Article, Blog, Silent Life

The Silent Life: Make yourself a WWI era Dorothy Gish Tam o’ Shanter

dorothy gish tam o shanter

Dorothy Gish in Hearts of the World

I don’t think anyone will argue with the suggestion that Dorothy Gish pretty much walked away with Hearts of the World. Her Little Disturber was a sassy little number who wore a signature Tam o’ Shanter. The tam was a popular headgear choice for fashionable young ladies and had a jaunty flavor that went very well with Dorothy’s character.

Surely you want one of your own. Well, you can have one if you have some yarn and a crochet hook. This pattern is from the Sunlight Book of Knitting and Crochet, a 1915 publication. I am not positive about yarn weights but I believe that dk or sport weight should work. If crochet hook numbers are the same, the no. 5 should be an F hook. No guarantees, I have not tried this pattern myself.

(The model is not Dorothy Gish but I think there’s a resemblance.)



Remember that young ladies in this era often had a lot of hair done up in curls. Therefore, hats tended to be on a grander scale during this period. Women with less… luxuriant hair, either shorter or straighter, will want to keep this in mind when making the tam. Of course, if you are blessed with thick or naturally curly hair, the tam should look smashing as-is.



  1. I don’t think I’d have much use for a Dorothy Gish tam o’ shanter, but if you find a pattern for a Douglas Fairbanks, Jr greatcoat, let me know!

  2. Or even better, a pattern for Lon Chaney’s cape from London After Midnight. With a snazzy walking cane and a zipper added to seal it up, it would make a REALLY awesome (and rather large) umbrella! 😀

    • Movies, Silently

      Don’t forget the zigzag false teeth!

      • Hah! I’d work that design into the zipper, now that you mention it. Walking around with those teeth would get me staked really fast!

  3. MIB

    You can keep the Tam O’Shanter if I can just have the Dorothy Gish! :-) 😛

    • Movies, Silently

      Now THAT does show the limit of my powers. Knitting, crocheting, sewing, those I can do. Necromancy, not so much. 😉

  4. No love for the Tam O’Shanter? I think it’s cute!

    • Movies, Silently

      It is, rather. 😉 Boys just don’t understand.

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