated With a White Silk Flower Corsage

Here is one of several of the beautiful decorated versions of this finished shawl style that I showed over the last two weeks. This one is decorated with a white silk flower corsage.

To create this basic tie and style Tricia used a white raw silk oblong scarf/shawl measuring 72″ long by 20″ wide ~ not counting the fringe on each end which is a nice extra touch and measures about two extra inches long on each end.

We have experimented and discovered that a pashima or a silk scarf of this approximate size will also work for this shawl tying/styling technique. You can use a solid color as we have done here, or an all over small print.

The longer the shawl is the more you will have to work with as you create your drape. We recommend the longer versus the shorter versions of these shawls for ease and success in creating this style.

 

 

Step #1

To Begin:

1) Drape the shawl over shoulders with Right side of scarf longer than the Left side ~ as in picture 1

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #2

 

2) Bring the shorter Left side of shawl across your body ~ as in picture  #2

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step # 3

 

3) Drape it over allowing it to rest on your Right shoulder  ~ as in picture #3

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #4

 

4) Pick up lower Right longer end of shawl in your Right hand and bring it up across the center front of your body to the center of your neckline ~ as in picture #4

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Step #5

 

5) Then tuck it under your neckline and ~ placing your Right hand up under the shawl from below, take hold of the tail and pull it down and through the center front with your Right hand, ~ while taking the upper Left shorter end of shawl (that was resting on your Right shoulder) in your Left hand and pulling it upward ~ thus making a large soft center front knot ~ as in picture #5

Begin to pull on the two ends of the shawl simultaneously, creating a custom fitted shawl around your shoulders, thus preventing the shawl from slipping throughout the day.

As Tricia says, “A custom fit is a marvelous thing, Darling!”

We all agree with that, don’t we?

 

 

 

 

Step #6

 

6) Tuck Left upper end end behind your Right shoulder and spread the shawl out styling it attractively at both top and bottom. This is very elegant and attractive just like this! You can wear it plain and simply like this, unadorned ~ as in picture #6.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

or,

For added interest you can decorate this beautiful basic shawl shawl tie with a silk flower corsage, a brooch, a shawl clip, a hair accessory used as a scarf clip or anything else you can think of as Tricia demonstrated in several earlier blog posts. The styling possibilities are almost endless once your imagination sets in! I really encourage you to experiment!

Be sure to visit international scarf and accessories stylist Tricia James at her website scarfgenie.com to see other interesting scarves, scarf styling options and products she has to offer.

And come back to this blog, Ladyviolette,com often because I will be posting many more shawls and scarves and ideas on how to wear them on a regular basis.

I am a great admirer of shawls and scarves and feel they add amazing elegance and options to women’s wardrobes. A scarf can be a beautiful and unique personal statement and the way one wears it is certainly one of the loveliest of feminine art forms.  I am personally committed to demonstrating this and to finding out more about how to style and wear them successfully again. I say again because I think they were worn much more in elegant previous eras and I feel it is time to bring them back, research how they were worn in the past and learn how to tie and style them once again for our enjoyment in the present ~ here and now!

Additionally there are so many new contemporary ways to wear them.  And, luckily, I have my friend,  the modern current day scarf specialist, Tricia James to collaborate with me on this project!

Tricia brings her own artistic ability to styling and tying scarves and shawls along with 20 years past experience traveling around the world while training and working with her mentor Isabella Gardener. I will interview Tricia soon and post her incredibly interesting and exotic back ground story on this blog…

I also plan and look forward to sharing some amazing examples of vintage scarves and shawls I have collected with you here in the near future. Watch for this!

And, if you have historical information to add please share it with us as well. We would love to hear from you! After all, isn’t that is what the web is for?

