A Victorian Bashlik hood
I needed to make myself winter headwear that would protect my face from the cold and the ever blowing sea-wind in Helsinki. I searched Finnish online museum records and came across an interesting-looking hood scarf that I really liked. This hood-scarf was called Bashlik (in Finnish: paslikka, paslika or pyryhattu which literally means “snowfall hat”) and it was worn right around the area I currently live in. A while ago my friend Jenna gave me some wool fabrics she didn’t have any use for and the gray herringbone wool was perfect to try replicating this hat.
So, here is my inspiration:
This bashlik has been made out of wool with a very narrow stripe pattern. It has been bound with yellowish knitted tape and there is a golden decorative pattern made in the traditional pattern at the tip of the hood. There is a pretty beaded tassel hanging from the tip which makes this a woman’s hood. Actually, I can’t be sure but I didn’t find any pictures with men wearing tassel-decorated hoods whereas women’s hoods had them. Also, women were described wearing these hoods with the tip pointing down and the tassel keeps the tip in the right position. Men wore the tips of their bashliks pointing upwards:
I did notice that the scarf part is attached to the hood in two different ways. In some pictures, the scarf continues down from the hood and in some others it continues forward from the neck edge. I don’t know whether one version is more right than another. However, in most pictures of people wearing the hood the latter seems to be more common. It might be in fact that in my first inspiration picture the bashlik is upside down. More of this later…
My YouTube video
In my YouTube video, I have collected a short history of bashliks and added more images of winter headwear and describe how I made this project. It also contains all the directions you need to replicate this bashlik:
Making the bashlik was easy. I only had to sew one seam. Then, I felled it by hand to keep the hood looking neat from the inside. I bound the edge using cotton herringbone tape and decorated the hood by adding some black velvet ribbon from my stash. (In fact, I designed the size of the pattern to use the exact amount of ribbon I had left!) I finished the hood by making a tassel out of grey wool yarn.
The finished bashlik hood
Here is the finished bashlik of mine. I decided to wear it the way it is in the first Espoo City Museum picture, although it can be worn both ways. Here is the front:
… and here the side with little twirl action:
And finally the back.
If you watched the video, you noticed that the hood tends to slide back a bit. I tried also the hood the other way around. That way it stays in place a bit better and the scarf-parts give more protection to the face. I also realised that the size of the tassel is important as the purpose of it is to offer balance. A tassel that is too heavy will pull the hood back whereas a properly sized tassel will just keep the tip of the bashlik pointing neatly down.
I will need to research this bashlik direction-problem further and I will update this post if I get more information.
Thank you for reading and please subscribe to my blog and my YouTube channel if you haven’t already done so! Happy sewing!
Beautiful instruction and love your new hood! I owned a similar “hat” almost 30 years ago that I loved and wore all the time. Thank you for posting this and your video I’ve saved to my sewing favourites on youtube. I will make one of these in the future for sure!
Thanks, Kathleen! Long time no see!
This hood is lovely. Romantic and very inspiring. I appreciated your historical documentation and the tutorial. I may consider sewing one if I find an appropriate material. It could also be interesting as a children’s hood.
Thanks! I agree that kids would love that. In fact, I was reading a autobiography of a girl living in the 1890s Helsinki and she wrote that her brother wore a bashlik during the winter.