Coming soon…

The summer holidays are approaching, which means more Costume Days. The first is next week, on Monday 29 July.

This year Trerice is having a Tudor Fortnight in the first two weeks of August, starting 2 August, with a variety of 16th century inspired activities. It will include extra opportunities to try on costumes on Wednesdays as well as Mondays during the fortnight (hope we’ll have enough volunteers to help – everyone seems to be going on holiday!)

Among the activities in Tudor Fortnight will be hobby horse jousting, which a couple of us from the group have made, in between costumes for the schools’ project. They’re basically a skirt over a French farthingale, so our Tudor clothes making skills have come in handy! It was a good opportunity to use some of the material we have that isn’t entirely appropriate for our conventional costumes.

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Maybe it should be renamed, in Cornish style, as ‘obby ‘oss jousting?

Mid Tudor nobleman

Just finished a Henry VIII/Edward VI style outfit for the schools’ project.
Here’s some of the stages to get to the final result.

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The grey doublet has slashes in the sleeves and on the front. Each slash was faced with another fabric, they could have been left because fraying edges could apparently have been part of the intended look, but I thought it best to limit excess wear and damage as much as possible. The puffs were made with a light-weight fabric pulled through and sewn to the edge of the slash to keep it in place.

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The same was done on the front of the body. The facing was made by sewing calico to the right side of the grey top fabric, cutting the calico into squares around the sewn slashes, then pulling each through the holes to the other side.

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The doublet is side opening (I thought it would be more interesting than the usual front opening, but it maybe a little trickier to do up…) which is worn under a black velvet u-front jerkin.

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The gown took a while to put together. Note to self – Must remember to take it slowly, follow instructions and not jump steps, otherwise chaos ensues!
The sleeves were faced with an interlining, then the trim was added, before attaching the lining and velvet facing.

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The body of the gown before the sleeves were attached. The trim was made from two different ones layered together.

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The gown, assembled before the velvet facings were added.

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The finished outfit.

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Jewelled decoration was added to the sleeves, to hold the openings together.

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Finally, a hat to complete the outfit. The brim was sewn together first, then the crown gathered to the right size and the edge bound before it was sewn to the brim.

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The finished hat with embellishments of braid, a jewel and a feather.

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The flurry of activity continues

What we’ve been up to – things recently finished:

*A miner’s coat in a heavy linen, so called because it was copied/inspired by a drawing of a mid Tudor miner – it needs lantern and tools to complete the look! It has 32 button holes and although they were done by machine patience was tested, especially when the practise ones using the automatic buttonhole function on scrap material were great but the first few on the garment wouldn’t play ball at all. Needless to say there’ll be some fake buttons at the bottom. but it was less time consuming than making 32 buttons by hand, which is left to someone else to do!

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*An early Tudor gentleman, with doublet, coat, hood and hat. We haven’t figured out the best way of doing one-size-fits-all hose, especially the early Tudor styles, so we’re leaving that for another time. Boys might be a bit reluctant to wear tights?!

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*A mid to late Tudor gentleman’s coat is finished and just needs a hat to complete the look.

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*Our version of the Aldersey girl’s gown with a roll underneath, because the skirt seems a bit long by itself for a 10 year old; we tried it with a farthingale as well but it appeared to make little difference to the length.

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*Two earlyTudor gentlewomen’s gowns are now finished, but we may add a tassel to the end of the girdles.

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We only have two outfits left from our initial cutting out, so we will have to have another cutting out session soon. There’s about 10 more to cut out. In the mean time each outfit made so far needs an appropriate shirt or smock and accessories…

Still busy

The school outfits continue:

An early-mid merchant’s wife dress, before embellishment was added.

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The same dress with about 12 metres of ribbon added. The trim echoes the design of an existing German mid 16th century bourgeois dress.

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For some reason there was a spare of puffed sleeves lying about, so to not waste them we added a doublet body.

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The school boy’s outfit is finished and just needs some accessories to complete it fully. (Something to add to the shopping list!)

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You can never have enough hats! Black versions of a round bonnet and a great bonnet to supplement the brown ones.

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A version of The Tudor Tailor’s Aldersey gown in The Tudor Child has been started. This is one of the sleeves of the gown during assembly. Yet again I have discovered the ‘joys’ of working with velvet – black is particularly disconcerting because the bits it sheds, which get everywhere, look like mouse droppings! Luckily there was enough velvet ribbon to use for the panes on the sleeves, which saved a fiddly job and extra mess.

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The finished sleeves attached to the bodice.

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Gowns, Coats and Headwear

It’s been a while since the last post, but we’ve been quite busy. We had another successful costume day at the beginning of the month and we’ve been continuing with the schools’ project.

We’ve made quite a dent in the patterns created during our marathon cutting out session – might have to get round to cutting out the last ones soon! We’ve got a mixture of recreated children’s clothes and scaled down adult style ones so that groups can see what different ranks and professions wore: they are based on pictures in the Herbert Norris book, Tudor Costume and Fashion, as well as patterns from the ever useful The Tudor Tailor, The Tudor Child, The Queen’s Servants, and The King’s Servants.

New additions to the schools’ project include:
An early Tudor farmer, with doublet and coat – reminiscent of those worn on the Tudor Monastery Farm TV programme. This will be worn, eventually, with the brown small bonnet made earlier.

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A villager – the kirtle was one from our old collection that never really gets worn, but just discovered it’s about 5-6 inches too short – it looks a bit silly with the jacket – so it will need to have a bit added on to the bottom.

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Some early Tudor bonnets for girls including a pointed one, possibly to go with the early Tudor gentlewoman’s dress.

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The round bonnet can be worn as it is or looks quite effective with a paste to make a gable shaped hood.

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This one is to go with the early Tudor noblewoman’s outfit, which is almost finished, and just needs some side lacing in the kirtle.

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A schoolboy’s coat is done, and is awaiting it’s yellow petticoat to go underneath. Also under way are a miner’s coat, a merchant’s gown, a merchant wife’s dress as well as the early gentlewoman’s dress.

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So the work continues and we have another costume day this coming Monday!

Schools’ project – next step started

Our project to make clothes for school groups to wear when they visit Trerice has taken a step forward. Four outfits have been finished and another four are under way, we still need to finish the shifts, shirts and headwear though as well.

Here’s some of the items being made at the moment, or recently finished:

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Early Tudor gentlewoman’s gown, which will be accompanied by a yellow kirtle.

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Tudor Tailor’s John Dunch’s hat enlarged for a 10 year old (or so), before the top layer and lining are added.

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School girl outfit minus jacket.

We have a new gallery of photos added above, with the finished items for the school project, which will be updated as we go.

On top of this there’s another costume day this coming Monday!

How many layers can one person wear?

The first costume day of 2014 (Easter Monday) fast approaches and hopefully the weather will be as delightful as it is today. Visitors will be able to try on all the layers of clothes that made up a sixteenth century outfit, from underwear to outerwear.

We’ve still been cutting out more patterns today but will be getting ready for Monday on Wednesday.

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Cutting out

Over the last week or so we’ve been cutting out patterns for our schools’ project. It’s easy to forget how long it actually takes to cut out each pattern, and it is taking longer than originally planned. We’ve done quite a few, it’s just the odd one or two that have caused befuddlement (so far); it’s back to the drawing board for a monk’s habit, which was far too skimpy and pathetic looking, and finally nailed an early noblewoman’s gown after cutting out 4 back skirt pieces instead of 2 front and 2 back, and a piece for the front that was too short. (I reckon we can use the extra bits for a cloak.) This wasn’t helped much by being in velvet so the pile had to be right too.