The Goose Girl: Scarves and Aprons

All the elements of the Goose Girl garment were complete and wearable, but a couple final touches were left. Apologies are in order for how late this is in getting out for when I finished it, and honestly, lack of photos in this post. Here is a lot more of my musings, and not too much process to be shown.

Way back in August, at the start of this project, I had found a beautifully embroidered dresser scarf and vintage jacquard ribbon from the vintage shop, Studio RicRac.  These two pieces were the inspiration for the original design and I was determined to incorporate them into the final garment, though I had found other fabrics to use for their intended purpose in the stays.  

The jacquard ribbon had been used in the skirt thus far, but the dresser scarf still remained and it was the perfect size for a small apron.  After some quick plotting, I decided to make the apron double sided with a pocket that Izi could ideally be collecting goose feathers in while in the field with her charges.  This was especially exciting to decide upon since it would mean I wouldn’t have to cut the dresser scarf and could use it in its entirety.

I folded the scarf in half widthwise and whip stitched from about half way from the fold to the end of the fabric, around the bottom curve, and up to the same point on the other side. The whip stitching was done on the fashion side using cream silk thread that I was able to bury in the preexisting lace trim.  

Once set, the pocket apron was whip stitched to the remaining 2 yards of jacquard ribbon that would tie in the back.  


The headscarf was the next accessory for the final garment.  Shannon Hale’s retelling of the classic tale describes Princess Ani as having yellow (blonde) hair that was extremely distinctive from her fellow palace workers and Bayerns who all had dark brown, brunette, or black hair.  It was a defining feature throughout the book that Ani had to keep hidden to protect herself from discovery. It was also an identity that would later come back when she would go with the workers to the king to reveal herself: they called her the Yellow Lady. 

Fortunately for Ani, Shannon Hale’s culture of Bayern women wore headscarves when working in the fields or forest.  In the novel, Ani takes advantage of this cultural garb by wearing her headscarf whenever not alone in her room.  I wanted to be careful when portraying this element as accurate to my chosen interpretation of Bayern as Bavarian.  In researching, I found that headscarves are common in Central and Eastern Europe, but are typically worn by married women.  

I returned to the drawing board at a bit of a loss, unable to find good inspiration.  Then, I stumbled upon the wonderful ladies at Wrapunzel Blog who simply explained any and all kinds of head wraps that they wore as part of their daily dress.  The best and most inspiring part was from Naiomi in her video “Is it Offensive if I Wear a Head Wrap”.  I had stumbled upon the video when I felt at a loss of if my design was wrong to proceed with since I was not wearing it for religious purposes.  But her explanation was beautiful and exactly what I needed to hear to have the confidence to move forward with the concept as fashion and following with cultural inspiration rather than a gimmicky costume. 

Their videos and discussions on dressing modestly are quite lovely, and I recommend them to anyone looking for a calming practice.  After looking more in depth at their discussions and inspiration, I decided to go very simply with their “Royal Wrap” where a single scarf is wrapped twice around the crown of the head. 

To make my wrap, I used one yard of light green cotton quilting fabric I had previously purchased to make bias tape for another project.  I used a store bought scarf I wear in the winter and tested the Royal Wrap method as a template for size of material to cut.  The cotton was a bit stiffer than the soft kits the Wrapunzel ladies use, but I loved the complementary green color to the overall Goose Girl garment and the nod to the character’s green eyes from the novel.

The edges were finished simply with a tiny rolled hem and I left the piece unpressed to leave in the wrinkles and crinkles for added texture.  

On the day of our professional photoshoot of the full garment, I modified the wrap slightly by shifting the length to one side which was wrapped around the crown of the head and leaving the short tail loose.  I felt this gave a nice return to the original inspiration of the Eastern European head scarves which are tied simply at the nape of the neck and left hanging loose. 

A huge thank you to the wonderful resources and ladies at Wrapunzel for the knowledge and confidence to finish the look in this way. 

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