It's about exploring and sharing my creative adventures (mostly sewing these days) ~
~those activities that sometimes obsess, usually inspire, occasionally frustrate
~and always provide a delightful maze to wander through.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

Sneaking back into Blogworld with a Head-Wrap thingy.....

It appears that my blogging muse went missing for awhile.   I have no less than four (4) unpublished, half-written blog posts sitting in the wings that may or may not ever be published, but in the meantime, a little bit of sewing and a whole lot of life just happened, and the bottom line is that I'm still here.  :)

A couple of my dear friends are also still here, but are experiencing the chemo thing, and I wanted to make them some head coverings that didn't scream "I'm balding and I'm wearing a chemo hat!" One would think that this issue has been dealt with so much that you just find a pattern and whip something stylish out, but I wasn't finding it all that easy...

Until I came across McCall's 6521:
I REALLY liked the largest pic, with the bunched up knot at the side of the hat - elegant, fun, comfy-looking, and minus the whole "I'm covering up a bald head" image, so I snatched the pattern up the moment it went on sale (which conveniently happened the same day I discovered the pattern - isn't it nice when that happens?)

For my first version I used a soft knit for the band, and a thin cotton for the body of the scarf.

It's a nice color combo, albeit a bit flying-nunish, bit the knit was really a bit TOO wimpish, and the cotton a bit too heavy.    I wanted to be aware of the possible sensitivity of the skin, due to the chemo treatments, so really soft & comfy fabric was a priority, but the length of the scarf on this one really added weight, and the headband needs to support that weight, so the 2 fabrics need to work together well.  I cut the scarf fabric on this one about 6" shorter than the pattern called for, just because of the weight of the fabric, which was probably fine for most purposes, but I wanted to be sensitive to the needs of someone who was possibly both weak and might have uber-sensitive skin.

I decided that a heavier, but still soft & comfy, fabric for the band is necessary, and a very lightweight fabric for the scarf is also important.   For my second version I chose a tightly woven & heavier weight bamboo for the band, and a lightweight rayon challis for the scarf.

The cool aspect of this particular version of the pattern is that it can be worn in SO many different ways!:
Hangin' Loose:

Knotted at the top, and looped with an elastic scrunchie (scrunchie  included in the pattern):

Scarf looped and tied at the nape of the neck, and held in place with two mix-n-match scrunchies:

Scarf moved to the side, so that the bunchy knot is at the ear:

Scarf twisted & wrapped around the cap, then pinned in place:


One hat/scarf thingy, numerous different looks, what's not to love?!?   And the pattern has a number of other different views to sew - 2 thumbs way up on this one!

I did make a couple of construction changes.   The pattern just calls for stitching the band to the scarf, and then trimming the seam.   I might have been going into over-kill mode, but in an effort to be sensitive to the tender skin aspect of someone experiencing chemo, I didn't want any raw edges, so I  gathered the edge of the scarf a bit, and trimmed the scarf layer and the inner layer of band close to the stitching...:

...then turned the outer layer of the band under, enclosing the trimmed edges, pressed it, and sewed a hem, enclosing the raw edge so that only the softness of the hat band would be felt against the skin.

Some other notes:   To achieve the finished look of the lovely knot in the pattern envelope pic, I REALLY think that a pin (safety pin, fun or elegant pin....SOME sort of pin) is really a necessary accessory.   Getting that knot to lie so perfectly against the side of the head like the pattern envelope shows does not happen without some manipulation, trust me!    But with a bit of futzing, it's really a very cool look :).

I'm about to send these off to recipient #1, and will make another couple for recipient #2, and wait for the feedback.

If anyone has other pattern ideas or thoughts for more fun and/or elegant versions of "chemo hats", please feel free to chime in!

And yes, I'm back!   I have a LOT of blog reading to catch up on, and a whole lot of blogging to catch up with as well, but I'm still here with y'all! :)

32 comments:

  1. Welcome back, it is great to hear from you again! Your generous sewing for your friends will be extremely appreciated, particularly since they are made with such care...J

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    1. Thanks Judith :) I hope they're appreciated and useful :)

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  2. Hi Jilly, the scarf style you chose is so stylish, I'm sure your friends will enjoy this gift made with love.

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  3. It's nice to have you blogging again and those hat/scarf thingies are so cool! Simple yet very retro chic. Your friends will like them.

