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Lady Violette

The Romantic Lifestyle

Archive for March, 2011

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 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.









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 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?









Like the Fairy Godmothers in Sleeping Beauty I am Working Diligently on the Second Costume for Princess WOW!

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2011

The Nearly Finished Princess Gown with a Bow Tied Sash

Yes I do feel like those fairy godmothers when they went to their little cottage deep in the forest to secretly work on Princess Aurora’s Sixteenth Birthday ball gown and resorted to using magic to add the final flourishing touches! The finishing touches were so hard to decide on! So they used their magic to whip out several options to try them out. Just like I was doing last night!

Single Sash in Big Soft Bow

They thought they had boarded up the place so that none of their fairy dust would escape and give away their whereabouts, but they had forgotten to close off the chimney. As a result glittering fairy dust spewed out into the atmosphere where the evil Carabosse’s black crow spies saw it as they circled overhead.

Two Sashes Simply Knotted & Hanging Free


The crows rushed back to their conniving  mistresses lair and gave away the whereabouts of the good fairies. The fairies were so engrossed in creating the finishing touches to their gown that they were unaware of the evil crews activities.  (I was engrossed in my experiments making sashes that I completely lost track of time! I worked almost all night before I realized it was morning!) I made one sash, tied it several ways, then made another and tried them double!

As a result Carabosse  followed them back to Aurora’s castle where, disguised as a spinner she enticed Aurora to try her spinning wheel. The princess pricked her finger, was poisoned and slept for 100 years, until the prince charming happened by, hacked his way through the blackberry brambles surrounding the castle with a machete and discovered the princess asleep inside. He instantly fell in love with her at first sight, kissed her and woke her out of her 100 year sleep….. and so on!

The Two Sashes Draped Open

We all know what happened then, good triumphed over evil.

The Prince and the Princess, now known as Sleeping Beauty ~ I guess she had gotten 100 years of beauty sleep and looked quite refreshed ~ fell in love, got married and lived happily ever after…

I tried tying my double sash in a dramatic full soft bow.

I actually like all the looks so I have decided to provide Princess WOW! with two full long sashes able to be combined, tied and worn in all these ways!

She loves to wear hats as well and I know that yet another option will be using one sash around the waist in the soft bow as illustrated in the first and second photos and one sash wrapped and tied around a big straw summer hat.

Fortunately I feel that my sashes turned out well and this Sash Story has a happy ending! The dress is almost finished. I just have to anchor down the turned back cuffs on the draped sleeves. I now plan to do this by hand stitching the cuffs to the sleeves then attaching small violets made of ribbons over the stitches. No stitches will show and a few tiny violettes, my signature flower, will appear to be magically blooming, here and there, like wildflowers in the woods on the cuffs of the sleeves. I will try this and post photos of it in a few days for viewing.

Designing costumes is like painting for me. I try something, step back, contemplate it, study the effect, decide if I like it or not. Decide whether to keep it or add to it, or do more or less of it. I ask the woman who will wear it how she feels, what she likes and is comfortable with. Everything must be comfortable especially for performing on the stage.

Full Length View of Two Sashes Tied Together in One Bow

Double Sash Tied in Huge Dramatic Bow


The WOW! Performance Dress for the Princess of WOW! ~ Finally Fini!

Sunday, March 20th, 2011

Grecian Style Dress for the Princess!

I am extremely happy today because I have finally finished one of the two dresses I am making for Princess WOW!  to wear in her upcoming performances. So here it is!

The bodice is made of paisley printed vintage 1960’s silk and crosses over in the front. It is embroidered with hand applied sequins and seed beads and embellished with tiny hand sewn violets and roses. These are made out of satin ribbons and tiny pearls. The bodice is faced with the same bright silky pink fabric used for the top layer of the two layer skirt.

