More for the Schools’ Project

Some more outfits recently finished.

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Mid-late Tudor noble lady
It’s not bad what can be achieved by layering up ribbon and braid…

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Mid Tudor merchant

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Late Tudor gentlewoman

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Mid Tudor gentleman

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Late Tudor servant

Whodunit? – again!
On Friday Trerice was open in the evening from 6-9pm with the opportunity to investigate the murder of a conservation assistant. The volunteers are all suspects and the weapon is hidden somewhere around the house. Within minutes we managed to spook a few visitors with the rag stuffed body!

There are two more murder mystery evenings in the next couple of weeks followed by a spooky Halloween night.

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Shopped till we dropped!

Last weekend (or so – bit late posting!) a group of us from the Costume Group ventured across the Tamar to go to the International Living History Fair near Leicester. We stopped at the lovely Coughton Court on the way up and had a look around the house and garden. There were some interesting monuments in the church next door too, one of two of the Throckmorton family holding hands, and a brass of one lady who had over 100 grandchildren.

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At the Living History Fair it was a bit like kids in a sweet shop, and we were not sure where to start! We shopped for accessories for the schools’ project and costume days including belts, purses, hats and books.

We met the Tudor Tailor ladies and the folks of the Green Valley Farm and had some interesting chats, bringing back some useful ideas and tips to Cornwall.

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Our haul!

Nearly there!

Better not shout too loudly but we’re halfway through cutting out the last pattern for the schools’ project!! The last outfit is a late Tudor noble lady based on an already made pink kirtle, originally made for an old cream dress, now transformed into a new gold gown.

Here’s some of the outfits hot off the press (sewing machine!)

imageLate Tudor nobleman and late Tudor merchant’s wife

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Late Tudor nobleman

Late Tudor nobleman

 

 

Late Tudor merchant's wife

Late Tudor merchant’s wife

Getting there, slowly

The Summer Costume Days are over now – it’s taken a little while to recover! The last was particularly busy, with about 40 visitors dressed in the morning and twice as many in the afternoon – not bad for four hours. We had some lovely comments too from visitors which is greatly appreciated.

After a day of repairs, including the complete rebuilding of two French hoods, we’ve managed to cut out another pattern for the schools’ project. This one’s for a mid Tudor noble lady, based on the Princess Elizabeth pattern in The Tudor Child. It’s also loosely based on a portrait of Mary FitzAlan, Duchess of Norfolk in blue and red, who had a very distant connection to Trerice through her stepmother Mary Arundell of Lanherne, a cousin to our Arundells (the FitzAlan earl of Arundel’s coat of arms is also in the plasterwork of the Great Chamber at Trerice – we’ve always assumed it was something to do with this marriage connection … but not completely sure). So far it includes a padded petticoat, a red kirtle with red and gold forepart and a blue velvet gown (a really nice shade, similar to the portrait) with large sleeves and fore-sleeves to match the kirtle.

Another busy day

We had another 500+ day today (over 500 visitors) which is really busy for Trerice as it’s quite a small house. About 120 of those visitors were game enough to try on a costume! We’ve introduced four sessions a day for trying on clothes so that the volunteers dressing the public can get a regular break, which makes it a little less exhausting than last year. 50 of those 120 today were in the 45 minute session after lunch!

Several more of the schools’ project outfits had a test run today so we could see which items needed alterations and tweaking. It was great to see them being worn, so a big thank you to our testers.

It was great to see the Parade Ground looking so busy when we emerged for lunch.

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It’s all happening again on Wednesday!

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Tudor Fortnight at Trerice

Our summer costume days are underway, we’ve had a lot of interest from visitors and some good weather has meant we’ve been a little less manic than usual, which is nice.

We’ve finished two more outfits for the schools’ project – an Elizabethan sailor and a mid Tudor loose gown and loose kirtle.

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The sailor’s outfit is based (roughly) on one I saw in the Queen’s Gallery in London last year, with a loose tunic top and baggy knee-length hose in linen.

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Also completed is an English gable hood to go with one of the early Tudor dresses.

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A couple of the schools’ outfits have had a trial run in the last two costume days, which was great. We might be able to test some more in the next few weeks.

The last remaining wooden farthingale has bitten the dust :( The hoops had become more gaffer tape than willow, after one-too-many 10 year old sat or stood on it before we could intervene. It is now being remodelled with curtain wire which has proved to be a lot more durable with rough handling so far in our other farthingales. The skirt itself is being altered too; it was based on the Alcega/Janet Arnold pattern with hoops put into tucks of material, so there is now far too much fabric, which will distort the shape with the new wire or be ridiculously huge and awkward to sew.

We’re in the middle of Tudor Fortnight at Trerice at the moment, and the Wardour Garrison are down for the weekend. They’ve set up their tents and have been showing camp life including musket demonstrations and target practise. Hope they haven’t got blown away by the tail end of hurricane Bertha! There’s also two Tudor themed banquets being held this week in the evenings on Wednesday and Saturday. Plus a costume day tomorrow and on Wednesday, hobby horse jousting and various craft activities.

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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