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    1. Thanks Valeria! When I post at this time of night I can count on my Ausie friends to be chiming in lol!

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  4. .....and the night owls. What a good friend you are. Those scarves are very stylish, unlike some I've seen.

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  5. Glad to have you back.

    So sorry about your friends. How lovely of you to make such thoughtful gifts. I'm sure they will be greatly appreciated.

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  6. Very nice and so thoughtful. Best to your friends.

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  7. You are such a good friend -- so thoughtful to make these gifts and think about the small details to make sure they are comfortable to wear. I'm sure they will both love your stylish head wrap thingies!

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  8. OK, how many times have I wondered how to create a head wrap both when I was chemo struck and now with long gray dreadlocks? Thanks for the pattern pointer!

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  9. Hi there and welcome back Jillian.

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  10. So nice to see a new post from you, Jillian. And this is truly elegant.

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  11. What a devoted and thoughtful friend you are. I am sure the women will be delighted with their new wraps. The teal one is just wonderful and making the inside edges hidden and softer is just so nice. Good to have you back but as John Lennon used to say "life happens when you are busy making other plans."

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  12. Such a CUTE pattern and so beautifully made! When my friend went through chemo last year I tried to make her a hat, but she soundly rejected any patterns I showed her - she didn't want the "chemo turban" look. I wonder if she might have approved this version.

    I will buy the pattern, just to make sure I'm covered. :)

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  13. The aqua/black hat is SO pretty, love the colors.

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  14. Hey, Jilly, you were missed! I love the scarf, and I wouldn't mind having one even though I am not going through chemo. I wore these a lot in the 70's when I was young. They are great for a really bad hair day. I'll have to look for the pattern.

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  15. Thank You, Everyone, for the welcome back! It's good to feel like I have a blogging life again! :) :) :)

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  16. Such lovely and thoughtful gifts, but then...that's Jilly!!

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  17. You are so thoughtful to do something for your friends. Chemo will leave your scalp unbelievably tender so use the softest, smoothest fabric for the next to skin contact--silk is lovely. The other idea is to sandwich a layer of batting on the skull cap part--it creates a sense of volume-- like hair does--and keeps the "I have a bald head under this scarf" broadcast to a minimum.

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  18. You are so thoughtful to do something for your friends. Chemo will leave your scalp unbelievably tender so use the softest, smoothest fabric for the next to skin contact--silk is lovely. The other idea is to sandwich a layer of batting on the skull cap part--it creates a sense of volume-- like hair does--and keeps the "I have a bald head under this scarf" broadcast to a minimum.

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  19. Are the pattern pieces long and slender? This seems like it might be such a good way to use up some of those leftovers from knit projects.

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    1. Wendy the band is long and doubled over - you could make it narrower & use up scraps. The scarf part is cut on the bias, so it does eat up a bit of fabric.

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  20. Very pretty!! You are a thoughtful and supportive friend! AND a much missed, talented blogger!!!!!!!

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    1. Awwww, how sweet of you, thanks Judi!

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  21. What a lovely way to return to blogging! The wraps you've made for your friends are lovely, your friends are truly blessed by you and your gifts for them. Pease share anything else you learn about we who may have an occasion to make them for ourselves or friends. Thanks!

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  22. The head-wrap thingy is beautiful. Gifts made with love can't be beat and are full of magical powers! Good to see you again.

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  23. Such thoughtful gifts, Jilly. I'm sorry your friends must endure chemo. Very nice to see you blog again!

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  24. Uber stylish!! and a loving gift. You're a dear:) My blogging muse has moved to Hawaii, yes Hawaii sounds good. My clients seem to be keeping me occupied with questions and not much else these days-lol Nice to see you return to my blog roll as I always enjoy checking in with you.

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  25. Hi Jilly! Welcome back, missed you. Nice chemo alternative. I made so many caps for my mom when she was in chemo. Fabric weight, seams, coverage - everything made such a difference to that tender head. She enjoyed having some print and color choices when we sent 'outside'.

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  26. Nice to read about you again. Too many of us have had to watch our friends go through this experience. Creating something to help them to feel as beautiful as they are to us is a fantastic way to deal with the loss of control you feel. Will pray for your friends' quick and complete healing.

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  27. I am sure your friends will love these! Such a great idea - and probably a good way to use some lovely fabrics up!

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