Scarves: Spring on a budget

Well hell-o Montréal spring, I thought you'd never show up! The new season means blanket-weight mufflers are cleaned and packed away. 

When I rotated in the spring-weight pieces, I noticed I'd nothing that would work with several pink and orange tops, or to make navy less...navy. What joy, a hole in one's scarf wardrobe! Time to scout.

This Liberty paisley silk that would provide soft warmth right into May and even summer evenings. The colourway is versatile and lively, I'm fond of Indian paisleys, and it's a nice, ample size. But the price is well over $500 of our weak Canadian dollars. I want to spend less!

Secondhand Liberty scarves are listed on Etsy and eBay, with prices from around $20 to $120, but the tiny florals on offer are too girlish for me.

I found an affordable alternative: Melbourne artisan Dannielle Monaghan of SourPussDesigns makes infinity or rectangular scarves of washable Liberty cotton jerseys. I chose the Elephant and Castle pattern in the double-layer infinity version. I'm delighted with the pattern, but might alter it to a rectangle, because I like a scarf tighter on the neck and three twists strangle me.

Double-layer infinity version
Pattern detail

Here are others I considered:

1. Silk rectangular pieces made by Toronto artisan Valezhki; offered in almost endless colourways. I like these for travel—just twist and stash in your bag, or bring it as gift for the friend you're visiting. The price is about $30-$45 each.
2. Another crush: Japanese fabrics, here delivered as a spring bouquet. And in washable cotton! This graceful design by CynthiAnDesigns is 5 inches wide and 74 inches long, abloom with five different patterns in pinks and corals. Price is about $US 72.


3. Cinne Worthington's silk pattern mixes: Deep admiration for this designer (whose Etsy shop is  CBanningAccessories) for her fantastic quality, elegant pattern mixing and superb service. These scarves are perfect "tuckers" with a coat, but light enough to wear indoors year-round.

Shown, Liberty blue floral mixed with grey foulard. (I don't do the bow, just wrap and loosely knot.) Price is about $80 for the oblong size, which I'd say is absolutely worth it.



And then I found this silk mid-century Montréal souvenir scarf in excellent condition, hanging out in a Nova Scotia vintage-clothing shop. I had to repatriate it! The scarf hole is now filled, for less than the shipping and tax on a new Liberty beauty.



When I was a kid, new sneakers heralded spring, everyone on bikes again; our mothers scolded us to use our brakes, not the rubber toes. Now, a scarf signals the season—but you might still have room for sneakers, too,  if you sew or shop with an eye on value! 

Links to vendors do not generate commissions, just the occasional purchase. If you've dealt with any vendor linked via the Passage, I'd appreciate knowing how you liked your transaction. 

15 comments

LauraH said...

Spring scarves...I'm so ready to break them out. We have snow on the ground here in Toronto and expecting more this week. Earmuffs, wool scarf and sheepskin mitts yesterday, although I refuse to get my winter coat and boots back out!

Love your selections, especially the coral and pink print. I'll be checking out all those vendors, you can't have too many sources for great scarves and they provide something different from my Kalabander styles.

So good to hear from you, you sound buoyant and energized.

materfamilias said...

I'm being quite resolute about culling and paring at the moment, and doing my best not to add anything to what we'll be carrying to our new and much smaller eventual home. So I should be bothered by the temptations on offer here, but instead, I've enjoyed the vicarious virtual shopping. Such beautiful prints and colours (my favourites are the vintage and the oh-so-fresh-and-delicate Japanese print).
Your new scarf looks great on you, very spring! I hope your grasp on the season holds -- this is such a hopeful time back East, I know, but still precarious, weather-wise. . .

Madame Là-bas said...

It's nice to have you appear this morning. I miss you. Like Mater, I am trying to add nothing for a while but your suggestions reminded me of some springtime scarves that I already own from Diwali in Paris. My navy and grey neutrals will look fresher with a touch of coral or turquoise. Your scarf is certainly a great colour combo with your grey hair. Hope spring stays sprung in Montréal.

Cathy said...