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Christian Dior on Scarves in 1951 “Scarves can give the final touch to your frock…”

Thursday, March 10th, 2011

Vintage Fleurs-de-Lis Silk Scarf

Today I was lucky to make two wonderful finds while browsing in a thrift store ~ a never worn pure silk vintage scarf with hand rolled hems and original tags still attached and a pretty little hardback book titled “The Little Dictionary of Fashion” by Christian Dior! It was written in 1951, published by Abrams, is full of good, still  pertinent advice, loaded with charm and fun to read. Since I have been writing about scarves I went right to the S section to find out what Christian Dior had to say. French women are famous for their ability to style and wear scarves with tremendous flair. In 1951 CD said,

“In many cases a scarf gives a final touch to a frock. But you have to experiment and try many ways of wearing a scarf before you find the way that suits you best. It is a very personal matter; and what one woman does will not necessarily suit another. A scarf is to a woman what a necktie is to a man and the way you tie it is part of your personality.” Christian Dior

I love the way he used the word frock instead of dress or outfit. It sounds quaint today but it is so charming and feminine! Throughout the book he also puts great emphasis on individual personality.

The scarf is an 18″ silk square. It is printed with Fleurs-de-Lis which are stylized irises that have long been associated with the French monarchy. This shape and size of scarf can be tied in many ways. I’ll experiment and demonstrate several of them soon. Fortunately this pretty little scarf is still in perfect condition. I was lucky to find the green scarf (just in time for Saint Patrick’s Day!) with its stylized iris flowers and the book for only $2.99 each!

Christian Dior would have approved of this too because he also says, in the introduction of his book, “It is possible for a woman to be elegant without spending very much money on her clothes, if she is careful to choose the clothes that suit her personality. Simplicity, good taste and grooming are the three fundamentals of good dressing and these do not cost money. First you must study yourself. Learn to know what suits you and what does not. And study your own needs.”

 

 

Instructions for Tying International Scarf Stylist Tricia James Beautiful Orange Pashima Scarf/Shawl

Tuesday, March 1st, 2011

I am happy to present the instructions for tying and styling Tricia’s original and unique way of wearing an Orange Pashima Scarf/Shawl. This demonstration is by Tricia James, photos and written directions by Lady Violette. You can also visit Tricia at her website, scarfgenie.com. Tricia is an International Scarf and Accessories Stylist

The finished pashima scarf beautifully tied.

 

Begin by folding the scarf in half lengthwise.

 

Drape over shoulders.

 

Loop scarf around neck & adjust with both ends coming forward in even lengths.

 

Take Left side of scarf loop end and bring it under & around…

 

under & around…

 

several times…

 

as shown…

 

on Left side…

 

Do the same thing with the Right side of the shawl wrapping the end under & around…

 

under & around…

 

until both sides of shawl are fully wrapped,

 

and hanging down in the front.

 

Next, slip your finger into one of the loops on the upper Left hand side of the shawl as Tricia demonstrates here.

 

Next, pull that loop up and out a bit,

 

then continue to “style it out” by spreading it apart with your fingers,

 

as she demonstrates in the photos…

 

To complete the style arrange the extended loop to your liking, adjusting the fullness of the scarf to fit attractively on your neck.

 

Make sure the ends of the scarf and the fringes are hanging down and arranged neatly as shown!

 

Admire your work! You have just tied and styled your pashima beautifully!

 

Elegant & Flattering New Tie On a Pashima Shawl

Monday, February 28th, 2011

Pashima Shawl Folded & Tied as a Scarf to Ring the Neck & Light the Face in Flattering Color

In her never ending creativity with scarves and shawls International Scarf Stylist Tricia has just invented this new way to wear a pashima – as a beautifully styled scarf to ring the neck and light the face in flattering color.

She actually just invented this new method of tying the shawl! It amazes me because I have seen stacks of these in department stores in scores of pretty colors and wondered exactly what one was supposed to do with them, beyond the obvious thing of wrapping your shoulders with a stole.

Now I feel like I need a stack of pretty colors to wear in all the ways she ties them! If you find a color that flatters your complexion, eyes, or hair (or all three) and learn how to tie it, you have an instantly unique accessory that lights up your face and also adds a bit of warmth around your neck and shoulders. And is unique to you!

The right scarf/shawl and way of tying it can transform any simple dress or blouse into a stunning outfit. I have begun to think of them as transformers! This is a traditional cashmere Pashima shawl size 28″ x 80″ and is folded and tied to wear as shown.

