Shawl Tutorial: Shawl Shape Discussion

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Discussion on shawl shape


When it comes to an Aes Sedai shawl, the most common shape that I see is the triangle. This is probably influenced by a triangular shawl appearing on the cover of one of the books. Most of the triangular shawls have a right angle corner at the bottom middle, opposite the longest end. The two shorter sides are fringed. I have also seen rectangular shawls. Personally, when I make a rectangular shawl I put fringe along one of the long ends. I have also seen them with fringe on the two shorter ends. This is a matter of personal preference. The third shawl shape that I have seen talked about (but I have not personal experience sewing it) is a rounded edge. It is similar to the triangle in that there is one edge, straighter than the other (it could be completely straight or just slightly curved) that comes to a corner at each end. Those two corners are joined by a curving edge of fabric that would then be fringed. For the majority of this, I will speak first of how I do a triangular shawl and then add any necessary information that is different for the other shawl shapes.



A triangular shawl


A rectangular shawl
[url=https://flic.kr/p/WLUGmz]


A rounded edge shawl
Pardon the poor drawing skills here, this is the only shawl shape I haven't made yet.
[url=https://flic.kr/p/2m8XULu]


So, what do you like or dislike about each shape?
Which do you think will suit your personal preferences best?
Any thoughts on which one you plan to make?[/url][/url]
 

Cattrin al'Modrah

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I think for me it will depend on how much fabric I have to work with.

I saw the curved shawl and immediately thought that by using the back and sleeve patterns of the American Duchess cape from last year's sew along, that could work if you shortened the top wrist corners of the sleeves.

The triangular shawl is definitely the more traditional shawl shape, and the curved edge shawl is definitely more popular in the yarn world than in the sewing world. Sewing wise, the triangle shawl is probably the easiest shawl pattern to draft. It's also a popular shape for knitted shawls.

For my tastes personally, the rectangle shawl seems to be too much of a blanket scarf shape and isn't necessarily what I think of when I think about a sewn shawl. Historically speaking it is a traditional shape for older styles such as the Orenberg warm shawl.

All that being said, I may be going with the triangular shape simply because it will be fairly easily to draft with not a lot of finicky seams, especially for adding in a lining.
 

Jaryd Kosari

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I've always wanted to make one that is shaped a bit like a deep u inside a large v, (with the neck resting in the dip of the u) so the back is long and pointed and the front is long enough to counter balance, but without so much material around the neck / arms. I just...never got around to actually doing it. :cheeseeni:
 

Polegnyn Nemeara

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So, what do you like or dislike about each shape? Which do you think will suit your personal preferences best?

I like that the triangular shape is most shawl-like. That's about it. Heh.

The rectangular shawl seems like it's more like a blanket as Cattrin mentioned. This one would be the most awkward to wear, imo. I imagine it would drape oddly around the back of one's neck because the fabric on the bottom wouldn't offer any give. Same for the triangular shawl, honestly.*

The crescent shape is my favorite because I like more organic (albeit stylized) shapes versus rigid geometric shapes. The shape would add interest, but not take away from the vine motif Aes shawls are reported as having.

Any thoughts on which one you plan to make?

Most likely the crescent shape. I'm really digging the sketch Ninya made, too. Their sketch is the best of both fit and still allow plenty of room for the teardrop. Ideally, I might add a rounded tip in the back, but I'm probably adding more difficulty with all the curves...? Doing so makes me wonder how fringe would hang with a rounded tip, too. However, I'm not a fan of fringe to begin with so that might be more subtle or suggested even on the most basic shawl.

* How are these shawls supposed to be worn? Draped across the shoulders or kinda looped along the elbows? Wot.wikia.com says both so nevermind. Also, the only book cover I can find that has an Aes shawl on it would be Lord of Chaos (the other covers besides AMoL), but the shawl isn't triangular. Am I missing something? Then there's this interesting tidbit, but I may be getting ahead of myself :look:
 
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I would like to make a rounded shawl, because I have two triangular shawls and I agree with Cattrin about the rectangular shawl. Ninya, I like your thoughts about the shawl shape though. I've never actually seen one of those I don't think.
 

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Delara Morellin

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Definitely triangular for me, especially for Del's first sewing project ('cause I don't think hems and buttons count :giggle)

I have a rectangular shawl-adjacent item (the Papa Emeritus IV hooded blanket) and it's quite hard to keep on my shoulders and gets a bit bulky there too. It is quite fun to pop the hood up and mooch around the house like a feral critter but not in this weather.... oooh, this has got me thinking about a hooded, travel shawl (cape??) in a sturdier fabric for outside. That could be cool.
 

Cattrin al'Modrah

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By the way, if anyone is interested I am working on the math formulas and diagrams for yardage and fringe amounts for the triangular shawls and the circular shawls. :)
 
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We will have a section on how to figure out how big to make your shawl!
 

Idine Espanyas

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I would like to make a triangular shawl because I prefer that style.
 

Melearlin Valar

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Ninya, you'll actually see that shape in some 18th century kerchiefs, because otherwise there would be too much material around the back of the neck! (I wouldn't call them shawls per se as they are often meant to be tucked into the bodice for sun protection).
 

Jaryd Kosari

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Ninya, you'll actually see that shape in some 18th century kerchiefs, because otherwise there would be too much material around the back of the neck! (I wouldn't call them shawls per se as they are often meant to be tucked into the bodice for sun protection).

That is really good to know, because that means I can find patterns to adjust to the size I want, rather than having to guesstimate and pray it's right. :laugh:
 

Siera al'Cere

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I feel the rectangular would be too hard to drap, and might feel more like a blanket to me rather than a shawl.
I like the look of the triangular, and it seems simple and easy to sew :laugh:

I like the triangular best and will be attempting that one :D
 

Merena Orithana

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I think I might start out with the triangular shape, too - I agree with Siera Sedai that it might be easier to sew for a beginner like me!
 

Leira Galene

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So I have an outerwear shawl that's sort of a U shape that's very comfortable and stays on my shoulders very easily. Sort of like the sketch Ninya posted, but the outer shape is also a U. That also might be quite easy to construct, seeing as it's more or less a square/rectangle with some material cut out of one side. I guess it's sort of a poncho shape? Although it's open in the front. I can't find a great picture.

For a crescent shape, one could also, in theory, use a half-circle or more cape pattern and cut it down shorter and make the neckline larger. Hm...
 
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