Ribbon Violets & Roses Decorate the Neckline

The double layer skirt is made up of a bottom layer of silky mauve fabric which is sewn closed all the way to the hemline at the sides. This is topped by the second layer which is bright pink and is slit all the way up both sides to the empire waistband. The  split allows the second skirt to gracefully sweep and billow open at the sides as the wearer moves.

Divided Overskirt & Green Side Ribbons

The empire waist band is constructed with a casing which encloses a soft 1/2 inch wide elastic inside a beautiful lavender French printed vintage satin ribbon and is adjustable for both fit and comfort of the wearer from the inside. This pretty ribbon casing is only visible to the wearer on the inside of the dress. I often do something special and pleasurable inside a dress that only the owner/wearer will know about! A very narrow drawstring ribbon in bright light green double faced satin with picot edging is run through the waistline casing on its top side and emerges as a colorful surprise at outside openings on both of the waistline side seams. These green side seam ribbons can be used to adjust the skirt for both style and comfort then tied off in soft floppy bows with long elegantly floating streamers running all the way to the hemline.

The double layer skirt is hemmed at two different lengths – the light mauve under skirt is two inches longer than the side split bright pink over skirt so that the light colored skirt peeks out below. I was inspired by Isadora Duncan’s Grecian dance dresses which always had side split skirts and moved beautifully. Drifting skirts in filmy fabrics always seem incredibly springlike and romantic to me!

The dress is designed to be worn on stage for performances by singer and songwriter Princess WOW! during her upcoming spring and summer concerts. It is meant to evoke the feeling of the bohemian dresses worn by the flower children in the late 1960’s, particularly Penelope Tree in her 1967 ~ 1968 heyday.

The necklace shown with the dress is also designed by me, Lady Violette, and is made of hand made lamp wound pink mille fiore glass beads and 24 K gold and antique rose colored Swarovsky chrystal. It is a one of a kind art piece.

Red satin court shoes and shiny bright pink tights will complete this flower inspired ensemble! All the colors, textures and shapes are inspired by flowers. I am eternally grateful to roses and violets for the ways they inspired me.

The Rose Red Satin Shoes to go with the Princess Dresses

Custom Designed "Pink Flowers Necklace" by Lady Violette

Lining and Casing Inside of the Dress Inspired by Looking Inside a Blooming Rose!


3/4 Turned Front View

Fully Slit Top Layer Skirt Lifted to Fully Reveal Underskirt


Important Anti-Moth Information – for knitters and vintage clothing collectors as well as all other people!

Saturday, March 19th, 2011


First let me list my qualifications: Then let me share what I have learned about moth invasion.

1) I am an ardent knitter and I have boxes of precious hand knit sweaters. And boxes of expensive luxury knitting fibers in the process of being knit or awaiting being knit. Now everything is in plastic sealed bags as well as in boxes.

2) I am a  serious collector of fine historic textiles.

3) And I have collected and own an immense amount of valuable vintage clothing.

4) I also own several fur items and these can be offenders. Moths love to live in a nice soft cosy fur collar or coat or muff. Or a lovely oriental carpet, or a wool needlepoint purse! Cashmere socks or a fur purse! Or a silk scarf, especially if it is Dior or Calvin Klein it seems! And pets!

Think carefully about where they might be and be sure to inspect that item and work on keeping those items moth free. Freeze any suspect item for 72 hours. You cannot freeze a pet for 72 hrs but you can wash one.

Thus I am very concerned about preventing invasion and damage by moths!

For decades I had good luck, was very careful and never had a problem. then, suddenly, last summer, for a reason we cannot track the source of successfully, I discovered an outbreak of moths. In my house! In some hand knitted sweaters! I was horrified. And flew into action. We actually found very little information on the problem.

I have always stored my clothes with an immense amount of lavender. I always read that this fended off the offending critters. I have had fresh lavender sachets everywhere. In almost every drawer, hanging in little sacks from every hanger. Stuffed in little bags in my shoes and on every closet and cupboard and shelf and drawer in existence in my house. My friends have always teased me about being the lavender lady. Because my entire house smells of the stuff. Subtly though. It is not overwhelming.