We are working on writing and photographing the directions for tying a pashima like this so you can learn to do it yourself. I’ll post them soon. meanwhile you can visit International Scarf Stylist Tricia James at scarfgenie.com

The Fine Art of Draping the Human Figure

Saturday, February 26th, 2011

The Fine Art of Draping the Figure

Artists have drawn and painted the human figure draped in beautiful folds of cloth to enhance its intrinsic grace for as long as they have been making art.

And I have been thinking about this all week as I have studied the pictures of Tricia’s beautiful scarf tying techniques.

What could be more stylish and feminine in any time in history or in any culture than a beautifully draped human figure? I can’t think of anything! But I can think of many beautiful examples of draping.

There were the, the Egyptians, the Greeks, the Romans, the East Indian Women in their exquisite saris, Isadora Duncan the modern dancer, and more beautiful sculptures and paintings than anyone ever could list – just to mention a few examples. Every museum is full of them!

Draping the female figure alluringly is most definitely an example of the Feminine Arts throughout History.

Here Tricia has again used her basic wrap of the white silk shawl, then decorated it with a Ficcare Maximas Clip. These are designed to use in the hair to hold French twists and buns in place, but we have found them to work as excellent shawl and scarf clips as well.

I will post instructions for tying and styling these scarves soon. In the meantime you may visit International Scarf Stylist Tricia James at scarfgenie.com

The White Shawl “Scrunched” to make a Fresh Stylized Flower Blooming in the Cold and Snowy Dead of Winter!

Friday, February 25th, 2011

White Shawl with Schrunchy Flower Styled by Tricia James

Here is yet another variation on the same basic wrap of the white shawl – this time “Scrunched” with a brown taffeta hair scrunchy. This flowery variation blew me away!

Tricia took a cloth covered hair scrunchy edged in beads, and pulled a section of the shawl through it, then fanned it out to create a Stylized Flower on one shoulder. After shaping it with her fingers she secured the “flower” with one corsage sized long straight pin, hiding the pearl pin head in the folds of the flower.

It is snowing outside and this is a way you can make and wear a fresh flower corsage in spite of the weather! And what a clever way to actually use that stack of seldom worn hair scrunchies made of pretty fabrics that have accumulated in a drawer! I must have 1/2 a dozen of them in various colors that I am now excited to try out as flowers on scarves!

Tricia will come back next week to help me write up directions for tying and styling these scarves which I will then post for you to follow. Meanwhile you can visit International Scarf Stylist Tricia James at scarfgenie.com

I am going to make myself some hair scrunchies  just for the purpose of wearing them as cloth shawl flowers. This seems like a great way to utilize a small bit of pretty fabric, doesn’t it? When I figure out how to make them I will post the instructions as well.

The White Shawl Again – This Time Antiqued with a Vintage Gold Brooch by Sara Coventry

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

White Shawl - Antiqued with Vintage Gold Brooch

Here is the white shawl yet again! Tied in the same basic way and accented with a lovely vintage 1950’s gold double pin brooch with a chain and dangles designed by Sara Coventry. This would be beautiful paired with a simple gold bangle bracelet , gold rings and gold earrings. I like all the looks we have tried so far, but I think this one is particularly  glamorous. It demonstrates my belief that vintage glamor is timeless.

The creamy natural white silk shawl is a perfect foil for gold jewelry which in turn is very flattering to every skin tone. The reason gold jewelry is popular is that it actually does softly flatter women and, if carefully chosen, can be worn with just about anything.

The gold is lovely here paired with the white shawl and would be equally so with a perfect white blouse. I have put it over a basic dark velvet sheath dress. A dark sheath dress, or a dark skirt or pants always work as base pieces under scarves and shawls.

The same white raw silk shawl, again, is tied by International Scarf Stylist Tricia James of scarfgenie.com

Soon, Tricia will give us instructions with pictures to follow on how to do these shawl and scarf ties and variations  ourselves. then we will have to practice! I for one am determined to master this!

I should point out that i antiqued the photo one step as I could not resist doing so to enhance the antique feeling just a touch. It just made the photo a tad warmer.