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No Pattern Used: 1930s Vionnet Scarf (1930s Vionnet Scarf) - Type:Accessories
Review submitted in CHALLENGE CONTEST - ACCESSORY INSPIRATION Contest    printable version
Viewed 456 times
Review rated Helpful by 1 people    Very Helpful by 6 people   
Reviewed by:JetSetSewing
Friend of PR
About JetSetSewingstar
Member since: 6/29/12
Reviews written: 10
Sewing skills:Advanced
Favored by: 6 people
patterns reviewed: 10
Bio: more...
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Posted on:5/9/13 2:35 PM
Last Updated:2/6/14 8:17 AM
Project Photo:photo3

Pattern Rating:Highly Recommend
Current Tags What is a Tag:
Fabric:Linen Blend  [See other projects in this fabric]
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Pattern Description:
For details and photos of the making of this scarf, please visit my blog, Photos and Instructions for making the Vionnet Scarf
The pattern is an exact replica of a 1930s scarf designed by French Couturier Madeleine Vionnet (also known as Madame Vionnet). I made it from linen woven with gold metallic mylar, to compliment the gold gladiator sandals in the accessories contest. Vionnet's early designs were based on Roman togas, and her masterful use of the bias cut made her a legend in fashion design. (Not to mention that she invented the Infinity Scarf.)
In the 80s, Betty Kirke wrote a now-famous book about Vionnet that included drawings of patterns for her dresses and this scarf, but didn't give the patterns to scale. Later the students at Bunka Fashion School in Japan recreated the dresses and put the patterns on grids to be reproduced, which are in another book. Using those two sources I was able to recreate the scarf. I used to enlarge the pattern in the Bunka book.
The pattern itself is a marvel of engineering. It's made of two pieces of fabric, cut on the bias, which have four strategic darts. The two pieces are folded in on themselves and seamed, and then sewn together in an infinity loop. You drape both loops over your shoulders, put your arms through and pull both loops through to make a bow without a knot. Pure genius. Here's a link to a Pinterest page of mine with links to the books and other info about Madame Vionnet:

Pattern Sizing:
One size
Did it look like the photo/drawing on the pattern envelope once you were done sewing with it? Yes, it came out exactly as it looked in the book.

Were the instructions easy to follow? The instructions were in Japanese in the Bunka book, so I followed the pictures. The Betty Kirke book describes how the scarf was tied. You can probably figure this project out just by using the Bunka book. For the dresses you would need both books.
Update: I wanted to add that I learned the skills to mark and make a muslin in Susan Khalje's "Couture Dress" course on I can't say enough about that class--it gave my skills a huge upgrade in a short period of time. I highly recommend it!

What did you particularly like or dislike about the pattern?
I loved that I was holding a piece of fashion design history in my hands. Also, once you get the hang of it, these scarves are very easy to make.
Fabric Used:
Linen woven with gold-colored mylar. Unfortunately these pictures don't show how the gold catches the light, which is another nice aspect of this scarf. This pattern works best with fabric that has some body, to hold up the bow.
Pattern alterations or any design changes you made:
Would you sew it again? Would you recommend it to others?
These are going to be my Christmas presents to everyone. They take about an hour and a half to make.
I really enjoyed this project. I highly recommend splurging on that Betty Kirke Vionnet book. It has so much information about Vionnet's life and work, and it looks cool on your coffee table.
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15 Comments      Login to Add a Comment
Quickie said...
SVplendid idea
5/9/13 3:01 PM
Quickie said...
Splendid idea
5/9/13 4:16 PM
BillieJean said...
Looks fabulous!
5/9/13 4:26 PM
JetSetSewing said...
Thanks ladies!
5/9/13 6:50 PM
meggipeg said...
Wow, that's so cool and it looks super-stylish.
5/9/13 9:23 PM
NJcowgirl said...
The scarf is beautiful. Thank you for all the hints and info on the books. Appreciate it.
5/10/13 11:20 AM
Renren said...
Very nice. I had not heard of these before--they look a little tricky to figure out but very easy and stylish to wear.
5/10/13 8:04 PM
ChristmasHills said...
I would like very much to be on your Christmas list. It's just lovely.
5/11/13 1:05 AM
JetSetSewing said...
Thanks! I want to add that if anyone decides to try this from the Bunka book, you can message me and I can give you some tips.
5/11/13 10:50 AM
Clareew said...
Great review, really informative
5/12/13 3:04 PM
Margaret said...
Very cool -- lovely scarf! This fabric looks great, especially on the bias!
5/18/13 5:28 PM
KathB said...
I'm in love with Vionnet designs and inspired designs! Thanks for the info about the books; I'll be looking for them.
5/20/13 8:12 PM
KathB said...
I'm in love with Vionnet designs and inspired designs! Thanks for the info about the books; I'll be looking for them.
5/20/13 8:12 PM
Jacqui315 said...
Dramatic and beautiful. I'm glad to see this bumped up. I just received the Betty Kirke book for Christmas.
2/6/14 9:59 AM
Speech girl said...
It's a wonderful and iconic scarf.
2/6/14 2:32 PM
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