Moths are said to dislike the strong fragrance of lavender and stay away from it. It did not fend them off. They came in spite of it and attacked my cashmere and alpaca and natural untreated Scottish and Irish woolens. By the time we discovered them they had made it through an unfortunate number of nice things.Luxury fibers and designer clothes are their favorites.

We found out after reading everything online and researching like crazy that lavender doesn’t really kill them. It just slightly discourages them. In our case the strain we had seems to have liked it a lot! I suspect they had developed a taste for it!

You have to kill the moths and the eggs and the larvae which are the wretched creatures that eat your silks and wools. cashmere and alpaca, etc. All luxury fibers and nothing else. The one and only way to surely wipe them out is to put every item you suspect them of being in or getting near in your freezer at temperatures lower than 32 Degrees F for at least 72 hrs. Enclose each item in a zip lock bag, get the air out and then put the bag and its contents in your freezer for 72 hrs minimum. After removing it keep the item stored in its sealed plastic bag with a small silk bag of lavender inside it. You can get the small silk bags in which to make the lavender sachets at dollar stores. Fill them with bulk organic lavender from the health food stores. That is right. Not one bag for a drawer full of sweaters. One for each sweater in each zip lock bag.

To be absolutely safe that is then how you have to store your clothes for eternity.

Moth larvae do not fly or climb onto clothes.  They walk or crawl onto them. So you should have your coats and suits and the like hanging up not sitting folded  on shelves or in drawers. No more elegantly folded stacks of cashmere sweaters. That is what I had and they just ate their way through them!

Moth balls are not an option because  they will poison you and your clothing. They stink and they are completely out of date. Passe! Unsafe and disgusting.

I inspected everything I owned and cycled everything through my freezer for 72 hours. I now keep everything I own sealed in plastic bags and in each of those I keep a lavender sachet in a small silk drawstring bag. This process took me three months. It was awful. A lot of work!

Any new item – especially anything from a thrift or consignment shop that I bring into the house – I immediately put in a plastic bag and pop into the freezer for the 72 hour freezing treatment. That includes children’s stuffed toys and all sweaters, ties, wool clothing items, etc. Even yarn and fabric. If I buy a scarf, into the freezer it goes.

I fear that we contracted the original moth problem from an item bought at a thrift store that seemed perfectly clean and got folded up and put on a shelf with another stack of sweaters. I fear it had moth eggs in it, the larvae hatched and then began munching their way through essentially everything in our home. They can get into silk drapes, wool carpets, pets, any silk or wool items and all fine natural animal fibers. They spread like wildfire.

I originally understood that dry cleaning items killed them. But I do not think it actually does so every time. I have spent an immense amount of money on dry cleaning and still found moth damage on the items. the freezer treatment is the only thing I know of that actually works.

Our freezer now has clothes in it all the time. I have cut way back on what I buy at thrift stores because of this problem. I am afraid every sweater in there is harboring moths. Same with consignment stores.

I am absolutely fastidious about caring for my clothing. I know not everyone else is. I know items may look ok but may not be. You cannot see moth larva or eggs in a knitted sweater. You can only see devastating holes after they have done their thing. Same in a silk scarf or a cashmere coat.

Most of the time moth damage is permanent and cannot be repaired. Heartbreakingly I had to throw out several cashmere sweaters this summer that got infested and had moth holes in them. The moths prefer the most expensive fibers. That is angora, merino wool, cashmere, alpaca, llama, and other expensive fibers.They also will infest fur items. Rugs and drapes, pillows stuffed with feathers, blankets, and shawls. We found out that they like clothes that have been worn the best. So the little scent of a person having worn the item attracts them as well.

Fastidiously inspect everything and freeze things for 72 hours at 32 degrees F or lower is suspect. Better to be safe than sorry.

Please share any more information you have knowledge of for killing them and controlling them without causing risk to humans.