Thank you, great finds here! I like the idea of shopping on Etsy but it can be hard/time consuming to browse; so much easier when someone else points out the way.

hostess of the humble bungalow said...

Your new scarf is very pretty and the options here are tempting...
vintage scarves are plentiful here but many are torn...how did you mend the hole? Did you have it done professionally or did you fix it yourself?

I am on the hunt for a new scarf too...it is fun searching.
Hope your Spring weather continues, I heard that many back east had snow!

diverchic said...

That is a great purple scarf. You should come shopping in my scarf drawer. Last time I counted there were 110 scarves. The jewel of them all is the one you gave me.

Duchesse said...

LauraH: Today I wore a spring scarf under a muffler, to commute to work. When it's April 5, I'm wearing them!

mater: You would be surprised how much room you have for scarves, which is why I still buy them, and store in nice boxes on bookshelves. Where there's a will...

Mme: I did have a need for a scarf (so OK, I bought two) in order to get good wear from those tops. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.

hostess: What I wrote was "a hole in my collection", meaning a vacancy in the colours of my scarves. I was under-scarfed in the orange/pink/purple colourway. None of mine have holes •in• them, I am grateful to say.

Cathy: Oh, I can spend two hours browsing scarves on Etsy or eBay! Isn't that noble of me?

diverchic: You are indeed a queen of scarves. Put some in your bag and come to Montréal, girlfriend. It's spring!

Cinne said...

What an honor it is to have one of my scarves included in this wonderful post.
To show my gratitude and perhaps shrink the size of the "hole" in your wallets here is a 25% off coupon for anything my shop.
Just enter "laDuchesse" at check out.
Thank you so much Duchesse and enjoy your spring!
Cinne
CBanningAccessories

LauraH said...

Thinking of spring scarves, I've been mulling this one over for a while. https://www.etsy.com/listing/220695046/now-availablelinden-tree-spring-green Not sure it counts as 'budget' though.

Duchesse said...

LauraH: That depends on one's budget! Very pretty, and I notice, washable.

lagatta à montréal said...

Duchesse, are there many scarves that aren't washable? (By hand, I mean).

I washed all the winter woollen ones, but don't know how to store them with the moth problem. One (untouched) is in the freezer). I'm still wearing one of the lighter ones, a pretty red one with a hand-knotted (macramé) fringe. I'm always cold around the throat and neck until it gets really warm.

Do you have a source of woollen darning yarn? I'll check out the knitting shop on St-Hubert. With our throwaway culture, darning yarn is far less available than before.

Duchesse said...

lagatta: Various textiles in scarves are not hand-washable and include (but not limited to) those made from organic dyes derived from plants and berries (often not colour-fast), antique textiles, assembled scarves that have pieces of wool, silk and who knows what,and pure silk chiffon, lace or similar delicate fabrics.

I handwash many fine woolens, but some are just too risky.

If I have a hole in a fine woolen, I send it to a specialty company to mend; they are able to replicate patterns like the Prince of Wales on Le Duc's moth-attacked jacket. Two holes, $80, but... you try it. The most I'll do is a solid colour mend on a garment where the wool has been provided on a little card.) Do an internet search on darning wool you will find many choices available, but the professional restorers harvest wool from the actual piece, and it is not evident that they took it.

lagatta à montréal said...

That is true. I do have a background in fine arts, and have replicated patterns by hand, but there are certainly some fine ones I couldn't do without specific professional training. $80 is worth it to save a beloved jacket. I've done some pretty good repairs for friends ... but one needs the wool.

Not even talking about antique fabrics and fibres, much as I love such fields.

Julie said...

Many pretty choice, IMO, you made the right one.

Interesting to learn about the professional restorers harvesting the wool.

Duchesse said...

Julie: That is a foundational skill of invisible weaving, because it is the only way they can get the wool or other fiber to match perfectly, especially when a garment was laundered many times or has faded. They take the wool from the seams, thread by thread.

Not every fabric can be restored so that you do not see the weave, and of course like any other craft there are levels of expertise. Sometimes damage is too extensive to repair (because they can't harvest enough material to mend all the holes).